Sébastien COUASNET, Co-Founder & CEO, Elephant Vert, France
After obtaining a Master's degree in ""Environmental Engineering"" at Paris 7 Denis Diderot and a Master's degree in ""Cooperation Program Engineering"" at the University of Lille 1, Sébastien Couasnet took up residence in 2000 in Africa, more precisely in Burkina Faso, for the implementation of a very promising spirulina cultivation project. Committed to development actions for the African continent, Sébastien Couasnet joined the Swiss foundation Antenna Technologies in 2001 (specialized for 25 years in research, adaptation and transfer of innovative technologies to fight poverty and promote sustainable development), as Project Manager for West Africa. It is from this moment that he takes the measure of the agricultural needs and potentials of the African sub-region. From 2003 to 2005, he was in charge of several development programs (fight against malnutrition, farm schools and bio-pesticides) in Dakar. In 2005, a major change in Sébastien Couasnet's African adventure took place with a mission as Technical Advisor to the President of the Republic of Senegal. He will hold these positions until 2011, after having created the AES Foundation (Association Éducation Santé) in 2006, again with the support of Antenna Technologies. Convinced that a new sustainable and inclusive agricultural model is possible, Sébastien Couasnet decided to create the Groupe ÉLÉPHANT VERT in 2012, by setting up its industrial hub in Meknès, Morocco. Today, the Group operates in Europe (France and Switzerland) and Africa (Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Kenya and Ivory Coast) and develops a global approach, from the researchers' bench to the fields, to provide farmers with efficient products and services that are 100% natural and have no negative impact on soil and the environment. These solutions aim to make possible, on a large scale, an efficient, healthy and sustainable agriculture. Now based in Serris, in Seine-et-Marne (his native region), Sébastien Couasnet intends to develop the production of bio-inputs from European and African industrial centres to drive an innovative, responsible and efficient bio-alternative.