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Marie Trellu-Kane

Executive President of Unis-Cité

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background:

Marie cofounded Unis-Cité in 1994 to experiment and inspire a national Youth Civic/Citizen Service in France, as key element of youth education.

She has taught social entrepreneurship at ESSEC Business school, where she founded a social incubator (Antropia), and has been a consultant in corporate philanthropy and social responsibility, as well as in Youth policies for local governments and national governments in French speaking Africa, as an expert for UN agencies.

She is a member of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Counsel since 2010, and received the French honorific “Ordre National du Mérite”.

Marie graduated from ESSEC Business school and Harvard Kennedy School.

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is the initiative you will be presenting at the forum?

Pioneering and specializing in Youth National Citizen Service in France, Unis-Cité has already allowed about 15,000 young people (2,600 in 2016) to serve their country for 6 to 9 months in teams of youth from all social and cultural backgrounds, with appropriate mentoring and training.

Unis-Cité’s vision is that every young person should devote one year of their life to serve the community and experience diversity. Unis-Cité’s aim is to help our society to become more civically engaged and respectful of diversity, by allowing young people to experiment active citizenship and collective action among youth from all ethnicities and social backgrounds.

LOCATION / Where do you conduct your activities?

In France. Currently in around 50 cities. Unis-Cités objective is to be active in all major French cities and to expand within Europe.

IMPACT / What is the impact…of the activity?

Impact is threefold: 1) young volunteers become more committed, civically engaged, and respectful of differences (Annual questionnaires filled by current/former volunteers), as well as more “employable”; 2) they fulfill socially and/or environmentally impactful missions: especially supporting isolated elderly, public housing inhabitants, the homeless… 3) On a larger scale, Unis-Cité served as inspiration and role model for the launch of the French “Civique Service”, a public policy launched in 2010 which served 50,000 youth in 2015.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you:

“Help the others, you’ll help yourself” Moto of Unis-Cité for its recruitment campaigns…