2018 has been a pivotal year for OpenTeam and we’re happy to share this with you!

First of all, we feel really lucky for all the support we have obtained from the whole community surrounding us again this year: our extended team, board, partners, supporters, newsletter followers… To all, we wish to say thank you!

So what happened this year?

Major news


1/ We launched the operations of the ScaleSchool acceleration program on the field in Nepal, for our first project being replicated: a farm that switched to organic practices and inspires the whole country for change!


To learn more, check out our articles:

2/ We have been building a large team of climate-enthusiasts across the world, who are working hard to turn OpenTeam’s mission into action, with the professionalism and passion that are much needed to meet our ambition. And we’ve had the privilege to start our first academic partnership with the Belgium university UC Louvain who has missioned 4 engineer students on a study project for the ScaleSchool.


Discover our full team here

3/ We deployed our much-awaited News Portal and started preparing valuable content that we’re excited to share. It’s a mix of news about our work on the field, and of interesting sustainability stories, webdocs and knowledge from around the world, starting with our Polish team’s webdoc on the Bialowieza Forest controversy that was released during COP24 in Katowice.

To learn more, check out:

Behind the scene

  • If you’ve been following us for a while, you will remember that we developed after COP21 a collaborative platform to interconnect sustainability communities, projects and citizens across 90 countries around the world, and this was its first version. In 2018, we’ve managed to bring together partners and funding to collectively improve the collaborative platform. More coming up soon!

Check out all our Partners

  • 2018 was the year of the consolidation of our Scientific board. We now gather a dozen trusted experts from various domains who bring their time and advice to help our team take a step back to better move forward.

Check out our Board Members

Key learnings

  • To whoever would like to venture on this path: We prepared ourselves for an ambitious crowdfunding campaign end November with the goal to fund the kickoff of the ScaleSchool. When realizing that it would take much more time than expected to develop our community before the campaign, we decided to postpone it to later this year, and learnt a lot along the way!
  • In Nepal, we now know that you need extra time and attention to discover and embed yourself in the local ecosystem on the field, especially for a country so different culture-wise before launching a 100-step action plan. Treading slower helps to accelerate faster!
  • We envisaged the ScaleSchool program to be essentially a MOOC format with punctual workshops, but the reality on the field led us to rethink our strategy, add lots of trainings onsite, and position ourselves as an actor embedded locally.

This is just a few examples, and we have lots to share in upcoming dedicated articles on our News Portal.

Lots of unexpected happenings 🙂

  • When Joanne met our soon-to-be Scaleschool startup manager Sonja while on a diving course in Bali, Indonesia… and ending up sending her out to Nepal for a new life experience that will last at least a year



  • When Sokha met his Polish friend Piotr over a drink, 6 months before the next COP would happen in Poland, and the discussion turned into the project of making a Polish webdoc on one of the country’s key environmental dilemnas, the Bialowieza Forest



  • Choosing for the ScaleSchool a first project holder whose nephew, Subodh, has just graduated with a thesis on the exact topic of interest (farmers’ livelihood in Nepal rural areas) and ending up hiring him our first Nepalese team member – by the way whose dream is to become the local municipality mayor so that he can change the country from inside with more climate justice and education…!

Hilarious moments ;D

  • Lots of laughing and joy during our almost-daily calls across France & Nepal, like when the chicken and goats take part in the conf call or when realizing that the gesture made by Sudarshan of milking a cow, was mistaken with the movement of driving a car (which is far from going to happen in his rural area)!
  • After lots of efforts to fundraise and set up the high speed internet fiber at the Nepalese farm, and then again for the solar panel to obtain continuous connection with the Nepalese team, internet is interrupted again…. But this time it’s by the internet service provider! We’re on a mission to help them fix the network now. 😉
  • Believe or not, Sudarshan has freelancer chickens at his farm, it’s been an ongoing joke… The story goes that Sudarshan kept saying that he has freelancer chickens, meaning free range chickens, which gave me a good laugh many times. They are running around the farm, pooping and fertilizing the soil and occasionally giving eggs and meat to consume, but lately they have been not doing so good job because they ate a part of the newly planted cauliflowers. Apart from this we still keep saying they are freelancer chickens and laugh over it together!


  • To our trusted scientific board members for their time and enthusiastic involvement
  • For the ScaleSchool launch event in Paris and all the partners & volunteers’ support that made it happen, not to forget our special speaker Florent Gühl, Director of the Agence Bio (a dedicated feedback article is coming up soon!)
  • To our community’s support during our crowdfunding preparation workshops in Paris, and a special thanks to Geoffrey, our graphic designer for the ScaleSchool, who did an amazing job on very short notice
  • To the Nepalese Spiral Farm Hose project, its whole family, village community, supporters and partners who are surrounding us in this big journey!





So what’s up for 2019?

We have 3 main goals to reach this new year:

  • Prepare and build the ScaleSchool training in Nepal and on the online MOOC
  • Enhance our collaborative platform to enable the connection and success of many more sustainable projects
  • Develop our business model so that we can be financially sustainable while achieving our passion to act for positive change!


What about you, what’s new from your end? We’d love to hear about your projects, ideas and feedback by commenting below or by email here. And why not showcase your sustainability story in a future article, as this is the first of a series of monthly newsletters.


Wishing you all the best for the new year 2019, may it positive and scalable be a year of  climate action!


The OpenTeam

Sokha, Joanne, Sonja, Subodh, Lydia, Adleigh, Anshita, Tijana, Amélie, Piotr, Tim, Elise, Elodie and Aurélie!


Joanne Schanté
Joanne is a French-American social entrepreneur, passionate about the climate, social innovation and supporting the scaling of social enterprises throughout the world. After her MBA at INSEAD in 2013, she switched her career switch from a corporate role and has turned her passion into her profession as an entrepreneur, connector and enabler. She directs with passion the social enterprise Open Team which she co-founded following the UN Climate Summit COP20 in Lima, and in particular the ScaleSchool program.


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