Executive Director, interdisciplinary research centre on sustainable-development operationalization (CIRODD)
A revolutionary with a smile, Laure Waridel fell into citizen engagement as a young child. Over the last 25 years, she has worn both the work boots of major ecological solidarity endeavours and the velvet gloves of sustainable-development work. As a woman with a big heart and a rigorous approach, she recently undertook doctoral studies on the emergence of an ecologically- and socially-minded economy at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, for which she won a prestigious Trudeau Scholarship.
In 1997, at the age of 24, Laure. Waridel published her first essay: Coffee with a Cause. In it, she presented the results of research she had conducted in a coffee co-operative in Mexico at the conclusion of her studies at McGill University. The work catapulted her onto the media spotlight, which gave her a strong platform to launch the idea of fair trade in Québec, then mostly unknown in North America.
She also used her media presence to promote Équiterre, an organization she co-founded in 1993 and for which she presented over 250 lectures, mostly in Québec, but also in Ontario, British Columbia, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Senegal and Colombia. Her books, Acheter c’est voter and L’envers de l’assiette, quickly became best-sellers in Québec and references in the development of fair trade and responsible consumption.