Questions to Anne-Sophie Novel

Blogger and journalist, Anne-Sophie Novel is the founder of Place to B. During the COP15, she was in Copenhague and enjoyed working and meeting other blogers in a café booked for them. When she discovered that COP21 would be in Paris she suggested to find a similar place. Since then the idea has grown and lives far beyond what she initially suggested. She agreed to answer my questions last Friday as she was finishing her breakfast. Thank you for your availability Anne-Sophie!

Portrait Anne-Sophie

   cc Marine Leduc

Anne-Sophie, the first Place to B adventure is about to end. What are your impressions?

There are several things, with Place to B we had for main ambition to create something positive, a bubble for people to feel good so they would understand that Place to B exists only in a constructive spirit. The aim being to really create a new way to communicate about climate change and to open to the citizens. Place to B is a place where people meet around convictions and try to discuss how to share it better. And I think we succeeded, we reached our ambition. On the other hand, I think we have a team that had proved to be a revelation on all levels. I am thinking or the core team which is working on the project for  months, and also the volunteers. I am happy to see how everyone has found its place and made this adventure possible. It is a human adventure before anything and I am really satisfied about it.

What is the next step for Place to B? Do you already have a  vision?

After what we experienced, I believe each of us will relax and it will be strange next week to not have any event to organize. But there is so many content to work on, that we know it is only the beginning of something. This morning we will meet and have a reflection about the future of Place to B. I don’t know yet how it will materialize. Having said that there are already few options to explore: there is the idea to create a web doc by using all the radio, video and photo contents, in order to explain what happened here during 2 weeks. There is also the idea to create some crowd-funding campaign in order to support some projects of the Creative Factory. There is the possibility to create an international network of people who wish to keep the effort alive in time. Some people see us as a collective event which could be replicated at other occasions. It is a concept which seduced lot of people, the fact to gather diverse people in a great and open space. The question is to know if we want to replicate it at each COP or also at some other occasions. First, we will listen to the community and see the ideas which are arising. And we will give ourself time to think it through because we won’t be able to do everything, at the end we will decide at the majority.

Today the theme at Place to B is B-Long, a reflection about time. Lately, you have started a collection of interviews on that theme. What is your vision of time?

I had that idea of interviews about time in September 2014, around the time where the project Place to B was taking more and more space in my life. I was wondering how the others were doing to manage their schedule, because it requires a lot of discipline as a freelance to manage the interviews for my journalist job, the conferences and this project at the same time. I wanted to know how the others do. I offered my idea to Le Monde and they liked it. I couldn’t do exactly what I had in mind, because I wanted to ask always the same questions so that everyone would do the exercise.  Finally the series has a great success it has been stopped in June and started again for the end of this year. Therefore one will be published today and one will be published next week. In the future, I would love to interview Sylvain Tesson, but for now he doesn’t want to answer.

Did these interviews opened new horizons for you? Did you change the way your are managing your time?

I was my own guinea pig because I always have a full timetable. I interviewed a coach in time management who helped me. I have been coached myself, it is really interesting to understand through the lens of time management my relationship to emails and another list of things. I am progressing, I learned to say no, to put priorities. For exemple I always try to get something done by 10 o’clock in the morning, so that I don’t get the feeling that the day is flying by and I am losing my time. I learned many different tips as that one which help me to organise my time better, so I can enjoy the moment. What  it is interesting is that there are many different time approach with all the people I met. And everyone doesn’t talk about it the same way.

And why did you choose this theme today?

Because we are in the urgency, the leaders are in the urgency to find an agreement. It is a time for action because we are trying to find an agreement for 2020. And the distance there is between now and 2020 doesn’t necessarily give us the feeling that there is urgency for action. It is paradoxal and we do not know how to take it, we will abord all those questions today.


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