Papillon MDC Inc. – 2019 SDG Leadership Awards

Papillon MDC Inc.


Industry: Management/Leadership Consulting

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Primary SDG Focus

Secondary SDG Focus

Please summarize your company’s SDG focus, how was that SDG was implemented and how did achieved and measured the impact.

Papillon MDC Inc. aims to nurture a mindset in leaders that focuses on collaboration, discerning judgement, alignment, mindfulness, and compassion when it comes to sustaining and growing people. Through our leadership development programs, leaders experience an awakening of some sort when they recognize that they could not go faster than their slowest part. The “slowest part” collectively is a mindset that only values corporate profits. Leaders who worked with us have drastically shifted the way they see themselves, their role at work, and their place in society; thereby, making significant changes in how they run their business and where they choose to invest their time and resources.

In 2012, we launched our CSR strategy with a “Take Flight Competition”, which called upon non-profit organizations to tell us how we could help them achieve their SDGs pro bono. Through this initiative and other recent partnerships, we have supported local and international organizations focused on one or many of SDGs. Some examples: From 2013-2014, we contributed financially to the development of a community library and offered our coaching and leadership services to community leaders in So-Ava, Benin, Africa. In 2014-2015, we supported a young director, Fernando Barbosa, in creating a documentary about the plight of street children in Bolivia- film online debut in 2018. From 2016-2018, we formed a partnership with Crossroads International to increase the productive capacity of a network of women in Senegal who produce and distribute a range of soaps in several regions across Senegal. We designed & implemented a mentor training program to develop women’s leadership mindset and capabilities to mentor young talent, and to ensure the sustainability of their soap business. In 2018, we partnered with Umalia Inc. in increasing access to education by developing a school in the same community in Benin we have come to know and love. We contributed financially to this project & committed a percentage of sales from specific services and products toward this project, as well as held learning moments to shift mindsets and increase leadership impact.

How was your primary SDG focus identified and prioritized in the company’s value chain?

Our CSR arm of the company is intimately linked to our purpose: Help leaders make decisions that benefit them in terms of potential and well-being, the corporation they serve in terms of profitability, as well as the future of generations to come in terms of healthy living. Put differently, our leadership and coaching services aim to develop leaders that (1) Understand the interconnectedness of the decisions they make, (2) Ensure a future for generations to come by focusing on what is most meaningful, and (3) Create an accepting context where employees can achieve their potential while ensuring operational excellence in terms of minimal waste of resources. Hence, our focus is Sustainable Leadership, which embraces the triple bottom line concept introduced by John Elkington where he postulated that sustainability efforts ought to encompass three key agents: People, Planet, and Profits. These 3Ps are inter-reliant as people depend on a healthy economy, and a healthy economy needs a healthy global ecosystem where people and all living things flourish. Hence, the health of this inter-reliant system is ultimately the bottom line.

Were any partnerships leveraged or created?

Over the course of 6 years we have formed partnerships with leaders of various organizations as well as partnerships with corporations aiming to make a difference such as Umalia Inc. and Crossroads International, who provided us with access to communities and leaders in So-Ava, Benin Africa and Senegal, respectively. Our partnerships are sustained over a 12-year period, with impact measured by the community leaders. In So-Ava, Benin, the community leader for the Youth Association for the Development of the Lake, Mr. Hyppolite Dansou provided a testimony that underscored our impact in his community. Crossroad International published in their newsletter last summer the impact we had on the women mentors and young mentees through our Mentoring Program. Its International Executive Director also provided a written testimony about the impact of our work. And, our continued partnership with Umalia has seen the development of the school community, with its first classroom welcoming children this past fall!

What communications strategy did you employ to share the initiative with your stakeholders?

Since 2012, we have been sharing within our networks the organizations we support through our CSR arm of the company. In 2016, we created two positions, held by Associates: (1) Corporate Social Responsibility and Program Development; and (2) Communications & PR. The intent is to alleviate our commitment to marrying corporate profits with social giving. We have taken the following concrete steps:

  • Improved our CSR webpage, and created social media accounts, allowing us to have a greater reach; we keep this current with progress about different initiatives
  • Launched a “Guest Client Blog” to educate the general public on what matters in the workplace when it comes to real impact. This allowed us to blog about corporate purpose, mindset of giving, and leadership sustainability.
  • Led Lunch &Learn seminars at our offices, allowing leaders to attend, learn about leadership, enjoy a meal together, and donate to our project- the School Project in So-Ava. Our initiative is entitled: “Eat, Learn & Give”
  • Positioned our “Inspirational Stickers” as symbols for appreciating others, with a percentage of sales going toward the School Project
  • Announced in our newsletter and all social media channels that 50% of our sales from our E-learning services would be earmarked for the School Project
  • Integrated the notion of “Purpose” driving business strategy in keynote engagements, thereby allowing us to speak about our efforts in supporting initiatives that aim to meet SDGs
  • By visiting our Blog- Visitors read about mindset of giving, purpose-driven businesses, social giving, and our collective responsibility. And, in our News section- we present such activities. This year, we also began an online Newsletter which informs our clients about our CSR initiatives; thereby, encouraging them to learn more about different projects.

How were KPIs and the levels of success outlined and defined?

Our measure of success is directly related to the organizations we support reaching their intended goals. We received written and even live feedback regarding our role in helping them achieve their intended SDGs. However, we provide some highlights below:

  • Community of Sô-Ava, Benin, Africa: As a result of our leadership work between 2013 to 2015, Hyppolite Dansou, who had created the Collective of Civil Society Organizations, regrouping more than 60 NGOs located in the commune, was able to transition his leadership to his successor and pursue his doctoral studies in Canada where his focus is to examine the impact of community participation in sustaining services implemented in partnership with organizations that aim to bring about true change in Sô-Ava. This, is in addition, to a library filled with books for children, and the start of a first classroom in the fall of 2018.
  • Mentorship program in Senegal: As a result of our work, experienced women now include young people within their business activities. As a result, production has increased benefiting both young and experienced producers alike. Young women sold 230 soap units in a month are earning their independence as well as feel more involved in decision-making and valued within her home. Papillon MDC’s mentor/mentee program is now implemented in nine other regional unions with the support of the Programme Québécois de Développement International (PQDI) from the Ministère Québécois des Relations International et de la Francophonie.

How were reporting and monitoring conceptualized and undertaken?


It is important to note that all winners of our Take Flight Competition put forth their objectives at the start of our work. Each organization decides what they want to improve, and we then execute our work accordingly. In the preceding section, we elaborated on how we work collectively.

What were some key lessons learned?

In our collective work, we have learned the importance of revisiting partnerships over the course of a project. Staff and leadership turnover tends to be high in nonprofit organizations, and the review of roles and responsibilities is essential.

What were the key impacts and results?

Here are a few links to where information about our role and impact can be found:

Including our main CSR page that describes our combined impact both financially and in hours of service, along with the testimonies from many leaders we have served.