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Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am.

The story of who I am, the story of becoming is especially important to share for any expat, for one with an inquisitive mind and a desire to get at the heart of the sustainability agenda, unlock a sense of purpose and add cultural values.

I was born in Bucharest, Romania, and my native language is one of the closest to Latin. Since my childhood, I have found Latin is one of the most challenging ancestral thinking tools to unlock wisdom. In my case, it helps me to explain how I have come to work for Social and what contribution I can make. I have a curious nature and a love of learning.

This different (yet not so different) language helps us to grasp our common heritage, shared meanings and even more purposeful, a common vision of progress for all.

It provides a referential point for inclusion and transformation, to grasp diverse ways of thinking and celebrate different perspectives. Our common objective is to make Earth a better place to live in, by using our creativity and kindness. I am curious, I care; therefore, I exist.

Omne quod movetur ab alio movetur. Everything that is moved, is moved by another. Therefore, I emerge.

There I was, sitting at the coffee table in the futuristic coffee shop Off the Press, at the bottom of Social’s offices in the old Express newspaper building in Ancoats, enjoying the view of a simple glass bottle of water, inscribed with the magic, calligraphic word: “Life”. In that moment, I felt amazingly rich.

The owner had offered it to me as a gift, on the first day of my work placement, as he could not accept the cash I had, as my means of payment, for Covid safety reasons. He said: “No worries about the money, you can have it. Enjoy the water.”

This unexpected glass gift had a truly symbolic meaning on my first day. The ‘Life’ branded bottle was recyclable, sustainable, with ethically sourced water. The placement offered a new opportunity to gain experience, new skills in life and be mentored by Social colleagues.  Literally refreshed, and mentally uplifted by this bottle, and the symbolism of it on this special day, I stepped into Social’s office with a feeling of reassurance and serendipity.

That morning, I embarked on a new journey, with a B Corp certified company called Social: so simple, so purposeful. After just a few minutes, here I was shaking hands with remarkable people with dedication, ethos and professionalism, as part of green employment skills programme placement.

I am amazingly grateful to housing association One Manchester, another meaningful Mancunian organisation that has offered me the chance to enrol in a plethora of green courses, designed to deliver complex knowledge on climate change, encompassing interesting insights into the green economy. It reflects Social’s B Corp certification that they hosted my placement with them.

Because of One Manchester’s sustainable projects, I have also gained access to job interviews with ethically working companies interested in joining the green movement.

I am one of their disciples, at this very moment, and I feel so challenged. For this partnership, it is a matter of heart and ambition to design a sustainable engagement for, and with, our communities, as Greater Manchester’s target is to become net zero by 2038.

I shall give a thumbs up and express my immense gratitude also to my One Manchester work coach, Darren, who has been an amazing Carbon Literacy companion during the last months of training into green employment.

His inspirational words, sensible advice and amazing support took me to the interview with Social and made me a successful candidate, an achievement of which I am so proud. I might be a second time beginner in the PR industry at this time, after a career gap, and want to be around organisations and businesses that show meaningful deeds, commitment to sustainability, and the guardianship of our planet.

I have, perhaps, inherited this world view.

Ex nihilo nihil fit. Nothing comes from nothing. Non fortuna homines aestimabo, sed moribus. I do not estimate the men for their fortune, but for their habits.

It must have been my grandfather, a railway engineer and artistic painter. When he was not taking me to the mountains or to the sea, he was either watering the flowers from his beautiful garden, either painting trees, birds of all kinds, exploring them with his eyes and his paint brush in the countryside.

A lover of journeys in the wilderness, driven by an artistic mind, serving a creative vision, on canvas. An avid self-made story-teller of narratives filled with bears, owls, and foxes, playing happily in their habitat. They were meant to ease my curious mind, during cosy evenings. It set the tone for my love of nature, the planet, storytelling and sustainability in turn.

I set up my own newspaper in college to first break into journalism in Romania. I organised my own media office and paid for a carpenter to recycle old furniture into one simple table, two simple chairs and an exquisite mailbox, of which I was so proud.

Two years later, there I was, a young and daring journalist, climbing the high Carpathian Mountains. I was ready to bring to life-touching stories about shepherds and their sustainable lives for the daily newspaper I was so happy to work for.

Alis propriis volat. She flies with her own wings.

Now I have passed this green ethos inherited from my grandfather on to my five-year-old daughter, as I stand so proud of her inspiring recycling projects for her reception school. Her schoolteacher encouraged her to believe in herself and express her feelings through imagination and creativity.

Day by day, my daughter recreated different things, different objects, using a range of recycled materials, myriads of cardboard and sketching new things. There was a reservoir of joy and play.

The pandemic has taught us that we live in unprecedented times: lack of respect and love for nature, naturally has caused destruction to our environment and global warming.

There can be no more excuses. We need to focus on how to restore our planet and to make meaningful change in our habits – as people, as businesses and organisations. We are all but guardians of nature.