Let’s talk about food sustainability

First published on ICOLORI (Interview with Norman Cescut at TedXBocconiU)

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How and when did you get to know about TED?

I have been acquainted with TED for a while no but I never saw myself playing a main part in a TED conference. So when I received an invitation to be a speaker at TEDx suddenly before last Christmas, I was quite surprised. I didn’t expect it at all.

How did you prepare for the talk?

In this period of the year I am very busy business-wise. So I tried to prepare myself in the limited free time I had available. In my presentation I managed to condense three years of experiences in 15 slides. Something crazy.

The topic of the conference is ReThink. Reinvent the World around you. How would you reinvent the world around you?

I would try to change the mentality and the culture of people when it comes to sustainability. You will see exactly how later today! (Laughing)

I see that you are passionate about food service and franchising and sustainability. How did these passions come to be?

For me business and passion is the same thing. I am doing what I like. Food service and franchising are part of my core business. Sustainability became part of my business almost three years ago. I am trying to do business in a responsible way because I trust that that’s the future, not because there is a trend of green business.

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The utopia of sustainable business seems is appealing. But it seems to me, especially from the perspective of a business student, that for now sustainability is just a market trend.

That is why tomorrow in one slide I will talk about the revolution. If we treat sustainability as a trend, it will end. If we instead treat it as a revolution, the revolution has to be irreversible, without any turning back.

Do you see a future where sustainable and responsible will be equally important as profitable?

Yes.

Even for big profit-oriented bureaucratic structures?

Yes. That is a dream but…

You are a dreamer.

Yes. (Laughing) Otherwise I wouldn’t be here!

Your TEDx profile summarizes your philosophy in the following quote:

“Who’s masters of the art of living, does not make a distinction between work and leisure, body and soul, education and recreation, love and faith. S/he simply pursues the highest standards of excellence in anything s/he does; whether s/he is working or playing is for the others to decide. S/he always strives to do both at the same time.”

What is the path to becoming a master, at least the one that you took?

Just put the heart in everything you do. You have to feel it.

How do you push people to trust their heart and pursue their passion? Especially, young people.

We can only show the way, we don’t have to push people. We have to show the correct way and let the people follow if the people are willing to follow. I am not a person who is willing or able to push people. It has to be your choice, not mine. Otherwise, it is not real.

I saw that you keep your own blog on design, innovation, trends and responsibility. You seem to have a broad range of passions and interests. What was your latest source of inspiration?

Oh, too many. Travelling is inspiring. I love travelling for leisure and business-wise. The entire journey is inspiring- meeting different people and cultures, eating different food (Laughing). Inspiration is in the complexity of things, not in single acts.

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Thanks to Kalina Lukanova – ICOLORI.org – for the great support and pleasantness.

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About Norman Cescut

I love my job because I simply believe in what I do and I love to do it. I love traveling, both for business and pleasure. Meeting different people and cultures has always fascinated me, it enriches me. I love laughing, enjoying good food, my BBQ is highly appreciated by all of them. I love dancing and I love taking portraits. I’m in love with life. . - Owner & CEO at DESITA, the International Retail & Foodservice Consultancy Company specialized in shop concept design, franchising and sustainability. - Vice President, National and International Coordinator of IREF Italia, the European Franchise & Partnership Network Organization. - MENAFA Ambassador to Italy (Middle East and North Africa Franchise Association) - International Franchise Academy member and part of its Knowledge Tank. - Creator & founder of ECOFFEE the sustainable coffee shop project & related sustainable entrepreneurship platform. - Representative for the sustainable business in Italy of HH Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, aka “Green Sheikh”, member of the Ruling Family of the Emirate of Ajman – UAE.

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