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Career journeys: From pro basketball player to Head of Business Development at Global EverGreening Alliance

People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of articles that go behind the scenes to meet some of the people and organisations finding each other through EthicalJobs.com.au. 

Today’s story is from Federico Marcon, who found his role as Head of Business Development at Global EverGreening Alliance on EthicalJobs.com.au.

Global EverGreening Alliance provides a collaborative platform to support and facilitate massive-scale environmental restoration and sustainable agricultural intensification projects – increasing biodiversity, and both mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change on a globally significant scale.  

Starting out with work

I was a professional basketball player back home in Italy. I studied law and – when I decided to quit my sports career – moved into law practice for some years. I love studying and, along my career, I have always invested a lot of time and resources into updating and refreshing my professional knowledge. This is now going to the next level with so many opportunities online and the flexibility to study when you want (mainly at night with a pretty busy family life schedule!).

When I realised I wasn’t aggressive enough to be a successful lawyer, I got interested in international development and worked for various international organisations (European Commission, United Nations agencies) in several countries and continents around the world. We then decided to move our family back to Europe and I became the CEO of one of the largest INGOs in Italy. We moved to Australia in 2014 and, since then, I have worked in Business Development and Partnerships for some of the largest INGOs such as World Vision, Plan International, Red Cross, WaterAid and now the Global EverGreening Alliance.

Working at Global EverGreening Alliance

The Global EverGreening Alliance coordinates a network of over 40 partners working in all continents to develop and implement massive scale restoration projects, with the aim of healing the relationship between land holders and the landscapes they depend on. Through these projects, we improve the sustainability, profitability and reliability of small-scale farming around the globe, while also contributing to tackle climate change and helping the transition to renewable energies.

My position as the Head of Business Development is a very interesting role since it works across all areas of the organisation. My responsibility is to identify new opportunities for partnership/funding with institutional donors (Governments, Multilateral Organisations etc.) or private funders (Corporate. Foundations, Impact Investment). I work closely with our Board Directors, taking advantage of their large networks and contacts, research funding policies and priorities of the main international players in this sector, collaborate with our Grants Team to develop proposals and with the Implementation Team and our members to ensure the funds/partnerships acquired have a significant impact in the communities where we work. We are also moving into a new area, which is offering large organisations to offset their carbon emissions by funding our programs on the field, where we can ensure a significant return on investment with carbon credits.  

Because of our mission and core business, we are perfectly placed to play an important role with all the recent funding models that have emerged in the last decade, while at the same time ensuring that we work closely with Governments and International Organisations, so we can run large scale and sustainable interventions. It’s exciting to look for the best organisational solution to keep the balance between these two areas, so we can be highly competitive and attractive for all types of partnership models.

Working for a better world

When I arrived in Australia and was planning my next career move, I had meetings with many Senior Managers in our industry and pretty much all of them suggested to use EthicalJobs.com.au as the main source to identify the right job for my skillset. I have also used EthicalJobs.com.au to advertise roles I was recruiting for a Team Leader. 

I love the intellectual vibe of the not-for-profit sector and the global perspective that most professionals have, especially in the international development sector. It also gives me a fantastic opportunity to operate in my favourite fields: international relations, international politics and diplomacy.

My advice to other ethical jobseekers is never be satisfied with what you already know and keep exploring the unknown! Never look backwards, always keep an eye at the horizon and plan the next step forward. I feel very represented by Charles Kettering’s quote: “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there”.

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