In 2012, de Boisredon continued his campaign with the launch of Sparknews, to source and showcase innovative solutions and to connect them with the corporate world. Sparknews has several thrusts, a key one being Impact Journalism Day, the fifth of which ran on June 24, 2017. “It brings together 55 international newsrooms that run between 20 and 50 good news stories in print and on the web on one day each year,” de Boisredon says. “We’re supported by many famous names, so the event always creates a lot of buzz on social media, this time reaching 45 million people on Twitter in addition to some 120 million readers.”
Sparknews, which is financed by sponsorship, also runs a project named Solutions & Co with 20 financial dailies, including The Financial Times, Les Echos and China Business News. “We work closely with editors in chief to encourage solutions-based journalism with a financial angle, with this year’s theme being the circular economy,” de Boisredon says.
De Boisredon has also created the Positive Innovation Club, which has some 30 international members including companies such as SKF, BNP Paribas, Adidas and L’Oréal. “Every two months, we present them with eight innovative projects, startups or initiatives,” he explains. “Each gets a three-minute pitch. Then we do eight one-hour workshops on the best ones to see how corporate can work with them. It’s about bringing people together to encourage more positive business growth through innovation.”
With all of this, de Boisredon is a very busy man. “Once you start focusing on the positive in society, you see there is so much to do,” he says. “We’ve got so many ideas and so many potential projects that our biggest problem is choosing where to focus.” De Boisredon laughs and adds, “We are also always looking for new partners in addition to our five main sponsors to support us with future projects, such as our planned drive on female entrepreneurs.
“If you’d said five years ago that we’d have news media in 50 countries working to promote positive news on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have believed you,” de Boisredon says. “But we do, and we’re now looking to do a similar project with TV. We want to bring other entrepreneurs on board, and we’d like to expand our initiatives out to other news media.