Charlotte Schaus


Co-founder of the Social Gastronomy Movement and current project coordinator. Originally from Luxembourg, she has lived and worked in 8 countries, is learning her 7th language and is passionate about Latin American cuisine. She has experience in startups and gastronomy and studied at the Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne. She also backpacked by herself for more than a year in South America and one summer in south east Asia. Charlotte joined Gastromotiva about 2 years ago as an innovation coordinator.

Today, you are the Social Gastronomy Movement Coordinator of Gastromotiva. When you were little, did you think that one day you would be working in this field?

Since a very young age I knew that I would want to work with Gastronomy, it was always my passion. Food has the power to bring people together, cooking is a science and an art. However I only learned about  Social Gastronomy when I moved to Brazil.

You went to the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. How was your experience there? How would you define yourself as a student?

It was a great experience, I really liked the practical approach and the focus on the hospitality industry. Our student projects were very hands on and the school offered many extracurricular activities. I was a curious students and I took many opportunities at the EHL, I represented the school at events in India and in the Silicon Valley.

Tell us about your role at Gastromotiva.

I started at Gastromotiva as a innovations coordinator, I was working on different new projects, one of them was the Social Gastronomy Movement. I became a co-founder of the Movement. I am building the structure of the Movement and I am facilitating the connections, my role is to drive it forward. Right now I am setting up the team to run the operations. My role is very versatile, I grow with the project.

Why is it so important?

The Social Gastronomy Movement is important because many projects are working in silos and we can generate an important collective impact if we start working together.

What are the current challenges?

The main challenge remains, as in every non-for-profit, the financial situation, we depend on sponsors and donations so our resources are always scarce. An other challenge lies in measuring the collective and indirect impact that we are generating. Last but not least, as a rapidly growing project, we are facing challenges keeping up with the expansion.

What makes this project different than any other in this field?

Everything in this project is co-created by different stakeholders, we involve our community in the building of this project.

How do you define leadership?

Leadership is the ability to drive an idea or a project forward and to empower others to be part of the construction.

Why is Brazil interesting for this project?

With its 200 million inhabitants, Brazil is facing social challenges on many different levels. Brazil is on the verge of getting back to the UN hunger map, for that reason, projects such as ours are essential.

What do you know about Brazil that you think nobody else does?

I would not assume knowing something about Brazil that nobody else does. Since I was 8 I wanted to live in Brazil and every day I am discovering a new angle of it. Brazil is very complex, each region is unique.

Which other company outside Gastromotiva do you follow more closely and why?

I follow many companies, each of them for a different reason. I follow innovative food companies to understand new trends, our partners to understand their needs and market leaders to understand their strategy.

“Leadership is the ability to drive an idea or a project forward and to empower others to be part of the construction.”

What is the number one concern about your project that keeps you up at night?

I am concerned about how can we use technology to scale our impact. How do we make sure that we are using the right technology and that it is relevant to all our stakeholders.

Which Brazilian personality you would like to meet in person? Why?

Caetano Veloso, I’m a fan of his music, especially his song “Você não entende nada”. He is one of the most influential Brazilian musicians and he spent some time as a political exile.

Which philanthropic causes are you involved in and why?

Well, Gastromotiva! But even before working here I have been involved in different philanthropic causes, mostly education related.

How do you measure the success of your philanthropic work? Which metrics do you use?

There are many different metrics, for examples impact generated for every dollar spent, or number of students graduated…

But my favorite way of seeing impact is to listen to the stories of individuals impacted by a social project.

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