Who are you?
Myrto Skouroupathi has a background in environmental engineering, with a Master of Engineering from University College London (UCL). She has volunteered with NGOs prior to joining the Pioneers programme and has a passion for climate change.
She joined the Pioneers into Practice programme as she expected to gain new experiences to help her career, particularly to gain knowledge of business practices.
What did you do?
Following the Pioneers programme workshops in Cyprus, Myrto undertook her placement at a company in Helsinki, Finland. The company produces home goods from cotton and required expert assistance to consider sustainability issues. Myrto undertook an assessment of water usage to consider options to reduce water requirements. She also assessed the use of organic products and considered the packaging life cycle to provide the company with options and a business case for improved sustainability.
It is rewarding to know that there are other people who think the same about the environment and work in the same way. The Pioneers programme has changed my life – I am very grateful.
What did you learn?
Myrto’s placement gave her a good understanding of the corporate environment and the challenges faced by businesses. The workshop training on systems innovation tools as part of the group project helped Myrto to understand the company’s problem before determining the solution.
Through her placement, Myrto also learnt how the different layers of local and national government policies affect the decisions made by businesses. In addition, Myrto feels that the training and experience has really developed her personal skills, including financial planning and softer skills such as communication and interacting with different stakeholders. In her current role, she works with a range of organisations including local government and industry. She has also been able to utilise the network and connections made through the Pioneers experience to support her work.
What happens next?
Following her Pioneers placement, Myrto gained a job at the Cyprus Energy Agency (CEA) as a project manager for three projects, including running the Pioneers into Practice programme for future years. She also manages the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) activities and Climate-KIC’s initiative on circular economy relating to construction waste.
The Pioneer programme training has also helped Myrto in her current role, particularly with stakeholder analysis which she used in writing the proposal for an EU co-operation initiative called YENESIS (Youth Employment Network for Energy Sustainability in Islands). The CEA is the co-ordinator of a consortium of ten organisations set up to support the green jobs market and tackle youth unemployment which is part funded from the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.