Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development, Anthropology and Food Studies • University of Toronto Scarborough
Charles Billon did his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, with a major in International Development and two minors in Anthropology and Food Studies. Being from the Ivory Coast in West Africa, he was very interested since a young age in issues of economic and social development in the Global South. Charles’s interest in environmental sustainability grew as he got familiar with concepts of sustainable agriculture and the challenge of feeding humanity as resources get scarce and our current economic growth model becomes questioned.
Through an internship at the communication and sustainable development department of SIFCA, an agribusiness company operating in Ivory Coast, producing palm oil, rubber and sugar, Charles got introduced to practical sustainability. As the company is very invested in reforestation, agroforestry and corporate social responsibility, Charles had an exposure to many different types of corporate sustainability practices, including the use of agricultural waste as energy, the funding of rainforest conservation and replanting, the introduction of agroforestry farming, and the support and development of women agriculture cooperatives producing and promoting local crops.
Joining Feeding the City Lab, a research lab at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Charles participated in a research project funded by City of Toronto aiming to know how small restaurants owners in Scarborough handled the Covid-19 Pandemic and its related impact on the food industry. As a research assistant, Charles reached out to restaurants, interviewing owners and updating the project’s database.
Charles is a passionate Capoeirista. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art and cultural expression created by African slaves. He has been practicing Capoeira for 11 years and started to assist his teacher with the coaching of kids and beginners. Charles also loves nature and have been hiking in various locations throughout the places he got the opportunity to visit. He also loves farming and keeping plants, and is a big fan of Japanese comics, contemporary art and gastronomy.