Think Differently About Growth with Christophe Dessaigne

Why would a person from Monte Carlo choose to make the city of Fort Wayne his home? Christophe Dessaigne challenges us to think differently about this growing city, its impact, and the amazing difference that it is making for the people who live there.  Christophe Dessaigne lead Ambassador’s Non-Profit Portfolio from 2014-2019 and moved to Fort Wayne after living and working in London, England for the previous nine years. Christophe’s previous business experience has spanned several sectors, from education to event planning and entrepreneurship to international network development. In each of his previous posts, Christophe was responsible for providing strategic oversight and direction.

Christophe received his master’s degree in management from SKEMA (Sophia Antipolis, France), which included an MBA program in IESA (Caracas, Venezuela) and a BA in Business Administration from Humber College (Toronto, Canada). He holds a Leadership and Management degree from International Apostolic Bible College (Kolding, Denmark). He currently serves on several for-profit and non-profit boards.

Insights & Inspirations

  • 9 out of 10 people will answer me back, “What are you doing here?” – Christophe Dessaigne
  • (We could) just talk about your city like you talk about your grandbaby.” It matters. – John Marsh
  •  “I think pride is also not being who you are and not stating what’s true about you.” – John Marsh
  • … just pick your neighbors before you do your neighborhood.
  • “It’s more important who you’re with than what you’re doing.”  – Doug Ditto
  • So the intentionality of creating events and creating moments where people can gather as the community has been recessional.  – Christophe Dessaigne
  • I think I read a story that one article that when you start seeing moms pushing their buggies in a small community means that that starts to go in the right direction… – Christophe Dessaigne
  • And then obviously I’m going to go back always to the essential, which is the four anchors that we found is a coffee shop and iconic restaurant, as I remember you call them, so really having space where people can gather. And then food market and hardware store… – Christophe Dessaigne
  • We (Marsh Collective) say not we are not just for-profit or nonprofit, but for purpose. – John Marsh
  • I think what I’ve learned when it comes to community development is really about the engagement from the different stakeholders. If you got one stakeholder that is too much invested… – Christophe Dessaigne
  •  And so we appreciated the gravity and track record of success. And I think you (Marsh Collective)  were also so genuine about your own failures. – Christophe Dessaigne
  • The one thing that was key for our visit was to find a model that ultimately will be impactful and sustainable. And I think the model that you shared with the restaurant, which we think is one of the first main important anchors when you tried to revitalize the community, a thing that was the proof in the pudding, so to say, and that’s really, I would say, impressed us and probably give us the willingness to learn more about it.  – Christophe Dessaigne

Information & Links

Closing Questions

What have you read that we should read?

Who do you know about doing good work in the world that we should know about?

Where have you been that we should go?