Five questions to Laure Kermen


Laure Kermen, Executive Director of the ADP Group Foundation, patron of Culture for Children since 2020, tells us why they are committed to helping disadvantaged children discover arts and culture.  

Laure Kermen, you are the Executive Director of the ADP Group Foundation. Can you tell us about your foundation's commitments?

When it was set up, the ADP Group Foundation chose to focus on preventing illiteracy and early school leaving in the areas where it operates, i.e. Paris and the countries where we operate airports. We haven't had to do this for nearly 10 years because it's a long-term issue, and support for our partners in the voluntary sector must be structured if it is to have an impact. 


With this in mind, you are a patron of the Art immersion programme run by Culture for Children. Since 2020, your support has enabled nearly 10,000 children in the Paris region to discover art and culture.

Why have you chosen to support the Art immersion programme? How is it innovative?

We felt that the programme met a number of criteria that were essential to us: it is aimed at young children, and we know that the earlier we open them up to art, the faster they develop a strong capacity for discovery, become curious and therefore develop a critical mind. What's more, the programme is aimed at young people who, unfortunately, are often far removed from artistic practice, and all of the areas in which we operate are located in urban policy districts. Finally, the programme doesn't just run workshops, it also trains teachers and provides them with relevant tools so that they can roll them out to other pupils - and that's innovative!


As someone who is involved in the fight against school drop-outs, can you explain to us how artistic and cultural education programmes such as Art immersion are tools in the fight against this phenomenon?

As we know, traditional academic support is essential, but it's not enough to ensure that young people leave school enlightened, with a critical mind and ready to tackle their lives as young adults with all the weapons they need. In our view, artistic and cultural education programmes are essential to make up for this shortcoming in the school system. When I use the word ‘compensate’, I don't mean to criticise the school. I'm simply saying that these EAC programmes, whether through music, painting, drawing or public speaking, are programmes that help young people to open up, to discover and to see art in all its forms as accessible. It helps them work on their imagination, collective activity, rigour, expressing their own opinions and so on. It's the key to becoming a citizen of this world!


Your support is focused on the Île-de-France region, in conjunction with the ADP Group's sites. Can you tell us why this regional focus is important?

It's a determining factor for us. An airport is a city within a city. The 3 Paris airports and 12 airfields in the Île-de-France region employ 130,000 people. The economic activity is considerable, generating a GDP of €6 billion! We believe that it is essential to share the benefits of this value with our regions, so that the people who live around us can live better lives.


Laure Kermen, you are also Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and CSR Strategy for the ADP Group. Corporate citizenship is a strategic issue for companies today. 

What synergies do you see emerging between CSR and corporate philanthropy over the next few years? 

For me, synergy is intrinsic to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The societal dimension of our CSR strategy consists precisely of the attention we pay to our local areas in terms of economic development, training, social economy, attractiveness and patronage of our associative partners. The aim is to work with our local partners on the future of our economic area, where education and professional development are profoundly linked. A child whose education is not successful and chosen will later have difficulty finding a job and developing professionally. It is with this permanent objective in mind that we are moving forward on several fronts.


A big thank you to Laure Kermen for her commitment to us, and to the ADP Group Foundation, which has been a loyal supporter of our Art immersion project since 2020. It is thanks to their support that we have been able to develop the project, which now reaches 8,000 children every year across France.