Sevinç Atay:”We Cried Out In Izmir, We Were Heard Globally”
Hi Sevinç! Firstly we would like to thank you for being our guest on these pages as a voluntary environmentalist and for sharing your projects and opinions with us. Can we begin with the project that I am most interested in, namely the “Moving Planet” campaign? Would you tell us about it?
The İzmir branch of JCI decided to participate in the “Moving Planet” campaign of the 350.organisations’ website. This campaign was about the change in climate. Over 2000 activities were organized in over 170 countries around the world. We participated on Sept 24, 2011 with our “Bicycles for Climate” project, an activity within the scope of the environmentalist movement. The message in our project was to arouse awareness for people to stop using fossil fuels, to use environmental friendly transportation vehicles, to emphasize the importance of planting trees. In short the motto was “Get on the Move for the Climate”. We got on the move for our planet with our bicycles on September 24. We cried out in İzmir, we were heard globally”.
TEMA Volunteers (TEMA is Türkiye Erozyonla Mücadele, Ağaçlandırma ve Doğal Varlıkları Koruma Vakfı = The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats), Bicycle Police Team of the Public Security and Order Division of the İzmir Police Department, and the Firemen’s Bicycle Team of the İzmir Municipality Fire Department came together for the first time in a bicycle tour organization. The Firemen’s Bicycle Team of the İzmir Municipality Fire Department is the only bicycle team of a fire fighting department in Turkey. This was the first time the Bicycle Police Team of the Public Security and Order Division of the İzmir Police Department officially participated in a bicycle tour. By inviting an NGO and state offices, we succeeded in being better, being more numerous, more innovative, and in giving a strong message to the public.
İzmir Sailing Academy supported our bicycle team by accompanying our group on a parallel sea route from the Konak Ferry Wharf to the İnciraltı Levent Marina with their sailing boats and flags adorning their sails. We are supporting the use of bicycles on a widespread basis. Our country is surrounded on three sides with the sea. Sailing boats are also an environmental friendly form of transportation. With this activity we have included sail boating in our project.
350.org was founded in 2008 by world renown environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben and 6 young, new university graduates. It acquired hundreds of thousands of members in a short time. The current carbon dioxide ratio in the atmosphere is 390 ppm (parts per million). According to scientists the safest upper limit is 350 ppm. They named their campaign 350.org because their goal is to lower the CO2 ratio to 350 ppm. 350.org has been organizing global activities since 2008 with this purpose.
I know that in the company you work for, you promote environmental and social help topics within the scope of companies’ social responsibilities. Could you tell us about yourself, the things you do in Arkas and your projects?
I was born in Izmir in 1980. After graduating from Izmir Private Turkish High School, I studied International Relationships in September 9 University (Dokuz Eylül University). After graduating, I worked for a while in e-foreign trade. Then I started working for this company where I am in charge of finance. The first steps of my present career began when I was chosen to represent the finance department in the company’s quality supervision group. Following this, I became an internal supervisor and then the head supervisor. I gave supervising lessons to the company staff. That was a period when the process management philosophy was newly being heard of in our country. In 2007 I participated in the work to improve quality and processes. A Work Process Structuring unit was founded. It was the same time interval that I attended the certificate program for Project Management. This program has been developed for many years by PMI (Project Management Institute). It had parallel features to the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Methodology which has been accepted by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). I became interested in process management on a project basis and expertizing in consultancy and I started my Master’s Degree program in Aegean (Ege) University. I submitted my postgraduate thesis and earned my Master of Management Science and Organization Degree. Since 2007 up to the present day, I have been leading the company’s projects on business management systems, reconstructing and improving process and quality management. I am in charge of building the Customer Relations unit. Also, I am the Project Manger of the management consultancy unit which is active in 9 branches of the company all over Turkey.
The concepts of process management and management with processes have become popular application in recent years. These concepts have found more applications recently in both the manufacturing and the service sectors. These concepts are very important in building effective, efficient and profitable managements. The process is defined as a series of interrelated activities which produce a certain output by adding a value to an input such as a demand, information or raw material from a local or foreign customer. Process management is the understanding of how the processes work today and improving them by assessing, defining, documenting all the processes in the company; appointing their owners; observing and evaluating the process performance indicators on a regular basis; making small improvements when necessary or totally redesigning. Studying multi-national companies and comparing them has clearly shown that to be a company that is competitive and flexible in adapting itself to change, it is necessary to manage and improve those processes which develop and render products and services. As a result of process management that is applied with the philosophy of project management, establishments are able to increase their productivity and profits at considerable ratios.
I try to form bridges between the process projects I manage and environmental and social aid subjects. I give prominence to encouraging different elements to act together on subjects of mutual interest. I support the transfer of income from process projects to environmental and social aid projects.
Some of the projects which I have materialized in this context up to date are: recycling applications, work related to economizing on paper and water, planting saplings, educating children on environmental awareness, visiting recycling companies, organizing the bicycle tours which have become traditional since 2009, a photograph display on the themes of environment and bicycles, prize-awarding drawing contests in which children that are oncology patients participate… Activities with children’s homes that are part of the state’s Social Security and Children’s Protection Institute (Sosyal Güvenlik ve Çocuk Esirgeme Kurumu) were activities with which I wanted to emphasize social aid.
Have you received any awards for the successful work you have done?
Yes. The International Quality and Productivity Center held a multi-national “Process Perfectionism” contest in London in 2011. There I received the “Best Process Project Award” for the company I work for. This was the first time a Turkish company received this award. I led the work we did to actualize the “EFQM Perfection Model” in our company in 2011 (EFQM is European Foundation for Quality Management). KALDER organized a symposium titled the 12th Search for Perfectionism. I received the “Aegean Region Quality Award” for the “EFQM Perfection Model” at this symposium. These are just a few of the awards I recall at the moment. Furthermore, I was a guest on the SKY TV program titled “Izmir’de Gündem (“The Happenings in Izmir”) in June 2011.
Could you tell us about your visions and other NGO projects which you have actualized?
My vision includes a clean and healthy environment where prosperity and peace are protected. My purpose in innovating and carrying out environmental protection projects, social aid projects, projects in which forces are united for society’s goal of sustainable development, and projects in which people participate actively, is to be effective on a local, national and international scale, to draw attention to problems, and to create awareness.
I am a volunteer of both TEMA (TEMA is Türkiye Erozyonla Mücadele, Ağaçlandırma ve Doğal Varlıkları Koruma Vakfı = The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats) and Dünya Doğal Yaşamı Koruma Vakfı (WWF-World Wildlife Fund). I am in a developing, productive work process which began with my membership in KALDER (Türkiye Kalite Derneği = Quality Association of Turkey) and İPYD (İstanbul Proje Yönetim Derneği is Istanbul Project Management Association). I am giving lessons at workshops on general participation or sector orientated matters in the symposiums and educational courses organized by KALDER. One year ago we established the basis of a platform where project managers in Izmir will gather together with the aim of promoting/spreading Project Management in Izmir and the Aegean region. We will be celebrating the 8th International Project Management Day on November 3, 2011. We will be carrying out a parallel activity in Izmir to support the activities which will be organized in Istanbul and Ankara. The “International Project Management Day” is celebrated all over the world every year on the first Thursday of November. We hope to see you all there !
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Mr. Ocak, please correct me if I am wrong, but 2011 will be your 9th year in this sector. If we look back at 2002 when you established your company,