Respondent Spotlight

Driving Positive Change: Meet Sophie Blondeau and the Sowen Culture of Collaboration

Alfredo Ramirez

Meet Sophie Blondeau, the Chief Strategy Officer at Sowen, who created her team to use her diverse skill set to effect positive change alongside like-minded individuals. In our Agency Spotlight, we highlight Sophie’s background in global advertising and a passion for brand strategy, and how this has helped build a culture that thrives on dynamic discussions, innovative problem-solving, and a shared commitment to social good over mere financial gain. 

The Sowen Way: A Culture of Collaboration, Curiosity, Respect, and Partnership

Sowen was established in 2018 as an offshoot of their work with Bloomberg Philanthropies, a philanthropic organization encompassing the charitable giving of founder Michael R. Bloomberg. Sowen was founded on the principle that organizations from all sectors—public, private, and philanthropic—can harness data and technology to drive social impact and make a tangible difference in the world. Despite real work impacts, Sowen operates remotely, with team members in New York City, Utah, and London. Sowen is a small team of five talented people. In the last three years, they have taken on over 130 projects and collaborated with over 75 organizations. Depending on the project's scope, they typically work with 5-8 clients at a time.

As their manifesto states, "We are those who can fearlessly debate and then head to the bar for a drink."

Sowen's culture is based on collaboration, curiosity, respect, and partnership. The team is very close-knit. They use Zoom and WhatsApp daily, and once a month, they have a team called "Walk and Talk," during which they all go for a walk in their different locations while on a call and share personal and professional highlights and challenges. They enjoy working together and delving deeply into their projects. They value clients who share their belief that the intersection of social good and business is critical and value collaborating to find the best possible solution, not just the easy one. The team is built with a potent mix of experienced professionals from the private sector who have chosen their respective skills to create a positive impact on society. When the sale or return on investment financially is a big priority, Sowen differs in how they make a greater change for their society as the primary objective. 

The Journey: From Global Advertising to Social Impact Consulting

Sophie had a simple mission for taking on the job of Chief Strategy Officer at Sowen and emphasized it was one of her easiest decisions: she wanted to use her diverse skill set to effect positive change alongside bright, compassionate people. Two years in, her motivation remains the same—only now, she's even more energized by the possibilities. 

Becoming Chief Strategy Officer was an easy decision! It was an opportunity to work with smart, nice people to make positive change using a mosaic of skills. It’s the same motivation today, except I’m even more energized two years in.

Born in Paris, France, Sophie spent her childhood and early adulthood in Switzerland, the United States, and Australia. She relishes the experience of culture shock, finding new places and perspectives, and delving into the intricacies of human behavior. Sophie earned a Master’s in Public Communication at SI Newhouse to gain expertise in creating social change through communication. After graduating, she pursued a career in global advertising at McCann-Erickson, primarily because it would allow her to travel frequently. In New York and London, she was fortunate enough to work on Fortune 500 brands like Gilette, Nestle, and Unilever. This experience gave her a strong foundation in brand strategy, which she loves. She constantly seeks new knowledge and has earned certifications in CrossFit, Executive Coaching, and Mindfulness Meditation. She is devoted to her family and friends and makes time for travel whenever possible. 

Insider: The Inside Details of a Nonprofit Leader

When asked about her favorite project, Sophie and her team shared the recent launching of a brand-new nonprofit organization focused on eradicating human trafficking through education. She told us this was an exciting opportunity to start from the ground up and co-design the organization's vision, mission, purpose, and one- to three-year strategic plan. The team began the process by conducting a deep discovery phase. Sophie loves this stage of the work because it allows her to learn about a brand-new subject. She and her team ran a series of workshops to engage everyone in difficult conversations and build consensus. This process resulted in a clear and compelling vision for the organization and a plan for achieving it. 

Although Sophie makes this look easy, as interactive and inclusive as she is, she offers that Sowen is a start-up with the juggling act this entails. In other words, Sophie constantly has her hands full. She wears many hats, which can be both exhilarating and challenging. One day, she might be working on marketing. The next day, she might be developing new partnerships. It can be difficult to keep up with the pace, but Sophie enjoys the challenge and the opportunity to learn new things daily.

For Sophie, the most rewarding part of her job is hearing from stakeholders and clients about how the organization has impacted their lives. She sees the genuine positive feedback they get from clients and the fact that they keep coming back as a testament to the impact the organization is having. Sophie is fulfilled when she is moving forward and working toward a goal. 

The Prosal team had the chance to meet Sophie in person last year at the inaugural Impact Partner Summit, where we each presented on sessions related to our work and explored deeper avenues for collaboration, especially within the realm of AI.

Lastly, Sophie shares that a big factor in her success story includes collaborating with our team here at Prosal. Sophie admits and emphasizes that dealing with RFPs was a major headache, but her experience was much easier when she met Alfredo. Their many conversations led to significant new business ideas and ways to improve her RFP process. She is very grateful for his generosity and willingness to collaborate.


Alfredo Ramirez

Alfredo is the COO and Co-Founder of Prosal. He has over ten years of experience working in the nonprofit industry and previously founded a successful digital strategies business, winning over $2 million in RFPs throughout his career. He is an avid mountain biker and snowboarder and enjoys anything that takes him outdoors.

We also think you’ll like:


Write a Winning Proposal: Insider Tips to Master the RFP Process
Write a Winning Proposal: Insider Tips to Master the RFP Process


Prosal Partners & Resources
Alfredo Ramirez

Respondent Spotlight

Mixte: From Bikes to Digital Communications
Alfredo Ramirez


7 Problems with the RFP
Nick Lopez