In November, 2010, les Compagnons have been registered by the UNESCO as being part of the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The Companionship, based on methods and organizational structure originally initiated in the middle ages is a unique network for the transmission of knowledge and identity through the trades. It provides lifelong training which continually adapts to the evolution of social environment, while linking the development and the fulfillment of the individual, with the respect for universal values.
While some may believe that the Compagnons, keeping up so much with their traditions, are only concerned with the past, dedicated only to skills applicable to historical preservation, the reality is that efforts are also directed toward the future. In the past, only men were members of the Companionship but now women are fully admitted and companions believe that it is important to stay competent on an international level and develop creativity and innovation in all sectors of industry and crafts.
In June 2012, Robert Hotes, 2011 Richard Morris Hunt Fellow has been invited to join for some days the Compagnons. There, he has been exposed to their methods of transmitting knowledge which relies on two great principles:
Travel – helping to develop the individual through personal experiences in France and in the world ;
Sharing – encouraging the people who are learning to pass on their knowledge, not only using their skills in the trade.
Bob Hotes was following the path of many of the RMH American Fellows in residence in France.
We are proud and grateful of having been accepted as a “partner” in the training of the Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France.