Free Tribune of opinion – April 10, 2017

Combining these three words seems a challenge. And yet this is the bet that SoL France, the Society for the Learning Organization and the think-tank Synopia took in front of a hundred officials and company executives. How do we marry the words learning and public governance? How to infuse the start-up spirit into the political world? The bet was not as big as it seemed.

At both the state and regional levels, “learning stories” showed on the ground the profound metamorphosis of our society (1): the inclusive approach of COP21 drawing part of its energy from the encounter with civil society was taken up by living experiences of neighbourhoods and cities, Humanity in Lille or Kingersheim in Alsace for example (2) , through innovative research by companies, through administrative experiences in the Val-d’Oise, the concept of “delivery unit”, the creation of the job-service cheque…

No hierarchy. The start-up spirit was present: no hierarchy, let the innovations of the base rise, act in transdisciplinarity, trust, accountability. From these daily challenges, from these experiences from all over France, a personal awareness and a shared vision were born that were the same in the circles of administration, companies, or associations. How to create dynamics, allow the public servant to be an actor of well-being and progress. Keywords have emerged that resonate as a call to the traditional political world.

The collective intelligence approach has allowed and allows these words to burst like fireworks across the country. Founding words, and words of action: accelerators, boosters of tomorrow’s governance. Four founding postures: humanism and personalism, search for the common good, listening, discernment. Ten paths to action: catalytic governance, participation, hybridization, self-organization, inclusion, female role, groping strategy, experimenting, moving from the to and, leaving time to time.

Behind these words, there is know-how, know-how, energy: a catalytic ruler is the one who lets innovations rise and puts coherence. Participation: citizens no longer want to be represented, they want to be involved in the orientation. Hybridization is one of the key words of metamorphosis, unexpected collectives combining, often locally, public authorities, companies, associations, arise everywhere, they create “third places” (3) from which innovation springs. Being a strategist and groping is an oxymoron, it is knowing how to create a shared vision and looking for how to implement it.

It is positive France, it is, we must hope, the France of tomorrow. Let the politicians hear it!

Irene Dupoux-Couturier is vice-president of SoL France.

(1): Alain de Vulpian, Praise of Metamorphosis, on the road to a new humanity
(2): Joseph Spiegel, What if we took – at last! – Voters Seriously, Present Time, 2017
(3): Pierre Giorgini, The Twilight of Places, Bayard 2016