economy and innovation

Restoring the long-term priority to change the world


The third edition of the LHFORUM - Positive Economy Forum in Le Havre offered from 24 to 26 September 2014 three days of conferences, debates, professional workshops and exceptional events with nearly 450 business and NGO leaders, politicians, academics, social entrepreneurs, committed citizens who came to present their ideas and innovative projects around 22 central themes of the positive economy (Circular Economy, Global Governance, Transforming Models, Cities of Tomorrow...). Objective: discuss new forms of economies that take into account long-term development, respecting the environment and human relations.

According to Jacques Attali, the initiator of this LH Forum, the aim is to encourage "emulation between experts during brainstorming sessions on global issues" based on a conviction: "the need to restore the priority of the long term in our decisions and actions. Why is this so? Because this is the only way to meet the economic, ecological, technological, social and political challenges facing the world between now and 2030".

The main themes of this third edition

During these three days many themes were discussed, from the positive economy to the environment, corporate governance, finance, urban planning, industry and consumption.
Positive finance is about imagining and implementing finance at the service of society, the general interest, inclusion and social innovation.
On the education side, we must prepare the younger generations to meet the challenges of the future in a world where everything, from technological innovation to globalization, is changing at an ever-increasing pace.
In agriculture, there must be a transition towards sustainable food systems to feed all people in a way that respects the planet.
And solutions must be found to combat climate change.

For a positive society

Presentation of the Consolidated Index of Economic Positivity to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Le Havre: dyears the extension of the Positive Economy ReportThe Economic Positivity Index, presented by Jacques Attali to the President of the French Republic in 2013, has been consolidated throughout 2014 so that it can be applied not only to States but also to companies and local authorities.
This alternative performance measurement index was therefore presented on Wednesday 24 September, along with the 2014 ranking of OECD countries according to the degree of positivity of their economies.

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Thursday evening, it was "Positive Planet Evening" in the presence of Christine Cauquelin, Director of the Canal Group's "Discovery" theme channels, Nicolas Hulot and Cyril Dion, Director Colibris-Mouvement pour la Terre et L'Humanisme : While the positive economy is becoming an essential response to the economic, social and environmental challenges of today and tomorrow, a new practice has emerged in the media field: impact journalism.
Its objective: to address society's problems through solutions and initiatives that respond to them. An innovative practice implemented by several media around the world. In the presence of: Christian de Boisredon, Founder of Sparknews and Impact Journalism Day, 40 editors of international newspapers: Luca Berti, La Regione (Switzerland), Charles Bichachi, The Monitor (Uganda), Mohammed Benabid, L'Economiste (Morocco), José Carreno, Excelsior (Mexico), Bissane El Cheikh, Al Hayat (Saudi Arabia), Khalid El Horri, Assabah (Morocco), Glenda Estrada, El Heraldo (Honduras), Takeshi Fujitani, Asashi Shimbun (Japan), Olivier Gasselin, ACTU Mon Quotidien (France), Edmonds Gayles, City Press (South Africa) Vincent Giret, Le Monde (France), Carlos Guyot, La Nacion (Argentina), Mourad Hachid, El Watan (Algeria), Didier Hamann, Le Soir (Belgium), Michale Jarlner, Politiken (Denmark), Aleksandra Klich, Gazeta Wyborzca (Poland), Eleanor Mills, Times (United Kingdom), Abdoulaye Tao, L'Economiste du Faso (Burkina Faso).

Photo ©Flickr/World Economic Forum

Call for a collaborative revolution 

Manuel Valls, present for the opening of the LH Forum, said: " This forum encourages us to look further and to leave pessimism aside, but is it possible? This global crisis calls us to rethink our relationship to production, to the environment, our relationship to time. Because, at the origin of the crisis, there is a system that privileges the immediacy of the result. We need to rehabilitate reflection, the long time. Germany has been able to sow the seeds and to be patient. This contributes to its economic strength".
Manuel Valls called for a "collaborative revolution": "The observation of an economic model that needs to be reinvented is widely shared. The reflections of the LH Forum should help to rebuild it. The positive economy carries this collaborative revolution in the world of today and tomorrow, a world of networks".

Transforming our societies in depth

"The head of government that I am is constantly confronted with the urgency of the terrorism, the economic situation of the country, the questions, expectations, anxieties, hopes of my compatriots, but it takes this long time, and get out of the dictatorship in the short term.said the Prime Minister. Either to rehabilitate reflection, the "long time" in the face of a system that prioritizes results and immediate profit.
He called for not "shutting ourselves in the present", for not being "locked in the present", for not being "free from the imperatives of immediacy" and for not considering "slowness, in the manner of Milan Kundera, as a social pathology". With a hint of regret, however, he noted: "You have to get results right away or you've failed and the reforms don't take effect until later, in the medium or long term.".
As for Jacques Attali, he was driving the nail in: "If we don't take care of the long term, the long term will take care of us".

Didier Mauss, professor of constitutional law, says the same thing about the debate on the interest in the constitutional landscape of a second chamber in the Senate: "The interest of the Senate makes it possible to lengthen the legislative process and to avoid proclaiming laws dictated by urgency". To encourage reflection rather than haste, thus extinguishing the fire of urgency.

Regardless of the area in which one is situated, current decision-making mechanisms are based almost exclusively on costs, with analyses that focus on the short term and individual optimisation. As a result, decisions often sacrifice macroeconomic, environmental and societal aspects. But this dictatorship of the short term is no longer adapted to current problems and aspirations. 

Let us recall what Jean Kaspar (1) advocated as challenges to the advancement of our society:

- Cooperation between actors: none of them (neither companies, nor the State, nor trade unions, nor political parties, nor associations) is capable of responding alone to the climate threats, the poverty that plagues our societies, the industrial risks and the various forms of exclusion that are a breeding ground for all forms of violence and extremism; it is not a question of denying the conflicts between these actors, but of making us capable of overcoming them.
- A new type of corporate governance: each of the stakeholders must have its place, including in the composition of the management bodies;". I am dizzy at the scale of such a challenge, when twenty-five years of deregulation have given the financial sphere all the power and removed all scruples. However, many young people who have the entrepreneurial spirit are unable to cope with the current excesses. Acting as precursors, they will find new ways; it is up to us to detect them, to value them and to encourage the dissemination of their innovations. »
- Broadening the social dialogue: CSR could help to take it out of the minimum legal service, provided that it is given a place in the Staff Representative Bodies.
- A new conception of performance and employment: performance is seen essentially as the performance of a tool, whereas the end goal of a society (i.e. of the actors acting within it) is human development; the economy, finance, science and technology should only be means to this end. And employment must no longer be seen as an adjustment variable in the race for maximum profit. »

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(1) In 2007, Jean Kaspar took part in the marathon work of the Attali Commission "For the liberation of growth".

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