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Transition Summer University - Bordeaux - part 1

During the summer not only bikini tanks, but also think tanks!

I was invited at the summer university of the think and do tank Fondation des transitions in Bordeaux . This yearly summer university regarding societal change brought together actors of the civic space, companies, administrations, public affairs officers, and a few local politicians. The theme this year was about transition metrics for companies related to the CSR field. I facilitated a workshop on defining the metrics; a few sociocratic design tools came in very handy to let the egos (yes they exist!) listen to each other and work in a productive way together.

The atmosphere of the event was really enjoyable and also the location at Capscience along the Gironde river. Of course with some wine tasting.

My own take-aways:


CSR as we know it has lost its function of bridging the gap between companies and the external actors; CSR has too much remained in glossy annual reports and at Board level; it has underused the assets of the company and its specific DNA;

- the topic was about metrics, that are now related to CSR; it seems all kind of stuff added has made it a complex cemetery jargon not to prone to move to actionable items;

- it has followed the same growth and managerial top down principles and therefore is clinically dead; but beware some good things can come out of it;

Gironde department innovation lab

My nuggets was to have spoken to Julie Chabaud, responsible for the Agenda 21 sustainable mission and for the public innovation lab LaboM21/LaBase of the Gironde department.

It has been striking for me to see similar evolutions in Bordeaux of seemingly disparate fields like smart city field and public sector innovation; these are my two action fields and I have found one person doing these two things already for some years! Almost fell in love :) -> separate blog post to follow as part of the 13/9 meetup.

The 'gillet jaune'

The shock waves of the civic protest are still being felt and have shaken the political establishment very much. it seems that the cry for consumerism from a variety of 'working poor' (single parents, lower middle class, rural workers,...) has cracked open a system that does no longer provide the responses. Before the left socialist movements have focused on the unemployed and non-working poor in general; the right and extreme right movements on the non-working rich and enterprise elite from finance and near public establishment.

See next blog post for the content of the Transition Summer University - Bordeaux - part 2

Fondation des transitions - think and do tank

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