It is not by any means sufficient merely to assert, as we are inclined to do, that the first challenge in foresight work is to convince our contemporaries to shift from the posture of passive victim of the future to shaper of a future which is, at least in part, an object of choice. We say – not merely as a matter of course, but on the basis of empirical evidence – that, when faced with the same external circumstances, some companies, regions and individuals are successfully entrepreneurial, while others despair and throw in the towel.
The moment has come, then, to move beyond mere talk on our part and open the columns of Futuribles to these genuine entrepreneurs. As business leaders or individuals who are genuine participants and actors in the economic and social fields – and to varying degrees innovators – they will speak about what we can actually do to promote a clear-sighted, positive approach to action.
This new rubric, Paroles d’acteurs (literally: “Actors’ Words”), which we hope to run regularly, is given over this month to the viewpoint of Bertrand Collomb, who headed the Lafarge Group and made this company the world leader in building materials. It is not, however, the reasons for his success that he shares with us here. He writes, rather, as an informed actor highly cognizant of global realities, on the unequal performance of German and French businesses, with a view to casting light on the possible pathways toward renewed equilibrium between the two partners.