Futuribles Journal n° 383

Entreprises, travail - Société, modes de vie

Simon de Cyrène, Hope and Reality: Innovation for the Disabled

As part of the “Actors’ Words” series of articles launched by Futuribles in 2012, Marthe de La Taille-Rivero offers a stimulating account of a social-innovation venture launched in the mid-2000s by a highly motivated entrepreneur: the building of communal housing for people disabled as a result of head injury. She describes the career-path of Laurent de Cherisey, prime mover both in this particular project and in cocreating the association Simon de Cyrène (Simon of Cyrene) that carried it out, as well as the many formalities that had to be gone through to see it realized – including, in the end, a little “helping hand” from fate in the form of the success of the film Intouchables (Untouchables), which handed over part of its takings to the association. By giving back to these disabled people the opportunity of finding a social life within a town – in contact with other individuals, both disabled and able-bodied, who share housing with them – the association supports them towards potential reintegration, responds to their families’ concerns and, through its activity, promotes other similar initiatives elsewhere in France.

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