Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
The motor industry has been in crisis for several years now, particularly in France, and despite regular support from the public authorities, the trend shows little sign of reversing. If we add in the economic crisis, the rise in fossil fuel prices and the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions so as not to aggravate climate change, the future for the classic thermal-engine vehicle does not look particularly bright. Given this context, what are the alternatives?
Following an initial article in April 2009 aimed at assessing the question, Pierre Bonnaure studies this strategic industry once again and presents the developments that have occurred in the interim where electric and hybrid vehicles are concerned, both on the part of the automobile companies and among the consumers and public authorities in various countries. He shows that, of these two major options that are likely to provide an alternative to the traditional types of vehicle, it is the latter which seems to be making headway and is, in his view, currently the most apposite, at least in these early years. For if the long-term aim is to have our societies evolve towards ways of life free of oil use or carbon dioxide emissions, then the transition period is likely to be long and the adaptation of infrastructures and industries expensive. Hence the advantage, for the motor industry, of the hybrid option, which enables such a transition to be implemented rather more gently.
On le croyait condamné, face à la concurrence des hypermarchés, des centres commerciaux et du commerce en ligne. Pourtant, le commerce de proximité est toujours présent en France, et connaîtrait même une deuxième vie depuis quelques années, grâce à l’apparition de nouvelles offres et aux nouvelles attentes des consommateurs. L’INSEE (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques) comptabilisait, en 2008, 600 000 commerces de proximité, sur un total de 830 000 commerces 1. Leur nombre a ...
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According to the median variant of the latest projections of the United Nations Population Division, the world could have two billion more inhabitants by 2050. In other words, world population could stand at nine billion. Knowing that even today 15% of the global population (a billion people) are underfed, we can see the scale of the challenge that lies before us when it comes to feeding the world. Jean-Louis Rastoin and Gérard Ghersi, fully conversant with the mechanisms of the global food system, offer to shed light on this challenge here with the aid of a foresight study on the global food system to 2050.
They begin by outlining the tertiarized agro-industrial food system, which is tending to spread across the entire planet as a result of the mass consumption of increasingly similar products. It is a system based on a technical/economic model of intensive supply that is increasingly financialized, concentrated and globalized. Building on this observation and a certain number of key variables (demographic and economic growth, climate change, pressure on land etc.), Rastoin and Ghersi propose two contrasting scenarios for the period to 2050: the continuity scenario, in which the large-scale agro-industrial system intensifies, and the discontinuity scenario, which offers an alternative model based on a locally-sourced food system. They examine these two scenarios in terms of four sustainable development criteria (economic performance, ecological conservation, social fairness and participatory governance) and put rough figures to the two scenarios, from which it emerges that both can satisfy world food needs over the period under review. The difference relates, among other things, to the respect for sustainable development criteria, global food diversity etc., which are not promoted to any great degree in the currently prevalent scenario. However, if the alternative scenario is to become reality, it will be necessary to mobilize all the stakeholders, beginning with the public authorities, to “devise and promote an appropriate food policy that does not currently exist in any country in the world.”
Dans cet article de la revue Futures, Sally Khallash et Martin Kruse estiment que le marché du travail se trouve actuellement dans une période de transition, marquée par de nouvelles opportunités technologiques (télétravail) et la féminisation de la main-d’œuvre, y compris aux postes à responsabilité. Les conséquences de ces changements devraient selon eux affecter l’organisation future du travail et le concept d’équilibre vie professionnelle / vie privée. Ils imaginent deux scénarios pour l’avenir de cet équilibre fragile ...
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A year ago, the Centre d’analyse stratégique (CAS: Centre for Strategic Analysis) published a very densely-argued report on the way work and employment will develop in France over the next 20 years, some 16 years after a similar study carried out by Jean Boissonnat for the CAS’s forerunner, the Commissariat général du Plan (General Planning Commission). However, between 1995 and 2011 the context has changed substantially and, though there has been one crisis after another, the revolution produced by the rise of the digital technologies has, among other factors, considerably modified working conditions.
Hugues de Balathier Lantage, who had overall charge of the 2011 Report, presents the main lessons to be learned from it here, while taking account of recent developments in the field of work and employment. He begins by recalling the changes that have occurred in this field (transformation of the structure of employment, dynamic labour markets but persistent unemployment, important changes in the business environment etc.) and goes on to lay out the approach adopted, which consists in taking concrete account of the realities of work (motivations, forms, organization, workplaces and working hours). He then presents the two scenarios accepted by the CAS for the years to 2030 (‘Technological and Societal Acceleration” and “Re-balancing and Voluntarism of the Actors”), before picking out some essential issues for the future with regard to the mobilization of actors, the structuring of employment policies on different time-scales, occupational mobility, career security etc. This is all material that will be particularly useful for future debates on employment policy and ways of reducing the unemployment rate in France.
Selon l’OCDE (Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques), la mauvaise santé mentale des salariés coûte cher (taux de chômage plus élevé, augmentation des pensions d’invalidité, départs à la retraite anticipés, absentéisme plus important, baisse de productivité, etc.) Même si, aujourd’hui, les liens de causalité entre emploi et santé mentale demeurent flous, il semblerait que des conditions de travail non satisfaisantes puissent conduire à une aggravation voire à l’apparition de troubles mentaux. Selon Julien Pelletier, les ...
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Depuis 2009, en France, 880 entreprises industrielles ont fermé leurs portes et 100 000 emplois ont été supprimés, creusant un peu plus le déficit commercial français aux alentours de 51 milliards d’euros. Pierre Gattaz a livré quelques pistes de réflexion sur l’avenir de l’emploi et de l’industrie en France, fort de son expérience de chef d’entreprise chez Radiall depuis 1992 et de son implication dans la FIEEC, le GFI et la Fabrique de l’industrie.
Starting out from reality and then projecting itself into futuristic universes, science fiction, in both literary and cinematic form, allows us to dream and to have fantasies or nightmares about what the future holds in store. In many works of science fiction, technologies and the perspectives for their application play a key role. The nanotechnologies, with miniaturization playing its part here, offer even greater possibilities for writers and directors to develop their visions of the future. At the same time, scientist, corporations, governments and military institutions are investing time, energy and substantial amounts of money in these nanotechnologies. They themselves are constructing visions of what they may enable us to do in the future, and trying to bring these to fruition.
How are these two types of representation related? This is the issue Bernard Kahane ponders in this article. Drawing on various emblematic novels and films, he begins by showing how science fiction depicts nanotechnologies, before outlining the scientific and technical logics that underlie them. Kahane then turns more precisely to the impact they might have in the field of security and defence (future conflicts, armaments, combatants etc.). Lastly, he studies the specific features of the future visions of, on the one hand, science fiction writers and filmmakers and, on the other, of the economic and social actors involved in the emergence of the nanotechnologies, together with their influence on each other. Unlike the writers, who operate merely at the level of narration, those engaged in nanotechnology research and production are, he argues, “narr-actors” who manipulate, combine and intermingle narration and action in pursuit of their ends.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are at the heart of important controversies in the scientific world. But the stakes go far beyond that, as is demonstrated here by Pierre-Benoit Joly. Questions of a more political nature arise, such as what vision of the world one wishes to see prevail in the future, both in the agricultural realm and in the much wider matter of the sustainable development of the planet.
Recalling, first, how regimes of innovation in the plant world have evolved over time, Joly stresses that we have moved from traditional skills and practices to an initial regime of innovation based on state agronomists and seed companies, which has itself evolved towards a “molecular, private, globalized” regime of innovation heavily encouraged by the granting, in the 1980s, of permission to patent living organisms. This has led to agricultural markets becoming tied up to a large extent by a number of major companies and to research being focussed on a small number of species and on GMOs. However, this commitment to GMOs has given rise to much criticism, involving the leaders of the “biotech oligopoly” in a crisis of legitimacy. Hence the efforts made by these parties over several years to legitimate their enthusiasm for GMOs both economically and politically.
It is to this “techno-political” work of legitimation that Pierre-Benoit Joly turns in the second part of his article. Thanks to the privatization of innovation and the globalization of activities, the big biotech multinationals are gradually winning acceptance for their view of the world, by way, among other things, of co-production of the regulation of the risks inherent in innovations (the emergence of a “soft law” lowering the level of mandatory constraint by states) and by intensive lobbying within public institutions and the establishment of “epistemic communities” (networks aimed at bending international law in their direction). Joly shows, lastly, how these players – and particularly Monsanto, which he studies more specifically here – are privatizing the notion of sustainable development in agriculture (by way of ethical charters, for example), so as to make their activities essential to its attainment. This is an “enlistment” operation that is very well described here, though it can still be countered when its workings are properly understood.
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.
In this special issue of Futuribles devoted to genetically modified organisms, Marcel Kuntz and Agnès Ricroch offer a review of the situation regarding biotechnological plants and their socio-economic prospects. After reminding us of the agricultural (and food) challenges our planet will face by the middle of the century, they outline the possible contributions of transgenics to overcoming them (resistance to various kinds of stress, improvement of yields, nutritional contributions), particularly in the developing countries. They go on to stress the advantages of transgenics in the fields of industry (agrofuels) and pharmaceuticals (biosynthesis of proteins and enzymes for therapeutic purposes).
Kuntz and Ricroch then come to a more political strand of argument: the political and regulatory constraints on the development of GMOs in Europe (and, in particular, France). They criticize, for example, the destructions carried out by certain anti-GM movements, and over-cautiousness in the political decisions and regulation that eventually led to the enduring sidelining of French and European players in the plant biotechnology sector. This situation is, in their view, highly damaging and synonymous with scientific and technical defeat. And the means for overcoming it, such as gaining the confidence of public opinion in the field through better information and publicity campaigns directed more at the benefits inherent in the technologies than the risks, have hardly been successful.
Selon un rapport de la Commission de déontologie de la fonction publique , le nombre de fonctionnaires qui cumulent leur activité principale, dans le secteur public, et une activité annexe, dans le secteur privé, est en nette augmentation. La création du statut d’auto-entrepreneur pourrait être à l’origine de cet engouement.
In this second contribution to our new Paroles d’acteurs (Actors’ Words) feature, Bertrand Collomb takes up his pen again to show us, in the light of a recent trip to China, how that country is aiming to deal with the enormous environmental challenges confronting it. Driven by an unprecedented economic boom, China has enormous energy and raw material needs and these are growing as its population is developing and increasingly catching up with Western styles of life. Though it wishes to steer clear of binding international engagements, the Chinese government has nonetheless taken stock of the seriousness of the environmental situation and, in the wake of the 2006-10 Five Year Plan, which was already sensitive to these questions, has given relatively broad consideration in its Twelfth Plan (2011-15) to the means of promoting more sustainable development within the country (reduction of CO2, emissions, energy saving, sustainable cities etc.). Bertrand Collomb here outlines the main orientations of that Twelfth Plan.
Le 19 janvier dernier, l’agence AdGENCY Experts a organisé ses premières rencontres Interférences, consacrées aux signaux faibles. Le colloque a réuni de nombreux experts de la veille, de la prospective, mais aussi des sociologues et des consultants. Une première table ronde sur la complexité croissante des sociétés et sa gestion par les entreprises, a réunit Edgar Morin (sociologue), Michel Maffesoli (directeur de la revue Sociétés) et Clara Gaymard (présidente de General Electric France). Edgar Morin a fait le constat ...
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Ce premier cahier de tendances de la CAPEB synthétise les réflexions organisées en 2011 pour aider les entreprises du bâtiment et les artisans à se projeter à l’horizon 2025 et ainsi « prendre leur destin en main ». La première partie du rapport liste les principales évolutions mondiales, sociales et liées au secteur du bâtiment qui pourront avoir un impact sur les artisans. Il s’agit notamment de la raréfaction des énergies fossiles, de l’évolution des caractéristiques des foyers français ...
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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.
Cet ouvrage, réalisé par le Centre d’études prospectives du ministère de l’Agriculture, tente de saisir avec le plus de réalisme possible la figure présente et future de l’agriculteur français, et de son métier, dans son nouvel environnement aussi global qu’instable, au cœur des défis humains du XXIe siècle. La profession d’agriculteur vieillit, se féminise (un tiers de chefs d’exploitation en 2025), le salariat progresse et se diversifie, avec des situations socioprofessionnelles moins variées. Les ...
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Nous tournons la page d’une année 2011 particulièrement mouvementée : « printemps arabes », accident de la centrale nucléaire de Fukushima, crise de l’Union européenne, crise économique et financière, échec de la conférence de Durban sur le climat (qui augure mal du sommet « Rio + 20 »)… Qu’allons-nous en retenir et qu’allons-nous faire maintenant ?
L’espérance de vie des Français n’a cessé d’augmenter depuis 60 ans, et l’écart historique entre les hommes et les femmes tend progressivement à se réduire. Pourtant, des inégalités très importantes subsistent entre les catégories socioprofessionnelles.
Maria Nowak, who has for more than 20 years been engaged in citizen action on behalf of the excluded in France, was, like many others, spurred to action by the economic crisis that has plagued us since 2008. Drawing on her experience at the head of the ADIE, she here outlines her proposals for improving the situation of the excluded and of the persons most affected by this crisis, while at the same time re-thinking the workings of the existing economic system.
After a detailed review of the activity of ADIE, mainly through banking microcredit, and the institutional and financial framework in which it operates, Maria Nowak develops three lines of thinking: the city in crisis; ferments of renewal; and the future city, calling for the development of a genuine “social market economy” and a “perestroika of capitalism”. This is an unavoidable development in her view and one in which microfinance activities and actions relating to the social responsibility of companies have a crucial role to play.
In 2010 a book by the American historian Sean McMeekin, The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power 1898-1918 (Cambridge [Mass.]: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010) was published, telling the story of the Berlin-Baghdad railway in the early 20th century and its role in the political, economic and military strategy of the great powers at the time. In terms of subject matter, this work in a way represents, as Bernard Cazes argues, a corrective to a counterfactual developed by the writer John Buchan in his book Greenmantle of 1916 (Thirsk: House of Stratus, 2001; new edition). He presents some of its salient points here that will undoubtedly be of interest to geopolitics buffs, showing, in substance, how Germany, drawing on support from the Ottoman Empire, attempted to de-stabilize its enemies of the time by encouraging jihad in French and British colonies and Zionism in Russia – a strategy that would have paid off if the work on the Berlin-Baghdad railway had not fallen so far behind schedule.
With the economic and financial crisis on the one hand, and the regional instability caused by the Arab spring on the southern rim of the Mediterranean on the other, Europe finds itself faced with a particularly tricky geopolitical and economic context. Unfortunately, as Jean-François Drevet shows here, the more serious the situation has become, the less the member states of the European Union have provided themselves with the means to confront it jointly and hence, the lower their chances of success would seem to be.
This is attested, in particular, by the Union’s inability to establish a single command structure to manage the operations planned as part of the common defence and security policy, despite the fact that there is a consensus on this in public opinion in the various member states. Whereas the Union has, in theory, an adequate legal basis in this area and the political and technical means to implement it (through the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), in practice the member states continue to reason on a case-by-case basis in terms of their own interests. Europe is, in fact, very ill-equipped. It cannot depend indefinitely on the Atlantic Alliance to provide its defence and its options are seriously hobbled by the United Kingdom (of which the High Representative, who is supposed to embody the common external policy, is a national).
Above and beyond the concrete security problems potentially present in such a situation, this impasse is emblematic of the current operation of the Union, “dominated by the vagaries of a variable-geometry intergovernmental cooperation” that is still not properly facing up to present and future challenges.
Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.