Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
L'« anthropologie anticipatoire », terme introduit par l'anthropologue Marion Lundy Dobbert en 1984, mais dont les racines remontent aux années 1970, utilise « l'étude de la dimension sociale de l'homme », ses méthodes, les tendances qu'elle parvient à dégager, pour tenter de prévoir les évolutions des systèmes socioculturels. Les articles de ce numéro spécial explorent en effet chacun un aspect de nos modes de vie et d'être ensemble futurs. Claudia Bell et John Lyall prévoient ainsi le développement ...
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The Italian industrial areas (districts with small and medium-sized firms, linked by local networks) are an excellent model. Their micro-enterprises, well known for their competitiveness, their entrepreneurial spirit, their capacity to innovate and skill in adapting to the market, are generally the heirs of the long Italian tradition of craftsmanship; they have now organized themselves into networks that make them extremely efficient.
As Florence Vidal clearly demonstrates, these Italian industrial areas are flourishing and make a major contribution to the good reputation of Italian goods. Their very good results (200 industrial areas in 1998, with 2 200 000 employees and 42.5 % of manufacturing jobs) make them key elements in the Italian economy as a whole. As each one specializes in producing just one product, in a flexible system of almost total vertical integration, they benefit from considerable economies of scale, and they are renowned for their good design, creativity and efficiency.
The areas are complex systems that rely on network coordinators who look after the links with national and international markets and funding for projects. They also cooperate in consortia for specific projects, and hence benefit substantially from sharing costs, while also being supported by many local agencies that encourage their development and back their interests by fostering social cohesion, entrepreneurship, product specialization, flexible working and interactive governance.
Florence Vidal examines whether this admirable concept is transferable. The industrial areas are at present concentrated in Central and Northern Italy, but will they continue to prosper and spread to the South, and perhaps to other European countries? Efforts are being made in this direction, with varied results.
As for the future, what will happen when the links based on geographical proximity are replaced by telecommunications links? Will it be possible to reconcile globalization, competitiveness and e-commerce with locally based social and cultural groupings relying on social integration? Will the industrial areas be able to cope with moving into the virtual world and become crucial links in worldwide networks? The author concludes with several scenarios.
François Vatin invites us here to look again at the strange futuristic novel by Gabriel Tarde, Fragment d'histoire future, published in 1896. He attempts to decipher its meaning while placing the book within the setting of the school of thought that, at the end of the 19th century, was fascinated both by scientific progress and, already, by the notion of the end of history.
Drawing on the industrial revolution, Gabriel Tarde describes a society that has achieved the peak of prosperity at world level (globalization with a positive outcome), but which is rapidly overtaken by the tyranny of boredom and, in the end, collapses as the result of a natural catastrophe: the sudden extinction of the Sun. It is a society that ultimately, in order to survive, has to turn into a pure civilization of the mind and take refuge in a tiny underground area, forcing the adoption of a strict Malthusian policy.
Gabriel Tarde was strongly influenced by contemporary thinkers, especially Cournot. He provides us with reflections on the future of the human race, order and disorder, progress in science and the arts, constantly vulnerable to the risk of natural disaster and barbaric behaviour.
Under the rubric "Futures of yesteryear" we reproduce old texts in which the authors proved to be particularly innovative and clairvoyant. This is certainly true of the strange extract from Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's Cruel Tales (Contes cruels), first published in a magazine in 1873; in it, the author is worried about how the sky can be made useful and proposes that it should be exploited for display purposes, for products ...or possibly for politicians.
Bernard Cazes tells us that from the commentaries about it in the Castex and Raitt edition for the Pléiade series we learn that it was the earliest of Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's purely satirical stories, in which he expressed his hostility towards the commercial spirit that dominated the society of his time and its reductionist vision that saw in nature - and knowledge - nothing else than the opportunity to make money. Bernard Cazes also emphasises that it was thanks to that edition that he was able to elucidate the allusions in the tale, which are often esoteric.
There are frequent criticisms of the fact that in France, scientific achievements are perfectly satisfactory but they have little economic impact, and that the country is remarkable for its inability to translate ideas into actions. Such, for example, was the diagnosis of Henri Guillaume in his report on technology and innovation (La Technologie et l'innovation), which came out in 1998, though the handicap had already been pointed out by OECD in 1978 and again in 1986 in its report on innovation policy in France (Paris: OECD, 384 pp.).
However, Pascal Byé and Robert Magnaval (who died in August 1999) argue here that the relationship between research and development is far more complex than people usually realise, that the causal links cannot be considered as direct and unambiguous, and that in any case scientific research operates within a different time-frame to industrial development, and the conditions are not so simple.
In particular, they show that factors related to the dynamics of organisations and markets affect the application and spread of the results of public research, and even more for private research. And, rather than endlessly criticising the paradox, it would probably be better to treat the process of innovation differently, according to its own logic.
Colonel Baud, who currently works at the Swiss army's headquarters in Berne, was employed for more than seven years as an analyst by the Swiss intelligence service. He has compiled two encyclopaedias, one on intelligence-gathering and secret services (Paris: Lavauzelle, 1997) and another on terrorism (Encyclopédie du terrorisme. Paris: Lavauzelle, 1999), and he agreed to be interviewed for Futuribles by Jérôme Marchand.
He talks first about intelligence as a profession - which in many ways covers the same field as strategic surveillance - and the special skills required for the job, in particular in terms of intellectual curiosity (and therefore openness of mind), the ability to distance oneself from events (and therefore good judgement), as well as the ability to anticipate what might happen.
Colonel Baud then offers a rapid critical survey of the bodies responsible for intelligence, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, especially in the radically different geopolitical context following the end of the Cold War.
The main topic of the last part of the interview is the new threats that are typical of today's world, which are quite unlike those of the past because the issues of internal and external security, both civilian and military, are increasingly interconnected.
Ce numéro spécial de la revue Panoramiques engage le débat de l'introduction d'une véritable démocratie à l'intérieur de l'entreprise. Il s'ouvre par un clin d'œil : une gravure du phalanstère imaginé par Charles Fourier (la communauté de production dans sa version la plus poussée). Vient ensuite la présentation d'un modèle susceptible de faire entrer la démocratie dans l'entreprise par un autre moyen que les SCOP (sociétés coopératives de production) : la société anonyme à ...
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The arrival on the labour market of the generations born at the bottom of the demographic cycle just as the big 'baby boom' generations are reaching retirement is likely to mean that the economically active population of Europe will fall by 30 million. In France alone, from now until 2020 the population aged between 25 and 54 years could well decline by 30 to 50 000 persons per year.
Consequently, explains François Michaux, we may be facing a lasting labour shortage, especially of skilled workers, particularly if economic growth continues at a high level. He observes that this phenomenon is already making itself felt in the metallurgical sector, in France as well as the other industrialized countries.
He therefore examines the measures already adopted and available in order to make the most of the existing potential labour force, to 'activate' those not currently working and to prolong the working lives of older workers - though this will require, he stresses, a major investment in training that carries the obvious risk of spiralling costs.
But in Michaux's view, it is doubtful whether these measures will be adequate to offset the labour shortages that he foresees, and as a result, he thinks that it will be necessary for France to resort to bringing in foreign workers, a policy already being pursued in the United States and Spain.
The new economy, e-commerce: the two terms are widely used today as if they were synonyms, as if growth was generated only by the new technologies. The question raised by Michel Drancourt - can computers be a source of productivity and growth? - may therefore appear surprising. However, as he shows very clearly, the answer is not that straightforward because, while the increases in productivity are obvious, they are the result of a more complex process of reshaping firms and the system of production, of a mixture of technological innovation and social and organizational changes.
In fact, one of the major challenges facing us today relates to our ability to innovate in these two areas simultaneously, even though the pace of technical progress is clearly much faster than that of social change.
L'objet de cet article est de rendre compte d'une démarche prospective pratiquée quasiment à l'identique et à peu d'années d'écart dans trois pays - le Japon, l'Allemagne et la France - de manière à faire apparaître les différences de perception des experts consultés en matière de technologies environnementales. La manière dont l'exercice de prospective a été organisé est également révélateur du contexte national. On peut observer dans quelle mesure les visions prospectives et la hiérarchie ...
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In the book by Philippe Gabilliet, which he reviews in this article, Michel Godet has found material to stimulate thinking about the future. He shares the main points here.
Stressing first that Philippe Gabilliet has been influenced by the cognitive sciences in adopting a novel approach to futures studies, Michel Godet identifies "four key ideas" in the book:
- The first relates to the existence of invariants of different kinds, the most obvious being associated with the human race.
- The second relates to the existence, despite these well-known invariants, of room for manoeuvre that allows determined individuals to build for themselves the future that they want. This fits in with the affirmation dear to experts in the field that the future is above all an area of freedom and power.
- The third relates to the existence of mental models of the future that, although often unconscious, strongly influence our perceptions of the future, and hence the scenarios that we develop.
- The fourth idea relates to what Philippe Gabilliet calls the "compass of destiny", to the four key questions to which every individual (every community?) needs to be able to respond.
Le changement, c'est le thème décliné sur plusieurs registres par ce hors-série particulièrement dense de la revue Sciences humaines. Le changement peut en effet concerner d'abord l'individu et s'interpréter comme la transformation de soi (par les psychothérapies, l'éducation...). Il peut aussi renvoyer aux organisations : Pierre Romelaer se demande ainsi quels sont les changements qui vont affecter les entreprises dans les 30 prochaines années, et Patrick Fridenson se penche sur les mues de l'industrie automobile ...
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Ce numéro de la revue Employment Relations Today est exclusivement consacré à l'avenir du travail au XXIe siècle. Parmi les contributions présentes, Arnold Brown présente les transformations à venir des entreprises en « hyborgs », autrement dit en organisations hybrides (ayant à la fois des salariés sur place et des télétravailleurs ; alliant hiérarchie et souplesse, réel et virtuel, connaissances et capital matériel, local et mondial...). David Macarov analyse l'effet des transformations possibles du travail sur la vie familiale, tandis que ...
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L'un des plus grands problèmes que l'on rencontre à explorer la littérature sur l'avenir tient à la dimension du corpus. Pour la seule science-fiction, on a pu estimer autrefois l'ordre de grandeur du nombre des œuvres à plus de 100 000 - nouvelles et romans. Si l'on y ajoute les articles et essais plus ou moins documentaires traitant du même sujet, sans même tenir compte de la littérature grise, cette évaluation pourrait être substantiellement revue à ...
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In the issue of futuribles of October 1999 (n° 246) we published an article by Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench outlining the five scenarios for "Europe 2010" drawn up by the Forward Studies Unit of the European Commission (FSU). The scenarios were constructed using the so-called "Shaping Actors, Shaping Factors" method, claimed by the authors as "specific" to their Unit.
Michel Godet reacts to that article and makes two fundamental criticisms of their methodology.
First of all, he says, it is incorrect to present the method used by the Unit as "specific", if not "original", when it is in fact simply a "flawed copy" of a method that he developed himself. Furthermore, it is unfair to accuse the "French School of futurology" (is there, indeed, a single school?) of misusing "mathematics" and formal tools.
Then, pleading more than ever for greater rigour and, in particular, for the use of methods that attach probabilities to the scenarios, Michel Godet criticizes the FSU for the rather arbitrary character of the chosen scenarios, which in his view do not cover adequately the full range of possible futures.
Over and above the arguments about the authorship and originality of the methods, the article seems to raise two key issues: first, the usefulness of so-called "formal" predictive methods; secondly, and even more importantly, the relevance of the five scenarios chosen by the FSU to represent the spectrum of possibilities for Europe in 2010.
The debate is open. We would be delighted to give space to those who would like to make constructive contributions to the discussion, and hence to advances in the futures studies approach and the analysis of possible European developments.
La question de la réduction et de l'aménagement du temps de travail est souvent appréhendée sur l'année, voire la semaine. Ce recueil, qui rassemble certaines des contributions à un colloque organisé conjointement par l'Institut syndical européen et la Confédération européenne des syndicats (CES), se place dans la perspective plus ouverte et riche d'une organisation du temps de travail sur l'ensemble du cycle de vie. Les modalités abordées visent à permettre aux individus de mieux concilier ...
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Ce beau petit livre publié dans une collection qui se distingue par sa concision, sa bonne documentation et la qualité de son illustration, n'est pas un livre de recherche ou de prospective, mais sa lecture rassemble de nombreuses données qui aident à mettre en perspective des concepts importants. Il tord le cou sans le dire aux expressions stupides et trompeuses de matériaux nouveaux ou de techniques nouvelles qui devraient être remplacées par progrès des matériaux, progrès techniques. Nouveau, le ...
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Étude prospective concernant la demande d'électricité à l'horizon 2050. Ce rapport examine les trois filières non nucléaires de production : les centrales à cycle combiné au gaz naturel, les éoliennes parmi les énergies renouvelables et la co-génération d'électricité et de chaleur dans le secteur tertiaire et celui de l'habitat. L'exigence d'adaptation des réseaux à la concurrence européenne et à la production décentralisée d'électricité supposera de nouveaux investissements de transport et de stockage.
Over the last 25 years we have witnessed the amazing rise of Bill Gates and his firm Microsoft, the world leader in software for personal computers, which will prove to be the leading business of the end of the 20th century.
Success, however, has its downside: the company, which has its headquarters in Redmont (USA), is currently being attacked in the American courts under the anti-trust legislation because of its dominant position and may ultimately be obliged to break up. But Bill Gates is not finished yet. Pierre Bonnaure looks here at the different strategic options opened to him, including publishing the basic code for Windows on which he has built his wealth.
According to Pierre Bonnaure, Microsoft could yet win through by giving up its monopoly on software that is becoming out-of-date and by playing a pioneering role in the new generation of network computers.
Ce document passe en revue les exercices de prospective technologique réalisés depuis la fin des années 1980 dans plusieurs pays : Japon, États-Unis, France, Allemagne, Royaume-Uni, Espagne, Autriche, Corée, Irlande, Australie, Brésil et Hongrie. Une analyse comparative des résultats ainsi que des réflexions sur les objectifs, les méthodes, et les coûts complètent ce panorama.
Cet ouvrage est le fruit de la réflexion de 15 personnalités belges d'horizons très différents, composant la commission Travail et non-travail au sein de la fondation Roi Baudouin. Comme son nom l'indique, il recense les personnes concernées, en Belgique, par les activités salariées et celles relevant du « hors travail » (chômage, temps scolaires, formations...). Après avoir explicité ces deux concepts (travail et non-travail) et recensé les statistiques officielles en la matière, les auteurs détaillent les grandes tendances qui caractérisent ...
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Ce livre entend présenter à la fois une méthode et son illustration. La méthode, c'est celle de l'analyse systémique, qui privilégie la prise en compte d'un ensemble de facteurs plutôt qu'une explication monocausale pour tenter d'anticiper l'avenir : en effet, pour l'auteur (professeur à l'Université de Hamilton), le futur est influencé par une série de forces, certaines mineures, certaines majeures, en interaction les unes avec les autres. Certes, beaucoup sont imprévisibles, mais il ...
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Dans l'histoire de la science-fiction, les magazines américains ont joué un rôle fondamental de structuration du genre. La première revue de science-fiction, Amazing Stories, a été fondée en 1926 par un immigré d'origine luxembourgeoise, Hugo Gernsback. Elle fut suivie par de nombreuses imitations, dont la plus célèbre demeure Astounding Stories, dirigée par John W. Campbell depuis 1938 jusqu'à sa mort, et toujours publiée aujourd'hui sous le titre d'Analog. La majeure partie des maîtres indiscutés du ...
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In the futures studies literature, much is made of how diverse the factors are that influence the future of our societies. Among them, however, technology has always held a special place, undoubtedly because of the speed of technological change and the wide range of impacts, especially economic and social, that its applications are thought to have.
The special attention given to technological change is reflected in the vast number of studies that, in the wake of the famous Delphi studies undertaken by the Rand Corporation in the 1960s, tried to identify the major advances in science and technology that could be expected, and their likely impacts. In the same tradition, work has lately been done on "key technologies" and "critical technologies".
More recently, under the term "foresight", a new generation of forward studies based on technological considerations have given greater emphasis to the economic and social aspects. The British contribution is particularly interesting. Rémi Barré describes here the activities undertaken first under the Technology Foresight programme between 1993 and 1998, and then under the larger Foresight programme begun in 1999.
His evaluation of this experience leads him to reflect upon the role that futures studies could play in "the governance of knowledge-based societies".
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.