Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
French trade unions are at present undergoing a rapid process of disintegration and reorganization, according to Hubert Landier, in this short discussion of the reasons and consequences.
They are disintegrating because of the widening gulf between the head offices of the big unions and the active members, the loss of the "ideological glue" that once held them together, and the gap between the grassroots and the leadership.
At the same time, the efficiency and legitimacy of the head offices is being questioned, and this is leading to the growth of new trade union federations, such as the Union nationale des syndicats autonomes (UNSA) and the Union syndicale Solidaires (Group of Ten).
These developments raise questions about the way trade unions are financed, especially the principle of " majority agreements" which in itself could contribute to a reorganization of French trade unions and their operating arrangements.
A consultancy in business strategy has conducted a survey of French executives in order to identify the issues and challenges facing them at the start of the 21st century. The aim is to use the results to help firms to design new medium- and long-term strategies and to improve their performance.
The main conclusions based on their replies provide, among others, the following insights:
-The most outstanding developments in the business environment are the increasing speed of scientific and technological advances which lead to improvements in productivity, creativity, innovation and penetration of global markets. In addition, customers are more and more demanding with regard to the sourcing of products, their traceability and safety. Finally, competition is becoming fiercer with the arrival of "local killers" and "global players".
-As for the main challenges facing firms, the replies emphasize first the need for growth (meaning growth in turnover), market leadership and internationalization, with "profitability" a much lower priority.
-In coping with these challenges, the key factor for success is human capital, seen as the firm's main asset even if it also involves considerable problems in terms of attracting, training, motivating and retaining people with the right skills.
-Lastly, with regard to the way that managers develop and implement strategies for change within their firms, the preference is for a top-down approach, with little workforce participation.
The survey thus highlights the autocratic style of decision-making, the reluctance of "classic" businesses to adapt, and the lack of interest in profitability of the dot.coms.
Intangibles, starting with technological R&D, are playing an increasingly decisive role in the competitive position of countries, firms and also regions. Consequently it is important to try to measure the scientific and technological performance of regions, even if the indicators used are not wholly reliable. This is the task that the 'Institut d'aménagement et d'urbanisme de la région Île-de-France' (IAURIF) has set itself with regard to the main regions of the 'big three' (European Union, United States of America, Japan), using three key indicators: domestic R&D expenditures, quantity of scientific publications and of patents registered; to these are added an 'index of specialization'..
Vincent Gollain discusses the main conclusions of this study, which reveals that there is considerable variation in the scientific and technological potential of regions within each of the countries concerned, as well as among countries. He draws up a league table of the 24 leading regions of Europe, and stresses the dominant position, whatever the subject, of the regions around Paris, London and Tokyo. Similarly, in the countries with a federal system, certain regions stand well above the rest: California and Michigan in the United States, Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria in Germany.
In this way, Gollain seeks to highlight the performance and the degree of specialization of the top regions, and also the differing roles played in them by firms and public authorities.
Although he acknowledges the growing international importance of some new regions (e.g. Sophia Antipolis in southern France, Hsinchu, Montreal), he argues that the strength of regions is quite stable, and is highly dependent on long-term political aims, the synergy that may be built up between research institutions and social and cultural factors. From a comparison of the performance of the 24 leading regions in Europe with those of the top 12 in the United States and the most advanced regions of Japan, Gollain demonstrates the overwhelming role of a handful of regions and of a few cities of international importance: Paris, London, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo.
Le président de la Fédération mondiale des études prospectives pense que "l'avenir est à la mode" (du moins en Australie) et que "les études prospectives ont bénéficié à l'ensemble de la société moderne". De nombreuses organisations se sont lancées avec engouement dans les nouvelles technologies. La principale utilité des études prospectives est de permettre de développer des scénarios alternatifs, et parfois même, de faire preuve d'un esprit visionnaire ; "perspicacité et projection" sont les nouveaux mots-clés. La municipalité ...
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The European Commission publishes an annual report on distance working in Europe. Anne de Beer, on the basis the 2000 Edition, observes that distance working is on the increase in Europe, in spite of the different forms it adopts and the significant differences in its popularity from one country to another.
For instance, this report reveals that although the number of distance workers in Europe rose above 10 million last year, this form of work is much more frequent in Scandinavian countries than in the Mediterranean, with France at the bottom of the list... except in terms of creating obstacles to its development.
The Begum's Fortune, by Jules Verne was first serialised in the Magasin d'éducation et de récréation from issues n. 337 (January 1, 1879) to 354 (September 15, 1879), published by Hetzel. The whole text was first published in an illustrated edition (with 43 drawings by Léon Benett) on October 20, 1879.
Two characters, which everything divides, have inherited a fortune of 500 million francs from the Indian Princess Begum Gokoo: Doctor Sarrasin, a French doctor specialised in hygiene and the German Professor Schultze, author of numerous comparative works on the different human races.
Both decide to settle down in Oregon where they use their money according to their personal aspirations. Dr. Sarrasin builds an ideal community of around 100.000 inhabitants, called Frankville, offering "moral and physical hygiene conditions that are ideal for the development of the qualities of the race and of new strong and worthy young generations". Schultze has, instead, built Stahlstadt, the city of steel; he has thus become the "largest cannon producer of the two worlds" and designed a gigantic cannon capable of killing 100.000 people from a distance of several dozen kilometres, which he plans to use on Frankville. Dr. Sarrasin learns about these plans in The New York Herald and immediately summons a distance meeting of the local assembly.
Increasingly, businesses appear to be obliged to meet the demands of sustainable development (if only in response to the growing pressure from their shareholders, consumers or employees). But there is another factor that seems now to play a key role in determining the "sustainability" or even the viability of firms: their ability to taken on board the lessons of the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs).
In this article, Xavier Dalloz and André-Yves Portnoff attempt to describe the new paradigm of management generated by the Internet, which they argue that all firms must adopt in order to avoid going into decline. The authors support their arguments by citing specific cases that illustrate the need (in both negative and positive ways) for a radical "e-novation".
In their view, one would have to be exceptionally shortsighted not to see that "the phenomena we have been witnessing over the last decade are important and in general their strength is likely to grow exponentially in future". It would then be fatal to dismiss the ICTs as merely an ornamental supplement to the real business of production or marketing. The authors are adamant: without succumbing to a blind fascination for all things high-tech, it is essential for firms to understand that networks and the shift towards the intangible are making certain styles of management and business organization increasingly appropriate and indispensable; firms must undergo major restructuring if they are to integrate these changes. The key words here are: involvement, flows, partnership and interdependence.
Les méthodes de la prospective (identification des " signaux faibles ", élaboration de scénarios exploratoires et normatifs) sont utilisées dans cet article pour déterminer les issues possibles du conflit entre Taiwan et la république populaire de Chine. L'auteur identifie une tendance lourde qu'il intitule la " taiwanisation ", c'est-à-dire le nationalisme croissant des Taiwanais. Cette tendance est transversale aux quatre scénarios qui envisagent respectivement : 1) la montée en puissance des partisans de l'autodétermination qui entraînerait une course aux armements entre ...
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Une analyse des images de la prospective de la DATAR conduit à s'interroger, par-delà les différences de facture, aux évolutions des façons de faire de la prospective et du rôle qui lui est attribué aux différentes époques. À la prospective " scientifique " des années 1970, succède une prospective accordant une place de plus en plus importante au débat. Les représentations de la prospective se démarquent progressivement de la carte descriptive pour devenir des images de communication, susceptibles de mobiliser des ...
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The Test (Futures of Yesteryear)
Richard Matheson, an American writer born in 1926, divided his literary career between writing fantasy and science fiction showing in both an inclination towards strangeness and horror. His first science-fiction short story, Born of Man and Woman, 1950 (republished, New York: Buccaneer Books, 1991), was a big success both in the US and in France where it was published in the review Fiction. Matheson's science fiction is not based on science or technology, but originates from rational situations where the individual's monstrosity, which makes him singular, or that of the society which refuses deviation, anomaly or simply divergence from the norm, as in The Test, is described in a sober and efficient style. His most famous novel is no doubt I Am Legend (New York: Tor Books, 1997) where the last "normal" man becomes a terrifying myth among a population of vampires. Richard Matheson made a very popular appearance in France, at the "Étonnants Voyageurs" ("Amazing travellers") festival in Saint-Malo, in 2000.
The short story you are about to read has been edited many times in French, a good indication of its value. First published in 1957 in the review Fiction, it was reedited in 1970 in the anthology Après... la guerre atomique ("After... the Atomic War" - Paris: Marabout), and in Histoires de l'an 2000 ("Stories from the year 2000" - Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 1985, republished in 1999) and finally in L'Intégrale des nouvelles de Richard Matheson ("An Anthology of Richard Matheson's Short Stories" - Paris: Imagine, Flammarion, 1999).
Forty years after its first edition in French, it hasn't lost an ounce of its unsettling visionary value. It deserves to be compared to Thomas Disch's astonishing short story, La Mort de Socrate (The Death of Socrates, revised from Problems of Creativeness, 1972, first published in Fiction, n°168, and also republished in Histoires de l'an 2000), in which a young man's right to marry and have children is also determined by a test.
La prospective de l'aménagement de l'espace français doit intégrer une réflexion sur l'évolution de l'Union européenne, en particulier depuis la rédaction d'un document de référence : le SDEC. Ce Schéma préconise un développement spatial polycentrique, objectif partagé par la DATAR. Après s'être interrogé sur le statut du SDEC et sur la pertinence du concept de polycentrisme, on évalue les chances d'une Europe plus équilibrée. Un scénario purement tendanciel confirme la prééminence de l'Euromégalopole ...
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The Principle of "Good Governance". The Experience of Business and Its Applications in Public Affairs
"The functioning of companies on the stock market imitates to a great extent that of a parliamentary democracy; it would be wise, in return, to use these companies' experience in order to achieve democratic progress". This is, in substance, Yves Cannac and Michel Godet's argument, as they attempt to demonstrate in which ways the principles of 'good governance' developed for the sake of business could be applied in the field of public institutions.
The authors first explain the notion of 'governance' and show how it has increasingly taken hold in business, with the ultimate aim of increasing the shareholders' trust in the managers they have chosen. They specify its prerequisites -responsibility, readability, transparency, coherence, efficacy and effectiveness- and underline its usefulness from the standpoint of democracy and the good functioning of organisations.
In spite of the obvious difference that public institutions must serve the interests of the people and not those of shareholders, the authors consider nonetheless that the same principles could be useful in the public sector which all too often suffers from an excess of opacity, inefficiency and ultimately, a lack of legitimacy.
This is why Yves Cannac and Michel Godet are intent on showing how the principles of good governance could be applied to national or international public institutions and particularly French institutions.
La problématique générale de cet article est d'esquisser les contenus de ce que pourrait être une politique d'aménagement du territoire qui appréhenderait la dimension temporelle au regard de sa propre dynamique mais aussi de celle de son inscription territoriale. Dans un premier temps, les auteurs synthétisent les questions relatives au temps qui ont émergé des territoires associés à la démarche, qu'il s'agisse de problèmes liés à la flexibilisation des temporalités de travail ou à la diversification ...
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Les sept auteurs ont cherché à établir des normes permettant de développer, dans les 20 prochaines années, la prospective technologique et l'évaluation des technologies. Ils partent de l'hypothèse que les étapes du développement de la prospective technologique sont liées aux besoins institutionnels et aux grands changements sociaux. Les entreprises et le gouvernement sont constamment obligés d'anticiper et de réagir face à l'évolution technologique. L'avenir de la prospective technologique dépendra aussi de l'attitude de l ...
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Alexis de Tocqueville was remarkably modern: he observed poverty increasing in his day as a result of industrialization, was equally critical of liberalism and socialism, and pleaded for a "third way" that is in many ways the forerunner of the thinking of Anthony Giddens and the policies of Tony Blair.
His criticisms of socialism and liberalism still seem sound and forceful, especially when they are directed at anything that, on one side, hinders human freedom and, on the other, threatens equality. And his position seems even more up-to-date when, for instance, he argues in favour of setting social minimum levels but against forms of social assistance that require nothing in return, a foretaste of the current debate about "workfare" and the recent scheme proposed in France to help the unemployed to find jobs (PARE).
"Tocqueville does not want the state either to be a protector that prevents individuals from fulfilling themselves or to stand aside and leave everything to market forces", writes Éric Keslassy. He shows how Tocqueville argued for a minimum wage but against social welfare arrangements that would create "a class of idlers living at the expense of the industrious and hardworking".
Just as interesting and relevant today were his ideas about how to reconcile freedom and equality, and his plea for solidarity within local communities, since that is the level where democracy works best and a sense of concern for others can be developed.
When a calf is born in France, a computerized label is clipped to its ear which makes it possible to follow the animal from the field to the consumer's dinner plate...
Isn't it now likely that human beings will be condemned to the same fate? This is the risk, the fear, that Bernard Vaudour-Faguet raises here: that from birth, human beings too will have computer chips implanted that will record all the information judged to be useful, from their social security number to the contents of their bank accounts, by way of their curriculum vit, their vaccinations, their keys or access codes for their homes, etc.
Then, with the aid of decoders, every individual with the silicon implant will be as easily traced as a packet of soap powder at a supermarket check-out, turned into an object, with a kind of postcode that can be followed everywhere and kept under constant check. A dream of modern science! A human nightmare!
Ce rapport présente les résultats d'une étude ESTO qui compare des programmes nationaux de prospective technologique en relation avec l'industrie dans quatre pays européens : la France, l'Italie, le Portugal et l'Espagne. La comparaison portait sur trois niveaux : la méthodologie, les résultats dans deux domaines (les produits chimiques et les nouveaux matériaux, l'énergie), et enfin le lien entre prospective et décision. Les quatre exercices reposent sur des consultations d'experts.
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.