Innovation according to Jean-Paul Delevoye, President of the CESE (Social, Economical and Environemental, Council)

Please read, like and share Video presentation by Jean-Paul Delevoye, at the LAB’ inauguration, April 24.



I am deeply sorry for not being able to attend in the flesh this inauguration and I would like to thank the President and the Representatives of the Regional Council of Champagne-Ardenne for their invitation. However, I am very pleased to speak for two reasons: firstly, to welcome the initiative that was taken, and secondly to discuss new ways of thinking policymaking and citizens’ empowerment in relation to this political decision.

Obviously, this is an innovation, and every innovation is subversive. Anyone who innovates is alone and falls foul of the system because an innovation obviously challenges the system. However, we are in a world which is not in crisis but in metamorphosis – that is to say that in 4 or 5 years, when we will come out of the social / environmental / financial crisis – the world will no longer be the same, especially with this extraordinary digital acceleration.

It means that in the metamorphosis, managing change requires a heartbreaking review of our habits, our practices. Tomorrow, the world won’t belong to the most ancient societies, or to the most powerful societies, but to those who will have managed to adapt and who will have recognized what is at the center of every initiative : the identification of what we need to change in order to be completely in tune with the transformations we noticed.


The power is shifting from West to East, from North to South, from multinational companies to start-ups, from man to woman, and we can see that globalization is reconsidering the management idea of our territories. We are in a royalist society, a republican society: one prince, one religion, one territory. But globalization has blurred all boundaries. Nobody can control the flows of men, ideas, money and goods anymore.

So letting people believe – and that’s the tragedy of French society – that one should enjoy one’s power, and not exercise it, and that one should enjoy one’s superiority by domination – asking the worshipping at the Mass to obey, and asking citizens to obey the political parties – is a complete mistake !

And if we don’t have this ability to conceive the world of tomorrow as a collaborative world, a world in which we can form an intelligent society – it is not about exploiting the soil and the underground but attracting the intelligence of the world. What kind of territorial project do we need to develop for the whole world to want to invest here, and for the youth of the world to want to learn here? And how to make sure that into this mobilization of intelligence we have a “horizontal society”, that we enter in a “neuronal economy” in which the role and the responsibility of the elected representatives is to increase the flow of information ? 

This underlines the importance of challenging the establishment, because the more you are going to use collective intelligence, the more – of course – you will have to question our principles, our habits, our ability to ensure our comfort. Tomorrow’s world gives strength to this Chinese principle “discomfort leads to life, comfort leads to death”. If we choose to live a sheltered life and keep our habits, our conservatism and our selfishness, we are preparing for the worst violence of all, because, if we do not foster collective hope, reality will make human despair destroy all the systems, including the most powerful. »

© Le LABO d'innovation publique de la Région Grand Est