“There can no longer be an economy that conquers markets and an economy that repairs”

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After two years of pandemic, the return of the war to Europe is destabilizing the security of the continent and the world. It attacks our model of liberal democracy, already weakened from within by social and territorial inequalities. At the same time, the climate crisis and the collapse of biodiversity pose global dangers to the very way we inhabit our planet.

These challenges require deep questioning, from the governance of our democracies to the organization of public authorities, but above all that of our economic model and the functioning of our companies. Wealth creation today is done with unsustainable social and environmental consequences.

A great transformation awaits us. For the time being, it takes the form of a “big resignation.” More and more employees and young graduates are refusing to participate at the end of the world to secure their end of the month. They provide promising solutions, outside the traditional business world, in associations, social enterprises or within groups. The urgency is too strong to satisfy us by observing this slow pollination. Decisive public action must amplify the transformation. The time has come for an ambitious policy of impact.

Create a “national impact”

We do not start from a blank sheet. The French economy has always wanted to be both competitive and contributing. In recent years, the emphasis has been on competitiveness, with the ambition of making France a “start-up nation” that trusts and boosts the country’s innovation power. The success of French technology and the multiplication of the number of “unicorns” [start-up valorisées à plus de 1 milliard de dollars] are the result of these efforts.

The sequel after the announcement

“Start-ups have gone from pigeons to unicorns”

But competitiveness alone is not enough to create a strong, united, inclusive society capable of mobilizing to defend its values. Our ambition must be to create an “impact nation,” a great ecological nation, directing our innovation toward social and environmental impact.

For more than two hundred years, our economy has also developed thanks to the efforts of men and women whose main motive is to solve social, social and, more recently, environmental problems. The social and solidarity economy (ESS), made up of associations, cooperatives, mutual societies and social enterprises, already represents 10% of our GDP. But today there can no longer be an economy that produces, that conquers markets, and an economy that repairs.

Christophe Itier: The “social and ecological” entrepreneurial revolution is underway

Our future is only sustainable if the whole productive system cares about humanity and the environment and cares about a more and more equitable distribution of power and value.

Three axes

This policy should be based on three axes:

The sequel after the announcement

1 / Gathering forces – We continue to oppose all too often those who defend the ESS countermodel and those who change companies from within, but who do not strictly belong to the ESS. The current transition requires a convergence of approaches. It cannot accept a categorical defense of a sector, nor obviously the obvious risks of “greenwashing” or “social washing”, which would undermine the ambition of the pioneers. We unite energies within a National Impact Council with representatives of the ESS, companies with mission, impact finance and CSR.

When employees push their box to make it greener

2 / Clarify – The living forces of our country need a simple and clear framework to invent new contributory economic models. The governance model of the “mission society” can be further strengthened and become the basic basis of committed organizations. Some go a step further, with limited benefit commitments and shared governance by choosing ESS status.

They deserve to be recognized, supported and benefit from benefits to varying degrees depending on their commitment, beyond those that already exist, such as access to solidarity funding. It is a global ecosystem that we must create, a continuum of organizations, with different statutes, different levels of commitment, but that participate in the emergence of an impact economy.

3 / Support: This impact economy has nothing to do with a narrow “niche”. On the contrary, it is attractive, able to thrive, even beyond our borders. It needs to be supported, as has the “technological” ecosystem for the past five years. Highlighting the proponents of this “nation of impact”; explaining this concept in schools, professional networks; making impact a tool for reclaiming our territories; questioning the functioning and governance of the care, dependency and education sectors.

The sequel after the announcement

Emmanuel Faber, the former CEO of Danone who wants to put capitalism on new paths

With the development of impact finance, and why not an impact bank, a national initiative like Bpifrance. By associating the social partners to make the impact economy an opportunity for all citizens who want to participate in the transition through their work.

This policy of impact is consistent with the other major goals of the nation: food and energy sovereignty, ecological transition, social and territorial cohesion, priority in health and education, equal opportunities. It is consistent with our European commitment, because France can take this model to the continental level.

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If in the coming years we find ourselves missing certain energies, it will be abundant that of the thousands of fellow citizens who want to act. Let’s help him come up with an ambitious policy!

The petitioners

Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova
Guillaume Desnoës, co-founder of Alenvi
Karim Amellal, founder of the Pluriel movement
Nicolas Bourgeois, associate director of Identité RH, founder of the think tank Néos
Laura Collin, Pluriel movement impact finance referent
David Djaïz, senior official and essayist
Geneviève Férone-Creuzet, co-founder of Prophil
Stéphanie Goujon, General Manager of French Impact
Laurence Grandcolas, president of MySezame
Jacques Huybrechts, organizer of the University of the Earth and the Parliament of Future Entrepreneurs
Christophe Itier, former High Commissioner for Social and Solidarity Economy
Emery Jacquillat, CEO of Camif
Elisabeth Laville, founder of Utopias
Laurence Méhaignerie, President of Citizen Capital
Jean Moreau, co-chair of the Impact France movement
Eva Sadoun, co-chair of the Impact France movement
Nadia Sammut, starring chef, Auberge La Fenière
Jérôme Schatzman, Executive Director of the Essec Chair in Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
Alain Schnapper, President of Responsible Governance
Catherine Touvrey, General Manager Harmonie Mutuelle

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