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

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After two years of a pandemic, the return of war to Europe will destabilize the security of the continent and the world. He is attacking 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 threats to the very way our planet is populated.

These issues require deep analysis, from the governance of our democracies to the organization of public authorities, but above all, our economic model and the way our companies operate. Wealth creation is taking place today with unsustainable social and environmental consequences.

Great transformations await us. So far, this is taking the form of a “great resignation.” More and more employees and young graduates refuse to participate in the end of the world to secure the end of the month. They offer promising solutions outside the traditional business world, in associations, social enterprises or collectives. The urgency is too strong to be satisfied with watching this slow pollination. Decisive public action must intensify the transformation. It’s time for an ambitious impact policy.

Create “impact on the nation”

We don’t start from scratch. The French economy has always strived to be both competitive and profitable. In recent years, emphasis has been placed on competitiveness with the aim of transforming France into a “start-up country” by building on and energizing the country’s innovation potential. The success of French Tech and the multiplication of “unicorns” [start-up valorisées à plus de 1 milliard de dollars] are the result of these efforts.

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“Startups have gone from doves to unicorns”

But competitiveness alone is not enough to create a strong, unified, inclusive society that can mobilize to protect its values. Our goal should be to create an “impact nation”, a great environmental nation, by directing our innovations towards social and environmental impact.

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

Christophe Itier: The “socio-environmental” entrepreneurial revolution is in full swing

Our future is sustainable only if the entire production system takes care of humanity and the environment and takes care of a more equitable sharing of power and value.

three axes

This policy should be based on three axes:

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1/ Gathering Forces – We continue to oppose too often those who defend the SSE counter-model and those who change companies from the inside, but do not belong, strictly speaking, to the SSE. The current transition requires a convergence of approaches. It cannot accommodate either the categorical protection of the sector, or the apparently obvious risks of “green laundering” or “social laundering” that would distort the ambitions of the pioneers. Let’s join forces in the National Engagement Council with representatives from SSE, mission driven companies, impact finance and CSR.

When employees insist that their box be greener

2/Clarify – The living forces of our country need a simple and understandable basis for the invention of new economic models. The “missionary society” management model can be further strengthened and become the basis of dedicated organizations. Some go even further, accepting limited profits and co-management by choosing SSE status.

They deserve recognition, support and 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 charters, different levels of commitment, but participating in the emergence of the impact economy.

3/Support. This impact economy has nothing to do with a narrow “niche”. On the contrary, it is attractive, able to develop, including beyond our borders. It needs to be supported, as well as the “technological” ecosystem over the past five years. Highlighting the champions of this “strike nation”; explaining this concept in schools, professional networks; turning the impact into a tool for the restoration of our territories; questioning the functioning and management of the care, dependency and education sectors.

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Emmanuel Faber, former Danone CEO who wants to put capitalism on a new track

By developing impact funding and why not an impact bank, a national initiative like Bpifrance. By bringing together 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 other major goals of the nation: food and energy sovereignty, ecological transition, social and territorial cohesion, priority of health and education, equal opportunities. This is in line with our European obligations, because France can bring this model to the continental level.

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If we lack certain energies in the coming years, thousands of our fellow citizens who want to act will have a lot of energy. Let’s help it emerge with an ambitious policy!


Philippe Zaouati, Managing Director of Mirova
Guillaume Desnoes, co-founder of Alenvi
Karim Amellal, founder of the Pluriel movement
Nicolas Bourgeois, Deputy Director of Identité RH, Founder of Néos think tank
Laura Collin, Pluriel Movement Associate for Impact Finance
David Jaise, senior civil servant and essayist
Genevieve Feron-Creuse, co-founder of Prophil
Stephanie Goujon, French Impact General Manager
Lawrence 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 the Social Economy and Solidarity Economy
Emery Jacquilat, CEO of Camif
Elizabeth Laville, founder of Utopias
Lawrence Meenieri, President of Citizen Capital
Jean Moreau, co-chair of Impact France
Eva Sadun, Co-Chair of Impact France
Nadia Sammut, Chef at Auberge La Fenière
Jérôme Schatzmann, Executive Director, Essec Department of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
Alain Schnapper, President of Responsible Governance
Catherine Touvry, CEO of Harmonie Mutuelle

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