On the third and final day of the World Forum, we had the opportunity to attend the conference on Amplification for Positive Impact.
Moderated by Audrey SAGET and Yaël GUILLON, both co-founders of ImFusio, this round table was punctuated by four committed testimonies on the transformation of business models. The guests were each able to present their innovative visions of entrepreneurship in the current context of the ecological crisis. The objective of this keynote was to provide insights to improve the understanding of the issues at stake in the transformation of the world.
This presentation started with a speech by Yaël GUILLON. He insisted on the peril that capitalism was putting the planet in. Indeed, capitalism has certainly allowed humanity to prosper, but has also had harmful consequences on the climate. Because it has the capacity to regenerate incredibly quickly, there is still hope for future generations according to Mr. Guillon. Amplification is a self-sustaining and self-transcending process. Relying on the strengths of capitalism, amplification aims at reaching a new threshold of collective consciousness. It is an exponential dynamic with a positive impact that plays a role in environment, society and economy.
This process aims to "generate tipping points" to access another level of consciousness that will allow the development of new business processes. This positive impact transformation logic has three stages. First, there is a mindset shift. "This is a first step and at the same time a real breakthrough. We change the nature of the company itself, its philosophy and its ambition. Then comes a cultural shift that produces a contributing company. The place of profit is then modified. It is no longer perceived as the goal of the company but as a consequence of entrepreneurial activities. Finally, this transformation ends with the amplifying corporation, which seeks to resonate in an inter-systemic logic, by modifying its production activity. Although there are no companies that have reached this third stage of development to date, Yaël Guillon insisted on the importance of measurement indicators for companies to pursue their ecological transitions.
"A company thrives because it is useful, not the other way around.”
Aurélie LAPIDUS, Regional Director for Haut-de-France at Veolia, opened her speech by explaining the "plural performance" concept. This consists of integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into the center of its business model to begin an ecological transition.
Plural performance is a great ambition, a powerful vector of coherence and alignment of business practices with the products and services offered to customers. Ms. Lapidus insists: "It is necessary to have inspiring and inspired leaders. This is the case for Veolia's CEO, as he extends his convictions to the heart of his company. He was a guest at the World Forum for a Responsible Economy five years ago. On that occasion, he gave a lecture at the World Forum in which he argued that "a company is successful because it is useful, not the other way around". This paradigm shift is indeed the way forward for business and capitalism.
Anthropological issues at the center of the debate.
The conference continued with the intervention of Claude FROMAGEAOT, sustainable development director of the Rocher group. He began by underlining the need to profoundly reinvent the way we do business. As a company, he says that we must "completely overhaul the way we do things". He insists on the central problem facing the business world today: lack of time. This problem does not allow companies to plan far into the future. He says that the Rocher group has succeeded in projecting itself by virtue of its family aspect, which allows for innovative modes of governance while inspiring confidence.
To transform the production plants, it is necessary to radically transform our worldviews, which requires raising the awareness of our employees. In this urgent context, it is necessary to face the anthropological questions of man. In fact, in order to find solutions, it is necessary to collaborate between humans and not between managers, because this allows us to raise the problems of capitalism from different angles. It is therefore fundamental for a company to have an external committee that will allow it to align itself with the desires of the people and to face the different challenges.
Change in consumption habits: Return to national markets
As for Christelle MERTER, founder of the Gentle Factory, she claims that "since 2014, the Gentle Factory is much more than just a fashion brand. We've defined ourselves as a true platform company." Merter emphasizes that Gentle Factory members are "connectors" and "bonders". It's a close-knit company with shared values.
In the context of today's urgency, this brand needs to be economically viable, something increasingly dependent on consumer expectations on ecological issues. Fortunately for the Gentle Factory, it is easier for a new company to innovate its business model and adapt to the changing context.
The Gentle Factory seeks to extend the life of its products: vases made of recycled cotton have been produced. The goal is to find alternatives of life to the initial product. This brand focuses on the French market. Indeed, their ecological commitments would lose meaning if they exported internationally. As Audrey Saget rightly pointed out, it would be much more interesting to expand their know-how abroad, to facilitate the development of similar companies.
" Living vacations with a smile on your face without preventing future generations from doing the same ".
Nicolas Beaurain is the last to testify. He is the general manager of the Maeva group, a service platform dedicated to the rental of vacation spots. They are thinking about initiatives to secure the "smiles of future generations". The Maeva group created eco-engaged vacation concepts. This shift began in 2014. It' s been 7 years that smiles are at the root of the extra-financial performance measures of this company. In recent years there has been an acceleration of their eco-responsible measures. Indeed, people now want to go on vacation in authentic places. Their expectations have been transformed by the climate emergency, requiring a reorganization of the services offered.
The Keynote ends with optimism. The World Forum for a Responsible Economy is an opportunity to see the transformation of business practices. Taking an accelerated speed, it was possible to see that everyone is on the same wavelength and that consumer pressure is accentuating these multiple transitions that have already begun in many companies.