Speaker Philippe VASSEUR
Philippe VASSEUR is the former French Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. He was Chairman of Réseau Alliances for many years and initiated the World Forum for a Responsible Economy in 2007. He is now Chairman of rev3, a movement promoting a third industrial revolution in the Hauts-de-France region.
Before being Chairman of Réseau Alliances, Philippe VASSEUR was First High Commissioner for the reindustrialisation of the Hauts-de-France region, Director of the economic editorial staff of the French newspaper Le Figaro, Editor-in-Chief of the French economic daily newspaper Les Échos and in charge of economic and social information on TF1, the leading French television channel.
Since 2018, Philippe VASSEUR has been President of rev3, which aims to make the Hauts-de-France one of the most advanced European regions in terms of energy transition and digital technologies.
World Forum 2018 : The Challenge of the Regions and Cities
The World Forum for a Responsible Economy opens for the twelfth time. Over the past eleven years, regional issues have always been mentioned in the context of the major economic , ethical, social and environmental themes selected for each edition. However, until now, the regions had not been the core theme of our forum. This has now changed and this is the right time for such a change.
Certainly that the technological revolutions and the new communication tools specifically have led to globalisation which sometimes made the planet believe that it could be a village. However, the planet has not become uniform and the new tools have provided access to universality while strenghthening local attachments.
"The world is fragmenting," notes Danone CEO, Emmanuel Faber, who predicts that "the consumer will increasingly think locally." Much of our future lies on the local, in the valuing of local resources—all resources, both material and human—but also on collaborative practices that can develop in spaces where new economic models, new social organisations and new ways of living together are being invented.
This evolution may be a source of risks and hopes as well. It could lead to new regional divisions with devastating consequences. This evolution could enable development of connected ecosystems with due respect for local communities and in the best interests of the planet. Everything is possible, as long as we are working towards a responsible economy where we are, where we can... where we want to be. This is the challenge of the region and cities.
World Forum 2017 : Responsible Revolution
We are right in the middle of the Revolution. It’s an established fact: everything changes, everything goes by quite quickly. And it’s not over. The strongest upheaval is yet to come.
The technological, economic, social, environmental, and geostrategic changes we face are dizzying... We are no longer in one of those transitional periods that have marked the history of Humanity. We are living in a Revolution as our world has only known a few over the centuries, but never accelerating with such intensity.
This Revolution brings with it major risks which can lead to extreme risks. But it could, on the contrary, open itself to beneficial opportunities bringing new solutions to the great problems of our time.
The debate on artificial intelligence illustrates in an exemplary way this antagonism between fears and hopes. For some, the very existence of the human species is threatened. For others, it is an era of reduced labor constraints and abundance that is within our reach.
So, is the Revolution for better or worse? The answer—uncertain—depends on the degree of responsibility we can exercise, collectively and individually.
The stakes are crucial, the challenges are many. Like the hummingbird of the parable who fights the fire by watering it drop by drop with its little beak, everyone can "do his part". It may not be enough, but it is certainly necessary. And it is, no doubt, a revolutionary responsibility.
Chairman, World Forum for a Responsible Economy
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