An alternative change strategy

(Making this Dream come true – 4/5)

Yesterday, I explained that the strategy for the Covid-19 crisis, with the vaccine mandate, the reactive approach and the protective mindset, is wrong. We are receiving signals of weariness and even mistrust everywhere.

For instance, these signs take the form of more pronounced distrust of politics and authority, active disobedience to the most basic health rules, and even of suspected multiplication of fake passes. In fact, we have understood from recent events, that some citizens are ready to lose their lives defending their core values, as if they are currently at stake.

A perception of arbitrary pressure and criticism over an alleged lack of transparency lead to this situation.

Let’s not underestimate the big change needed and call Europe to better accompany it. In fact, the massive transformation we want on our lifestyles, can no longer be imposed at the risk of receiving more wake up calls. We have to start deploying an alternative change strategy, that will not feel like hiding any agenda.

Above all, in order to prevent people from reacting strongly to any new rule, it is necessary to stimulate the proliferation of conversations and bottom-up initiatives. They will instill feelings of co-responsibility and co-leadership, while dramatically increasing trust.

1/ Sharing knowledge, experience, connections, wisdom

If the intention is to turn collaborative, then there is a mandate on the government institutions to share both the wisdom, knowledge and connections coming from their unique panoramic position.

There is no better time to open communications, to provide opportunities for better listening and to enable the community approach. Let’s make a stronger case for collaboration.

“He was wisest when he admitted his own ignorance.” (Socrates)

The following initiatives will be key to empower citizens:

  • A priority will be to invest into an ambitious knowledge management platform, accessible to all so that it can be enriched by anyone. The ultimate goal will be to equip any citizen who would like to take action. Emmanuelle Duez made a clear call in that sense.
  • Another necessary investment will be to encourage sensemaking, with a view to provide filters, simplify, clarify and build bridges. A somehow elitist administrative language needs to vanish totally. A next step could be to simplify the EU labyrinth, definitely more complicated than needed. Transparency will be key.

2/ Commoning on the most important transitions

Once equipped with the right tools, we will engage citizens on a massive commoning exercise. It can also be done in parallel.

A key lesson is that when we comportmentalise issues, we make it even more complicated to align afterwards. So, today, with our siloed approaches, instead of solving our most complex issues, we continue to amplify them. The why is pretty clear for a commoning approach:

  • In a previous Together-Ensemble session on the issue of plastics, we showed that any action implemented will increase chaos. Unless there is collaboration at every step of the policymaking process, the situation will not improve. On the contrary.
  • In another session on Planetary Emergency, we confronted the views of Western civilisations with Eastern civilisations. We found that without proper listening, none of the measures to accompany climate change will be seriously followed globally. The interests are too divergent on certain subjects.

So, unless we finally commit to change everything, we will not improve the situation and will continue to suffer from the unfolding of crises. The objective is to prioritise, simplify and group the key issues together at global level, and to catalyze through openness and collaborative energy, an ecosystem approach to facilitate the necessary transitions.

I provide below a list of these transitions, in the form of commons, as a result of our collaboration with Laurent Bontoux, European Commission. They are of course aligned to the SDGs.

  • Digital
  • Education
  • Health
  • Market
  • Corporate
  • Growth
  • Investment & Finance
  • Social
  • Culture
  • Communities
  • Justice
  • Democracy
  • Mobility
  • Covid-19 crisis

The purpose for each will be to create true movements and a partnership culture. By recognising the high dependence of our system, we will embrace emergent complexity to take care of our fragility.

For example, we would work on the resilience of the health sector, by proposing measures to distribute the burden on any of the health actors, when a crisis hits them. We must not leave it to the citizens alone to pay for the hospitals situation for instance. 
This would mean that pharmaceutical industries, which are making billions thanks to the health crisis would help save hospitals and increase the salaries of essential workers. We could find a way for a win-win model. But in any case, the notion of co-responsibility needs to be introduced. It turned out to be a successful approach with the financial crisis. A good case of global collaboration.

And to make sure independence remains, we could envisage to work on the role of the World Health Organisation, inspired by the way we successfully addressed the finance crisis in 2008, with the model of the central banks for example. It would also help to avoid situations in which we give too much power to one actor in particular.

In December 2021, we have started a new series called “Together-Ensemble: Towards Global Collaboration” with a view to prepare for this commoning exercise. I will share in the coming weeks the main recommendations coming from our sessions.

Photo by Janko Ferlic on

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