thinking about the future, one innovation at a time

A blazing Saturday in June, over 35 degrees in the shade under the Parisian sun, and the crowds of visitors flock to Porte de Versailles. You can finally breathe in the huge air-conditioned hall: it’s a chance to walk between the stands, discover Boston Dynamics (or Black Mirror)-style robot dogs, try on an exoskeleton or play the game of the metaverse, virtual reality. playing headphones on the head. For its big return to face-to-face after two years of the pandemic, VivaTech has seen things big. In total, the event welcomed 91,000 in-person visitors, 300,000 online visits and more than 3 billion views across the various social networks.

Among the headliners of this 2022 edition, big names in tech: Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum and Changpeng Zhao, founder of Binance; Thierry Breton of the European Commission, Bernard Arnault of LVMH, athlete Tony Estanguet and even Emmanuel Macron. For four days, the conferences were linked to ten themes, from Web3 to e-health, from inclusion and diversity to ecological and spatial issues. The chance to glimpse what the future holds for us, between ultra-connected dystopia and hopeful innovations.

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Our lives and our relationship with work disrupted by the Covid

After two years of Covid-19, many would say we have entered the world” according to “: Many companies have gone through a digitization – sometimes on a forced march, telemedicine has normalized, telework has become almost mandatory. A paradigm shift that is also forcing companies to be more attractive, especially in a more flexible working relationship or taking charge of mental health. Emilie Sidiqian, of the software publisher Salesforce, explained that it was necessary” focus on local teams to make their own decisions about the organization of work. Same observation for Caroline Leroy, of payroll management company PayFit, who, at a labor revolution conference, pushed for one of the hybrid systems introduced by the company, where employees can work from anywhere: We put our employees first, we empower them, but most of all we trust them

Guillaume Vives, Chief Operating Officer at Klaxoon, a video conferencing software publisher, said: “ It doesn’t matter how people plan their day, as long as Friday night is done! Managers should focus on that. If we force people, they don’t want to work “. The issue of stress and well-being is part of this revolution in the work environment, especially after two years of sometimes forced telecommuting.” Resources should be given to managers so that they are as close as possible to the needs of their teams: financial support for parents, better organization when working from home… says Emilie Sidiqian. For Caroline Leroy, it’s about ” nurturing relationships between managers and employees, strengthening relationships. † There is no miracle solution, but we can make management more qualitative and measure our progress ‘ she assures.

An evolution of the relationship to work that resonates with the more global digitization of our relationship with the world, especially in the medical world. E-health is evolving and video consultations are just the tip of the iceberg. Diagnosis of diseases before they occur, surgery with robotic arms, personalized medication… Antoine Tesniere, professor of medicine and former vice president of the University of Paris, presented VivaTech PariSanté Campus, of which he is the director. An institution that aims to continue health research and innovation in the digital age. † One of the lessons from Covid is the rapid acceleration of e-health solutions. This is the first pandemic we can track in real time “He explained. Aid and the creation of national institutions in this field, he believes, are life-saving, but will also make it possible to overcome the obstacles to the global implementation of e-health, such as the security of personal data or access to tools suitable for most people.” A look into the past shows that, for example, people were afraid of electricity when it first appeared. It has been a must ever since. We must be active in transformation he concluded.

A tech that makes its state of consciousness

Problem for the French (and international) tech sector: team photos follow each other and look alike. The innovation sector still struggles to diversify and incorporate other profiles. † Especially since diversity has always existed in tech, especially in the 50’s/60’s! recalls Clarisse Magnin-Mallez, CEO of McKinsey. And many tech environments have become homogeneous over time, characterized by racist or sexist bias. For Nathan Cavaglione at Fairgen, it’s about correcting companies’ algorithmic biases and promoting diversity and inclusion in recruiting,” because our data is always imperfect

Getting into tech is good, staying there is better. † If we know that 52% of women in tech leave this sector before the age of 35, there is a problem advance Clarisse Magnin-Mallez. Especially since, as Kat Vellos, of We Should Get Together, an organization focused on strengthening the bonds between people, explains: “ having a work environment with diversity does not mean that everyone belongs “. She recommends training teams to eliminate discrimination and micro-aggressions in the office, to create psychological safety for all employees.” It’s more beneficial to retain employees and make them feel like they belong concludes Kat Vellos.

For example, on the main stage, VivaTech hosted a party that brought together 3,000 high and high school students, as well as young college graduates, women in tech, entrepreneurs and professionals seeking retraining. Organized by the collective Women & Girls in Tech (with BNP Paribas, Simplon, Digital Ladies & Allies and BECOMTECH), the event provided an opportunity to celebrate those who are still under-seen in the technical and scientific professions. † The aim was to celebrate the diversity of backgrounds and profiles, deconstruct stereotypes and encourage women to ” take their place at technology.

The Web3 Revolution

Another central theme of this 2022 edition of VivaTech, the issue of Web3, that is, the future of the Internet, between blockchain, cryptocurrencies and metaverse. A decentralization that will go through increasingly advanced technologies. For Gwendolyn Regina of BNB Chain, “ we create a lot of data, but we don’t own it Blockchain technology would enable a new way to manage our personal data, with greater security and transparency. Especially since some countries have already adapted it, such as Estonia. Lauri Haav, from e-Residency, the body that manages Europe’s largest digital nation, explains that all technology requires trust from society.” But Web3 will change how we own and how we act he warns. For Gwendolyn Regina, “ Web3 is a hashtag, but it represents a huge step in decentralization and a new relationship with ownership

Especially since the blockchain and other cryptos extend to all areas, and especially that of the arts, with NFTs, these virtual works are for sale in cryptocurrencies. † The exciting thing about Web3 is the endless possibilities for artists, and that art reaches even more people says Nathan Clements-Gillepsie of Frieze, an institution in the contemporary art world. Now artists and galleries are hand in hand designing NFTs, such as London’s Pace Gallery, which works with Jeff Koons to create NFTs of moon sculptures that the artist wants to physically send into space. † Artists use these tools and our job is to highlight what they do says Ariel Hudes of the Pace Gallery. New technological tools can even release » the artists with certain artistic limitations.

Save the planet… and live on the moon

If many of the conferences of the 2022 VivaTech edition revolved around the future of technological innovations, is it still necessary to live on this planet… Or in nearby planets? While in September 2021, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space tourism company, sent its first clients into space, can we hope that in a few decades we’ll be living on Mars or on the moon? For Daniel Neuenschwander, of the European Space Agency, ” in space nothing is anecdotal While companies like SEARch+ designate habitats for living in space, and founder Michael Morris claims that we can live on the moon in 25 to 50 years, former astronaut Jean-François Clervoy claims that the presence of private companies in the space sector cuts budgets for space missions and raises questions about the reasons for wanting to go into space…if not for tourism.

Barbara Belvisi, of Interstellar Lab, explains how advanced technologies for life on the moon can also bring back technologies for more sustainable agriculture. † Technology for me is a tool to achieve a goal, including reconnecting with the living “, she adds. Because on this sweltering Saturday in June, when sandstorms shake Normandy and suffocate major cities below 35 degrees, the IPCC’s words are not far off: the heat wave reminds us that there is an emergency says Hervé Poirier, editor-in-chief of the scientific media Epsiloon. Because between technology at all costs and sustainable development, which way should you go? † The question of technology is important. According to the IPCC, we must both innovate and advocate austerity. So, what use are innovations to us? In my opinion, changing the economic paradigm to have a sustainable lifestyle explains Arthur Auboeuf of Time for The Planet, sort of Climate Tinder », which links impactful innovations to seasoned entrepreneurs. Finally, words of wisdom come from Erik Orsenna, author and economist: My moral is to behave humbly on earth. I am very happy to be here because we see the solutions. How beautiful is our planet! Otherwise we wouldn’t try to save her A formula to ponder as the room empties and VivaTech 2022 closes its doors… see you next year.

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