Tools for tomorrow’s public policies

About sixty representatives, researchers, sociologists and creatives met up at La Boate, in Marseille, to invent tools for tomorrow’s public policies, and imagine the future of the 26 french regions. Orchestrated by the 27th region, this event intended to precede the annual «Congrès des Régions» with a creative push.
This backcasting exercice started with a TV news bulletin from 2028, announcing, amongst other things, the visit of elected members from le Grand Paris to le Plateau des 1000 Vaches (region Limousin), to study new forms of rural social innovation. We also celebrate the 10th birthday of the first ‘multimodal food pole’: the time when local food growing associations were marginals is definitely over.
Those stories tackle different social and economic issues in which the regions have a crucial role to play: education, citizenship, governancy, participation… but also energy, food, transport, infrastructure, technologies. How did that happen? From this vision of a desirable future, the game for the participants was to propose three innovations to make it possible, in a perspective of 5, 10 or 20 years.

After several hours of intense debate, meters of paper covered with post-its and photo-montages, about thirty ideas were presented, including… a Tour de France for the elected representatives, going in «residence» in other territories. A «trans-regional» passeport, reshaping citizenship and public involvement on a local (trans-regional) scale. A welcome kit for new habitants in rural areas…

The day was also the occasion to make a half way bilan of Territoire en résidence: a program of local experimentations, which the 27th region started in november 2008. So far, 7 residences have been realised, asking a pluri-disciplinary team (designers, ethnographers, architects, local stakehloders…) to work for 3 weeks in a place or an institution that represent a specific challenge for the region, and to propose several leads of action. The residences are constantly documented on a blog. And there is also video on You Tube about the event.