society, trust & freedom

En ce temps où une grande incertitude sanitaire vient s’ajouter à une société déjà fragilisée, chacun s’accorde à reconnaître qu’il faut « recréer du lien social ». Plus que jamais, la valeur de confiance chère à notre réseau, est indispensable. C’est dans ce contexte que nous avons voulu créer la lettre SOCLE. En interrogeant des experts venant de tous les horizons, nous souhaitons mener une réflexion de fond sur le rôle de la confiance, en tant que socle de nos sociétés humaines.

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- interview N°19

Nicolas Truelle: “If trust can exist a priori, then trust that is built step by step, and as a result of a decision, is much stronger”

Nicolas Truelle, a graduate of Polytechnique and MINES ParisTech, first dedicated his career to senior government administration and then to corporate management, before devoting his professional responsibilities even more to his humanitarian convictions. So it was, in July 2015, he became General Manager of Apprentis d’Auteuil. This renowned foundation, which is recognised as being of great public service, has 150 years of experience in supporting young people who have been dealt a bad hand in life. With compassion as well as pragmatism, Nicolas Truelle talks about slowly rebuilding confidence in children with a past already heavy with scars and tells us of the path followed by Apprentis d’Auteuil in its ever-continuing support efforts and discusses the current needs of young people.

- interview N°18

Michel Foucher: “From tropical forests to diplomatic salons, trust is one and multi-faceted”

Associate professor of geography, PhD in arts and human sciences, Michel Foucher is a recognised geopolitician and a specialist on the subject of frontiers. As a young man, he traveled to the most remote regions of the planet. Over the years, Michel Foucher has become an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hubert Védrine, director of the Centre for Analysis and Forecasting at the Quai d’Orsay, French ambassador to Latvia... A fine synthesis of a man who combines experience in the field with knowledge of the mysteries of diplomacy! One of the keys to his success lies in the importance he places on trust between people: “Trust is earned by listening, by the value of questioning and by cross-checking the information obtained.”

- interview N°17

Christian Harbulot: “Under no circumstances should we confuse trust with dependency!”

The recent cancellation of the submarine contract sold by Naval Group to Australia clearly shows that we sometimes delude ourselves, talking about trust when we are in fact dependent. Christian Harbulot, Founder and director of the School of Economic Warfare, highlights the weaknesses of France revealed by this incident. He highlights our intellectual laziness which prevents us from seeing the geopolitical and geo-economic reality of a contemporary globalised world, where all the tricks are allowed, since in reality, only the balance of power counts in the end. Christian Harbulot invites us to put an end to naivety, to redefine a worthwhile strategic vision, and to engage in a collective fight based on a newly trust.

- interview N°16

Patrice Franceschi : « Confidence is generated by an act. Thus instituted, it has this formidable capacity to generate a new action even more powerful than the previous one. »

Depuis les années 1970, Patrice Franceschi a pris la mer autant que les armes ou la plume pour explorer, défendre, rendre compte du vaste monde auquel il s’est confronté. Écrivain-aventurier, tel est son talent et la richesse qu’il transmet à ceux qu’il embarque sur son trois-mâts La Boudeuse. Engagé en Afghanistan contre l’URSS, soutien actif des Kurdes de Syrie contre Daech, Patrice Franceschi a organisé nombre d’explorations scientifiques et de missions humanitaires, et présidé la Société des explorateurs français ainsi que l’ONG Solidarités International. Toutes ces expériences de terrain, sans cesse assimilées et pensées à travers l’exercice de l’écriture, ont nourri une philosophie réaliste et une bibliographie abondante. Côtoyer l’humain en des situations si variées, et souvent si risquées, a ciselé en lui une fine connaissance de la confiance qu’il partage avec nous dans ce numéro de Socle.

- interview N°15

Erwann Rozier: “Trust within a company should be thought of as an asset, that needs to be built brick by brick, with patience and humility”

Co-founder of Fly The Nest, a consulting firm that advises companies at every stage of their development, and co-author of Fly, the practical guide to a successful collective adventure, Erwann Rozier likes to share his experience of entrepreneurship and his implementation of collective intelligence. The expression of each company’s own vision, the illustration of its values and culture, the identification of its leadership, and knowledge management are the underlying themes of the entrepreneurial adventure. They weave the essential fabric of the adventure, building the confidence of each participant in the adventure and reinforcing their commitment. Erwann Rozier examines these essential elements and analyzes the importance of trust in a collective dynamic.

- interview N°14

Yannick Bestaven: “Winning a Vendée Globe race requires not only confidence in yourself, but also a great deal of trust in your team”

Winner of the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe race and an experienced sailor in transoceanic competition, Yannick Bestaven invites us on board to follow the journey of confidence in the very specific domain of ocean racing. There are plenty of topics to cover on Socle’s favourite theme, whether it is about managing selfconfidence in extreme natural conditions experienced alone, confidence at the heart of the race preparation team, or solidarity between sailors. Yannick Bestaven agreed to talk with us about this, without forgetting to mention his passion for technological innovation as well as the entrepreneurial experience it entails.

- interview N°13

Gérard Chaliand: “Faced with the formidable dynamism of the new powers that are emerging, it is urgent to give ourselves the means to regain confidence in ourselves”

Renowned strategist and geopolitician Gérard Chaliand invites us to reflect on the role that confidence plays in societies at war. Born in 1934, he spent time with countless liberation movements and guerrilla groups for half a century. Coming from the anti-colonialist extreme left, he was welcomed as a “comrade” within these organisations, whose inner workings he dissected. Having questioned these revolutionary utopias very early on, he now takes an uncompromising look at the changing world, which is seeing the rise of Asia and the retreat of the West. At the same time he pleads for us to rediscover the courage and lucidity, that confidence which is the cement of our societies.

- interview N°12

Jean-David Chamboredon: “In the world of capital investment, promises kept help increase confidence tenfold”

Jean-David Chamboredon, a venture capitalist, has set himself the mission of backing young entrepreneurs by financially supporting their projects and developing the French start-up ecosystem. A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, he began his career in consulting (13 years at Capgemini) and founded the Capgemini Telemedia Lab in Silicon Valley in 1997. He then joined the world of capital investment, both French and AngloSaxon. In 2009, he co-founded ISAI, a fund specialised in the “tech” sector… which includes GensDeConfiance in its management portfolio! For Socle, he agreed to return to the roots of trust between entrepreneurs and investors, as well as to the new aspects of trust developed thanks to the growth of the web.

- interview N°11

Nathalie Gerrier: “Thanks to trust, disability and professionalism can go hand in hand!”

When you ask Nathalie Gerrier why she has chosen to trust people with disabilities, she invariably replies with a disarming answer: “And why not?”. An answer which, to say the least, was not obvious when, with her husband, Christophe, she launched Handirect in 1996, the first national network of administrative services to companies with 80% of its workforce made up of disabled employees! A success that she has chosen to extend by taking the helm of the “Grandir à l’École et en Société” association, created in 2000 to promote the integration of young disabled people, and by opening a restaurant in 2018 that ensures that 75% of the positions are filled by disabled people. This is the story of trust that she has agreed to tell us.

- interview N°10

Jean-Claude Gallet: “Confidence in the future can only be built through action”

Going down in history for leading the charge with his men to save Notre-Dame, General Jean-Claude Gallet has just co-authored, with journalist Romain Gubert, Éloge du courage (Grasset) (“In Praise of Courage”) which, in these uncertain times, is without a doubt the most invigorating way to start the year… with confidence! For GDC, the man who commanded the Paris Fire Brigade until December 2019 has agreed to look back on the lessons learned from his operational experience. Confronted with the most varied crisis situations, in France and abroad, this admirer of Homer has formed the conviction that in the face of adversity, withdrawal into oneself is the worst solution, and that the sense of community is the best antidote to doubt.

- interview N°9

Erik L’Homme: “Imagination and wonder are the foundations of trust”

A seasoned traveler, mountaineer, dreamer, and man of action, Erik L’Homme is best known for his writings for young people, which have earned him international recognition, and have seen his books translated into 26 languages. Through his literature and his life as an adventurer, he passes on his magicalgift enabling those around him to perceive our world in all its marvels. As Christmas and the end of the year celebrations approach, it is comforting to introduce a pinch of this dreamlike dimension into our thoughts. As a member of Gens de Confiance, Erik L’Homme invites us to find our bearings again. He draws upon the wisdom of the Hindu Kush tribes amongst whom he lived, and reminds us that solidarity and trust are the invisible threads that bind society together.

- interview N°8

Michaël Peyromaure: “The contract of trust between the French and the hospital is threatened by bureaucracy and individualism”

Professor Michaël Peyromaure a renowned surgeon, heads the department of urology at Cochin hospital, succeeding Bernard Debré a few years ago. The latter had agreed, just before his death last September, to give an interview with Socle on the key issue of trust in the medical field. This is a topic which Michaël Peyromaure brilliantly deals with without compromise in the book that he has just signed with the Albin Michel publishing house: Hôpital, ce qu’on ne vous a jamais dit… (which would translate as “Hospitals, everything you’ve never been told…”). Though, according to him, medicine holds up better than other sectors to the detrimental impact of mistrust, it is nonetheless threatened by certain abuses, the dangers of which he points out. To which he proposes solutions based on his wisdom and experience.

- interview N°7

Claude Revel: “Trust is a major knowledge management tool”

Former interdepartmental delegate for Economic Intelligence to the Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015, a graduate of l’École Nationale d’Administration, Claude Revel has shared her career between service to the state and to private enterprise, particularly in the building and public works sector. A French pioneer of international professional influence and a specialist in standards-related issues,she now chairs the EIG (Economic Interest Group) “France Sport Expertise” and advises the general management of SKEMA Business School. Author of several reference books and numerous articles on the subject of economic warfare, she has never ceased to reflect on the logic of trust in business and in the professional world in general. Claude Revel is a member of Gens de Confiance.

- interview N°6

Philippe Bilger: “Trust in justice depends on the responsibility of the magistrates”

“To trust in the justice of one’s country”. Does this formula still make sense in the era of the media courtsthat praise you or charge you? This is nothing new as La Fontaine was already denouncing this in 17th century.The question is all the more legitimate because if there is one institution that, more than any other, shouldnot suffer from mistrust, it is the judicial institution. And especially criminal justice, which guarantees ourfreedoms and punishes attacks on people and property. To answer this question, no one was better suited thanthe famous general counsel Philippe Bilger. For this magistrate, who has presided in the most high-profiletrials of the last twenty years, is first and foremost a man of culture – with nuances – who never ceases toreflect on ways to reconcile citizens with those who – let us never forget – render justice in their name.

- interview N°5

Hedwige Chevrillon: “Trust in the media requires verification of sources”

Hedwige Chevrillon is not only a star presenter on BFM TV, host of L’Heure H, Monday to Thursday, from12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on BFM Business, she is also a leading journalist. Having studied at HEC, she is familiar withthe economic world and its main players and, beyond the crisis of confidence in the media, she reflectson the crisis of confidence in society as a whole. As such the fact that she granted an interview to Socleis highly relevant at a time when the boundaries between information and opinion, journalism andcommunication, legitimate debate and hostile discourse are too often confused. Irreplaceablechannels of critical freedom, social networks, she argues, will never be the equal of the press for two keyreasons: the anonymity that too often reigns there and, therefore, the non-transparency of their sources.

- interview N°4

Frédéric Mazzella: “Trust is the driving force of the digital economy”

How can you trust someone you’ve never met? This is the challenge, unattainable without the enormousresources of the digital economy, Frédéric Mazzella and the BlaBlaCar team, the world leader in the field ofcarpooling, face every day.

Thanks to the system they have created, but also thanks to a vision that is very much in line with that ofGens de Confiance: trust does not just fall from the sky, but is the consequence of very specific actions.Exclusively for Socle, Frédéric Mazzella looks back on his experience and on the success of BlaBlaCar,which is used today by more than 90 million people worldwide. A solution that helps to save 1.6 milliontonnes of CO2 each year.The equivalent of the emissions from Parisian transport!

- interview N°3

General Vincent Desportes: “Men are only connected by trust.”

After having given the floor to a political scientist (Jérôme Fourquet) and a sociologist (Michel Maffesoli),this month Socle, our newsletter features a military man who combines solid experience as a teacherwith his long practice of command which includes on an international level (military attaché at the FrenchEmbassy in Washington from 2000 to 2003).

A former director of the École de Guerre, General Desportes has been involved in strategic thinking, high-level teaching (Sciences Po Paris, HEC) and business consulting for several years.

Behind this commitment lies a conviction that has been tried and tested: the army, whose unity is achieved firstand foremost through trust, has much to teach civil society in these times of widespread mistrust

- interview N°2

Michel Maffesoli: I am confident that confidence will return

An emeritus professor of sociology at the Sorbonne, internationally renowned explorer of the imagination, Michel Maffesoli has devoted more than half a century of his work to the interaction between ideas and changes in societies.

Ignoring this subtle interplay means, according to him, failing to understand the real changes – political, economic, cultural, social… – at work in our daily lives, where the rational is being replaced by the emotional. In truth, it is this imagination that subtly sculpts our reality. So individualism is being defeated by the return of tribes, based on common passions, whose return to our post-modernity was first announced by Michel Maffesoli. These tribes, which flourish in the digital age – and even more so in the age of confinement! – operate on a key factor: trust.

- interview N°1

Jérôme Fourquet: the health crisis brings to the forefront the values of solidarity and sharing

Will French society emerge changed from the Coronavirus ordeal? What can we already learn from the sequence of events started on the 16th of March by the decision to enforce on the French the strict confinement rules already applied in China and subsequently in Italy?

As a seasoned analyst, the director of studies at the IFOP (Institut français d’opinion publique), Jérôme Fourquet, is not a pollster like the others. He is also a geographer with a passion for the history of mentalities, which makes him one of the most qualified people to discuss the subject.

In the wake of his latest book, L’archipel français, naissance d’une nation multiple et divisée (Seuil, 2019), which in just a few months has taken its place at the heart of the debate on ideas, he assesses for us the impact of the crisis we are going through on the value of trust.