The “+1, the ecology turned into actions” consultation mechanism between 50 Veolia stakeholders on the ecological transformation is continuing. After session # 1 Listening (September 14), Veolia brought together the “+1 collective” on 12 October for a second session on the theme of Deciding. Feedback and assessment of the 1st session of this consultation prototype which put listening at the heart of the Group's ecological transformation.
Session # 1 Listening: without consultation, no solutions
A keynote opening the session, a real moment of inspiration and reflection for the “+1 collective”, gave the floor to two speakers on the subject of listening - Emmanuel Delannoy, author and expert in the Grenelle de l'Environment, and Dorothée Browaeys, journalist, biologist and president of the cabinet TEK4life - as well as to a member of the Veolia executive committee, Olivier Brousse, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy and Innovation.
The latter expressed the importance of consultation, in particular between stakeholders from different backgrounds:
One of the current problems for companies is that not all of their stakeholders are involved in developing their solutions. Without consultation, there can be no economic or technical solutions because the company does not accept them. This is the case, for example, for the recycling of plastic packaging which has not yet found an optimal balance between the various players (packaging producers, responsible consumers, organization of collection, etc.).
The speakers underlined the need to reconnect with nature, to listen to it better, in order to implement the ecological transformation.
Today, in the world as it is, nature is crying out. But are we listening to it? The answer may lie in the permaculture model: working with the ecosystem while respecting all living things, explained Emmanuel Delannoy, author of Biomimetics: Responding to the crisis of the living world through biomimicry.
For Dorothée Browaeys, president of the cabinet TEK4life which supports companies: Western culture was organized with the idea that nature was a setting that had to be mastered. The challenge is to become eco-compatible by reducing risk exposure and adapting our business models.
Fanny Demulier, coordinator of the Veolia Purpose Steering Committee, explained that:
The +1 collective also aims to forge links, essential interactions between players in society, but also between these players and living things, to be united to confront the challenges we all face.
Collective intelligence workshops
Divided into ten workshops, the 50 members of the collective identified courses of action to be implemented by companies, but also by other players interested in applying them, depending on where they are and their context, to reinvent a common world. Each group focused on the stages of the listening process, based on concrete cases from the members' experience: How well do we listen to what someone is saying? Are we referring to the same values? Are we listening to neutralize the other or to change?
For example, a real estate project without prior consultation which provoked the anger of local residents, a conference-debate on the climate which turned into confrontation, etc.* Examples showing that listening is not incidental.
Inventing solutions to listen to yourself
Equipped with cards describing listening methods from science fiction films, existing human uses, like the Yarning circle of Australian Aborigines (taking turns speaking until the discussion is closed and without time limit), the participants imagined actions to solve the difficulties of consultation. As an example, one group proposed to live every day for a week in the shoes of a different stakeholder - elected representative, employee, activist, local client, etc. - in order to start on common bases before discussing. Another imagined a "cliché-breaker" where the parties imitate their opponents with humour to eliminate stereotypes, such as that of the "boomer" business leader.
Other ideas included representatives of the “living world”, in order to promote the interests of ecosystems. One of the groups proposed a meditation session to reveal to everyone their profound desires and express themselves on an equal footing. All the ideas will be brought together in a final deliverable so that concrete actions will come out of them.
Session # 2 Deciding: converting listening into decision-making
While the injunctions for the ecological transformation are increasing, the company can no longer decide alone. It must think in an ecosystem, establish a new societal contract and rethink the creation of value, its measurement and its sharing. So, how can an organization, strengthened by listening to its stakeholders, respond to the complexity of the challenges of the ecological transformation, especially those of the evolution of these accounting tools, to "re-embed" economic activity in its environment? How can it reconcile the general interest with strategic interests? How can it define and take a fair decision in the face of the multiplicity of issues and interests of the players involved? These are some of the lines of thought on which the “+1” collective worked on Tuesday 12 October. The result of this work will soon be shared through an article and a summarising video.
A final deliverable will take up the work of all 3 sessions of the mechanism and will be shared in open source with all the members of the collective but also to all players who would like to appropriate and deploy them.
This session # 2 will be followed by a third workshop, on 7 December, devoted to the theme of "Training”, to reflect together on the brakes and levers for the implementation of ecological transformation, particularly in terms of changes in our knowledge, attitude and know-how.
The three sessions are animated with the help of Usbek & Rica at the REcyclerie.