Conférence interactive

Big data and territories: Using data for spatial planning?

Over the past several years, the amount of data that has been produced has not ceased to grow in volume, speed, and variety, especially with the development of connected devices (geo-positioning technology, smartphones, etc.). Big data, which aims at managing and utilizing these data, offers growing perspectives on the economy and society. In this framework, how is Big data used for spatial planning today? Which perspectives does it offer to construct the territories of tomorrow? What about protecting personal data in light of these uses? To address these questions, speakers from the private, public, and solidarity sectors will discuss their experiences, perspectives, and the challenges surrounding Big data as a tool for urban and rural planning and development.

Conférence interactive

Social and Solidarity Economy law: What are the opportunities for social and solidarity actors?

The Social and Solidarity Economy Law (SSE Law) marks a key stage for the sector by recognizing the large diversity of actors that constitute it and by giving the sector the tools necessary for its development. The SSE has grown across the entire range of actors who serve the social good and who demonstrate democratic governance and a limited pursuit of profit. Several questions arise from the new perimeter established by this law: What effects will this law have on collaboration between SSE actors and their partners? How will strengthening these actors through the financial tools proposed by the law reinforce solidarity partnerships between the North and the South? To respond to these questions, this session will bring different actors together who will address the challenges and perspectives surrounding this law, as much for SSE actors as for solidarity actors.

Conférence interactive

Ownership of the new development goals: Involving all actors in the post-2015 agenda

Session co-organized by Crédit Agricole SA, Rexel, Unilever, Veolia |

The Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) have served as a common framework for action and development and have contributed to an unprecedented acceleration in the decline in poverty levels around the world; the total number of people living in poverty was reduced by half. However, these gains did not occur equally across all goals and countries. Based on the post-2015 development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) are built upon a new global partnership that has been adapted to the evolving international context and to the large challenges to be met. Which governance framework should be adopted to involve all actors and build upon an effective global partnership? What are the highest financing priorities, and how can the relevance and continuity of investments be ensured? The guest speakers in this session will debate the challenges to be met and levers to be activated in the post-2015 development agenda, which will make it possible to eliminate completely poverty while guaranteeing a sustainable development for all.

Conférence interactive

Fair and sustainable sectors: Responsibilities from the producer to the consumer

In the face of today’s unstable markets, social inequality and environmental pressures, constructing fairer, more sustainable modes of production and distribution is a major challenge to development. How can small producers be integrated into inclusive sectors in such a way as to avoid dispossessing them of control over production while guaranteeing them stable and faire revenues? How can the trackability of products along the production and distribution chain be assured to guarantee consumers of products’ origins and compliance with social standards and labels (fair trade, organic agriculture, etc)? Actors from the public, private, and solidarity sectors will attempt to answer these questions by bringing their insight to the possible models for cooperation in order to construct more responsible and environmentally respectful industries.

Conférence interactive

Future of development funding: New models of hybrid funding for the post-2015 agenda?

The process of defining the international development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 is well underway. The envisioned agenda will be based on the co-construction of a Global Partnership with shared responsibilities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that can be applied to local realities and differential development. Meanwhile, a funding strategy for the SDG’s must also be developed. In this period of redefinition of development models and research of a Global Partnership, what can the various stakeholders, donors of OECD countries and emerging countries, private sector actors, and philanthropists contribute to finance the post-2015 development agenda?

Conférence interactive

Impact investing : International perspectives

Following its strong international development, impact investing could experience a significant growth in France. Recent events which testifies this growth : the social innovation fund created by Bpifrance and co-funded by the State and the regions, and the new financing tools opened by the French Law on the Social and Solidarity Economy, voted into effect last June. In light of this, how are financial vehicles that are adapted to the French context to be developed? What are the perspectives in France for innovative tools like Social Impact Bonds? This conference will bring together experts from a variety of fields to discuss the perspectives for the development of these forms of investment that combine financial return with social impact.

Atelier dynamique

Towards responsible consumption: How to make sustainable products and services accessible?

Session co-organized by Crédit Agricole SA, Rexel, Unilever, Veolia |

Our ways of producing and consuming are contributing to the depletion of natural resources and to climate change. Today, we must rethink our models in order to create sustainable modes of production and consumption that are also responsive to economic and social concerns. Which strategies can be deployed to make sustainable products and services accessible? How can we help consumers make the most informed choices? Which types of institutional, economic, cultural, and social restraints can we leverage? This session invites all actors in the supply chain from production to promotion to a dialogue in order to improve the accessibility and appeal of sustainable products and services while also motivating consumers to change their behavior.

Atelier dynamique

Technologies for development organisations: What ownership for what impact? CO-ORGANISEE Unicef

Session co-organized by UNICEF France |

Within a decade, the massive expansion of information technologies has constituted a revolution for development actors. In effect, technological innovations have both brought about improvements in the efficacy of development projects and allowed these projects to scale up and increase their impact. What challenges stand in the way of bringing such innovations to scale? To address this question, this session will bring together speakers from the public and private sectors as well as from the international solidarity sector and civil society who will shed light on the different challenges surrounding these revolutions and who will share success stories of high-impact projects that utilized information technologies.

Conférence interactive

Sustainability at local level: How to foster dialogue at the territory scale?

Session co-organized by Le labo régional des partenariats en Alsace and Le Rameau |

To deal with the complexity of economical and societal concerns, operators’ ability to find local level solutions becomes a major issue. Renew strong cooperation between operators is absolutely necessary to shape tomorrow’s society.
During this session, this movement that is underway on territories will be illustrated by inspiring examples. They will reveal how much these alliances are key tools to find innovative solutions together.
Stakeholders will explain how to facilitate common projects’ emergence. Would they be from a company, an association, a local authority or a university, what kind of role are they playing in this experiment area of territorial co-building that foreshadows new alliances that make the future to be trusted?

Conférence interactive

Press conference: Release of the 2014 Microfinance Barometer

With almost 100 million customers worldwide, microfinance is a rapidly evolving field and a major force for financial inclusion and in the fight against poverty. In light of the new post-2015 agenda, to ask about the future of microfinance is of primordial importance: what are the sector’s development perspectives? What is the role of technological innovation? How can its impact be reinforced? Such questions are at the heart of the 2014 Microfinance Barometer. This press conference will provide an opportunity to meet some of the partners and authors of the 5th edition of one of Convergences’ leading publication. Released annually since 2010, the Microfinance Barometer is a reference in the field, following the major trends and key figures at the French and international levels.

Conférence interactive

Feeding the Planet: Meeting the food challenge with sustainable agricultural production

Eradicating hunger from the world is one of the largest challenges confronting humanity. Despite technical progress in increasing production, the paradox of hunger can be seen in lost crop surpluses and close to 870 million undernourished people. The challenges to overcome in order to feed 9 million people by 2050 are numerous: how can we produce more while consuming fewer resources? How can we improve nutrition among populations in a state of food insecurity, which are often located in rural areas and subsist on small-scale agriculture? How can we overcome the challenges of dwindling water supplies and degraded soil as a result of human activity and aggravated by climate change? The speakers in this session will debate the major role that sustainable agricultural production will play in addressing the food crisis.

Atelier dynamique

Involving beneficiaries: From project design to evaluation

Integrating participative approaches into development projects could be an effective tool for maximizing impact. In effect, involving target populations at each step in a project allows teams to better target real needs while maximizing the impact of investments on one hand and reinforcing the capacities of involved parties that are indispensible for the longevity of the project. How can effective collaboration between different actors be encouraged? Which steps should be undertaken at each stage of a project? The workshop will bring together actors from the public, private, and solidarity economies to share their experiences around examples of participative approaches in order to determine the key factors to success through reinforcing the involvement of beneficiaries throughout the duration of development projects.

Atelier dynamique

Governance models: What does legal status imply?

Today, organizations (and notably businesses), are being encouraged to reorganize and adapt themselves in order to participate in a more virtuous global order as a consequence of new social paradigms. Therefore, governance is going to determine how the various actors involved will be implicated with regards to the objectives, vision, and values of a business. In what ways can governance support or hinder the missions of the organization, notably in scaling up? How can employees dedicate themselves to the vision and values of the organization? How can businesses encourage the different actors involved to participate in governance? These will be the central questions of this workshop in which experts will exchange their experiences with different models of governance and their impact on the values and visions of organizations.

Atelier dynamique

Impact evaluation: Sharing best practices

Impact evaluation is a key step in a development project to integrating the various economic, social, and environmental challenges while considering potential adverse effects. Which methods are the most effective for evaluating the impact of projects? How can the different actors involved in the project be included in the process? How can best practices be promoted? This workshop for collective thought on the different methods for effectively measuring impact will advance the debate over evaluation today. Even though no miracle methods or standard methodologies exist, practical case studies will allow us to concretely illustrate the challenges to identifying best practices along with obstacles to overcome.

Conférence interactive

Scale-up! How to multiply social actor impact?

Session co-organized by l'Atelier and Groupe Initiatives |

The new societal challenges that we are facing, accentuated by the financial crisis, are calling into question social and solidarity economy (SSE) organizations and development NGOs with regards to their modalities of intervention and their capacity to increase their impact. These organisations—often addressing local issues or initiatives—have to conceive of models for replication and duplication for scaling up, contributing to public policies and developing adapted responses for different areas. The goal of this session is to shed light on the levers and strategies available for scaling up and to present the key factors to success by reflecting on the experiences of social actors in scaling up.

Conférence interactive

Digital rights: A global regulation to empower all?

Session co-organized by Forum d'Action Modernités |

Within the last 15 years, the Internet has become a major political issue, no longer only an economic issue. While guardians of civil liberties are defending Internet freedom, authoritarian regimes are learning how to carry out systematic surveillance, in the North as well as the South. This raises the question of how to create a favorable balance of power in international legislation on information technologies and liberties. Can the new digital phase of globalization provide an opportunity to reconcile market economics and democracy? This session will bring together actors from several different sectors to discuss the challenges surrounding digital freedom and their perspectives on global regulation of technologies to guarantee the rights and liberties of all.

Conférence interactive

Involving beneficiaries: Success stories

The success and longevity of a development project depend largely upon the level of involvement of beneficiaries. Working with target populations allows projects to better address beneficiaries’ needs and maximize the effectiveness of available resources while also making target populations active actors in projects, contributing to a reinforcement of their capacities. Which possible tools for increasing involvement should be leveraged? Which models of collaboration should be promoted? This round table will bring actors from the public, private, and solidarity sectors together to share their experiences around innovative initiatives characterized by both responsible project management and dialogue with direct beneficiaries who have been successfully included throughout the project cycle.

Atelier dynamique

A new narrative for development: Building public support for the development sector

Session co-organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation |

Severe economic pressures have made it harder to advocate for aid in France and other donor nations. The development sector also faces a negative public perception and lack of understanding about aid and development. This workshop will share the efforts of a group of 14 international NGOs, to try to reverse the declining public engagement which makes it harder to sustain support for development. The speakers will present the results of a qualitative and quantitative public opinion research project in France, Germany, UK and US, completed in June 2014 and facilitated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The workshop will highlight learnings unique to France, and show how development actors can understand our audiences and communicate better as a sector.

Conférence interactive

Media Evening

Within the framework of the Convergences World Forum, Sparknews, Forum RSE Media and Convergences invite you to their Media Evening on Monday, September 8 at the Palais Brongniart. This event will be an opportunity to investigate the role of the media as a change agent and demonstrate how it can be a source of inspiration for its audiences to take positive action.
The event will take place in two parts. First, opinion leaders of the international media will speak about programs they have put into place to transform their media outlets into agents of change (Sunday Times Changemakers, CNN Impact Your World, El Mashrou3 : a successful, positive Egyptian reality show, etc.). Next, the “Spark Show”: in an entertaining format, five individuals will pitch their projects to a jury of 10 journalists in three minutes. This will be the best way to allow these innovative projects to gain visibility and for the media to discover new subjects to cover.

Session plénière

Welcome Speech

Session plénière

Towards 2030: Building tomorrow’s world together

As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, building the future post-2015 agenda is a crucial commitment for the coming 15 years. This agenda will set the global targets to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and to create a more equitable and sustainable world. These objectives cannot be achieved without participation of stakeholders from all sectors and without integrating economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. What are the major challenges of this global commitment? What financial leverages can be employed? How can new technologies become a tool to attain the future sustainable development goals? This session will convene inspiring actors who will share their views on the challenges, prospects of development, and the role that each of the stakeholders is to play in this new global partnership.

Conférence interactive

Financing the climate agenda: How to mobilise the necessary funding?

Session co-organized by the Agence Française de Développement |

Today, a growing number of public, private, national, and international actors are mobilizing to finance the fight against climate change. In 2009 in Copenhagen, industrialized countries committed to mobilizing 100 billion dollars by 2020 to assist developing countries. The Green Fund, created at the end of 2010 and operational since then, is destined to become an important source of funding for global action on climate. However, the existing funds do not cover the totality of the needs, and mobilizing new resources and redirecting the flow of financing toward low-carbon resilient investments constitute major challenges in international climate negotiations.

Conférence interactive

Accountability and transparency: What strategies for international development practitioners?

Session co-organized by KPMG |

What are the strategies developed by International development actors to ensure their commitment to transparency & responsibility vis-à-vis the various stakeholders? How to contribute to creating an environment that promotes transparency, integrity and accountability both within organizations and to the outside? What has been the impact of new technologies, and what are the leads to gain effectiveness and efficiency?
Certifications, ratings, audits – all reflect the various strategies, mechanisms and instruments that exist for NGOs, cross sector actors to tackle their transparency challenges. The conference aims to provide firsthand insights and testimonies from the local practitioners, donors and experts who are designing and implementing these frameworks on the ground.

Conférence interactive

Microfinance and poverty: What business models in microfinance to reach the most vulnerable populations?

Session co-organized by the Club Microfinance Paris |

One of the first goals of microfinance was to contribute to the fight against poverty and to be a lever for development. After several decades, microfinance has developed considerably worldwide and is meeting the needs of over 91 million clients today. However, its impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized populations is debatable and regularly called into question. Faced with this reality, what economic models can be used to reach the most vulnerable populations?
To address this question during this session, speakers from the banking sector will discuss their experiences within their institutions in trying to respond to the needs for access to sustainable financial services for the most vulnerable populations, in meeting challenges, and in putting their economic models into place.

Conférence interactive

Challenges for co-construction: Partnerships success stories

Session co-organized by Crédit Agricole SA, Rexel, Unilever, Veolia |

Encouraged by the emergence of collaboration in society and the growing power of new technologies, approaches to co-construction have multiplied over the last several years. These processes are transforming businesses and their relationships with their partners and clients, giving life to new business models aimed at creating more effective, creative, and affordable solutions. What challenges stand in the way of these transformations? How can sometimes disparate interests and diverse norms and cultures be reconciled? How can actors be better integrated into the process of co-construction? This session will illustrate several inspiring examples of multi-actor international development projects in order to identify the challenges and keys to success for co-collaboration.

Conférence interactive

Infrastructures and funding: What investments for an inclusive access to new technologies?

Today, many impoverishes countries with little power remain “landlocked” by their lack of funding and infrastructure for new technologies and fiber optic networks. Entire areas, especially rural ones, with low population density and weak economic interest are not connected. The rate of penetration of high-speed or broadband Internet in Africa is barely above 5%. In light of this reality, what investments are necessary in order to make new technologies accessible for everyone? In responding to this question during this session, speakers from the public and private sectors, development financers and civil society actors will share their insights on the landscape and challenges of investment and technology deployed in the North and South, innovative economic models, political frameworks and regulations that are favorable to investment, and the possible levers and dynamics of cooperation in favor of inclusive and durable access to new technologies.

Atelier dynamique

Convergences Awards’ nominees: Success stories of multi-actor business models

Session co-organized by C3D |

From the capitalist company to the philanthropic organisation, there are many types of contributions to the general interest. Social entrepreneurship works to bring these two cultures together and their connection creates a multiplication of inspiring initiatives. C3D has chosen to study these hybrid innovations. Some companies, in partnership with solidarity-based actors, experiment new models that have the capacity to shift lines. This session will invite the audience to share the experience of two Convergences Awards nominees, to better understand how cultural differences, organisational difficulties and resource issues have been overcome.

Conférence interactive

Sustainable infrastructures and territories: Designing tomorrow’s landscape

The production of infrastructure is a pressing demand among populations in developing countries and emerging countries alike. Universal access to essential infrastructures (water, sanitation, solid waste management, transportation and mobility, energy, etc) is one of the top priorities in international negotiations surrounding the post-2015 development agenda. How can we ensure that new infrastructures contribute to sustainable cities, reduce their environmental impacts, and make underprivileged populations their first concern? Over the course of this session, the guest speakers will shed light on how to rethink today’s infrastructure models and the role of each party involved in constructing sustainable solutions adapted to technical progress and accessible to all.

Conférence interactive

Funding social innovation: How can we work together?

Session co-organized by United Donations and ESSEC |

In the face of social and environmental challenges, social innovation appears to be an essential leverage for development. Social innovation implies a shift of practices and forms of funding, changes that should be driven by actors of all sectors. In this regard, hybrid and innovative funding models can really impact projects and beneficiary organizations, their economic and communication models, and their relations with donors. What strategies should be put in place to mobilize various funding actors around the same project? What challenges need to be addressed to replicate impacts of this convergence? To touch upon these multiple objectives, stakeholders from different sectors will address impacts of innovative hybrid funding and possibilities of working together to fund social innovation.

Conférence interactive

Press conference: Release of the 2014 Convergences’ Visions report

For the 1st year, Convergences is releasing a new report, 2014 Convergences’ Visions, on the fundamental challenges addressed by the World Forum on the evolution of development practices now and after 2015. This publication will provide a panorama of innovative partnerships and the views of experts from all sectors. Moreover, leading figures, such as UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, will share their vision of development in tomorrow’s world. This press conference will bring together practitioners and partners of Convergences who will bring their insight to the challenges, opportunities and the role that each organisation should play to build a fairer and more sustainable world.

Conférence interactive

Mobile Money ecosystem: What panorama? What perspectives?

Session co-organized by Tagattitude |

Telecommunications operators have had great success in the first stages of the adventure that is Mobile Money. The majority of operators have focused on person-to-person money transfer services. Today a new chapter is beginning in capitalizing on this first stage and bringing a wide range of financial services to populations via mobile phones. This new era is bringing Mobile Money into the world of finance. It remains to be seen how operators will position themselves and how banks will respond to this opportunity. What are the major challenges and perspectives on the evolution of the sector? What importance do technologies and regulations have in these emerging ecosystems? This panel will bring together various experts and major actors in the sector who will debate the challenges and perspectives on Mobile Money as a lever for development.

Conférence interactive

Impact investing: Innovative financing for social innovation

Following its strong international development, Impact investing is currently experiencing a significant expansion in France. The latest news testifying such development: the 40 million euro fund created by Bpifrance and co-funded by the State and the regions to finance social innovation, and the new financing tools opened by the French Law on the Social and Solidarity Economy, voted into force last June. In this light, how to design financial vehicles that are adapted to the French context? What are the perspectives in France for innovative tools like Social Impact Bonds? This conference will bring together experts from a variety of fields to discuss the challenges and development perspectives in France of these forms of investment that combine financial return with social impact.

Atelier dynamique

Convergences Awards nominees: Hold-up! Let’s solve their challenges together

Session co-organized by Make Sense |

MakeSense.org encourages you to let your creativity run free to resolve in 90 minutes the challenges of four social entrepreneurs selected by the Convergences Awards. Armed with post-its and good spirit, and in the presence of the nominated entrepreneurs and a MakeSense moderator, we will produce together more than 100 ideas to offer solutions and accelerate the entrepreneurs’ project. More than 500 similar workshops to resolve social entrepreneurs’ challenges have already been organised by the MakeSense community, in 86 cities around the World.

Atelier dynamique

Sustainable development and competitiveness: From testing to implementing

Session co-organized by Crédit Agricole SA, Rexel, Unilever, Veolia |

Enterprises have an essential role to play in developing new models of growth that are both profitable and sustainable. However, they are yet to learn how to work together. How should collaboration work for more efficient innovation, elimination of barriers between sectors of activity, and mobilization of stakeholders? How can positive impact and economic efficiency of projects be measured effectively? These are the issues that Crédit Agricole S.A., Rexel, Unilever, and Veolia will try to address during this workshop that is aimed at mobilizing their expertise to develop projects stimulating sustainable growth.

Conférence interactive

Partnerships for scaling-up: What economic models for developing social innovation?

Session co-organized by Le Rameau |

From priming, then scaling up to full-scale implementation, one of the main difficulties of projects in the social innovation field is how to go from a financial model based on social R&D to a sustainable business model. This difficulty is made even worse in France due to the divide and lack of communication between different players, none of which have a good oversight of the innovation process in public interest structures or of their needs at each development stage. From foundations and investment funds to public-private partnerships, which business solutions are best adapted to each step in an innovative project’s development? How can the different stages be linked in order to make the social innovation process more fluid?

Conférence interactive

Financial and political levers for sustainable production: Development and access to sustainable products and services

Today, rethinking our modes of production and consumption is a major challenge in responding to the obstacles presented by our inequitable access to basic goods and services and our excessive (and ever-increasing) exploitation of natural resources, which is in turn affecting the poorest populations, the climate and natural equilibria while being exacerbated by population growth in developing countries. How can public leaders further promote responsible products and services by making them more competitive and affordable in comparison with conventional goods? How can the roles and constraints of public and private actors be better defined? To respond to these questions, the guest speakers in this session will debate the challenges and possible levers to encouraging the development of, and access to an array of sustainable products and services in different sectors.

Conférence interactive

What research for what humanitarian aid? Accompanying the transition in humanitarian assistance

Session co-organized by Fonds Croix-Rouge française |

Humanitarian assistance experiences a period of deep transition and faces an unprecedented questioning. It reconfigures, changes its appearance and its modalities of action. How can research help humanitarian actors better think and implement the objectives for the coming decade? The French Red Cross Fund brings together actors from beneficiary countries and funders, academic and field workers, crisis and development workers, with the aim of discussing the relations between research and humanitarian action. Following the conference, the French Red Cross Fund will reward two innovative research projects in the humanitarian field which put into perspective the principles, practices and purposes of an evolving humanitarian action.

Conférence interactive

Property vs. Open innovation: How to combine innovation and access to new technologies for all?

Innovation, especially in products and services, can create responses to the needs of the most impoverished countries and their populations. However, these solutions can be expensive and have a limited distribution, in large part because they are protected by patents or licenses. Could free and open licenses be a solution? At the same time, how can entrepreneurs, especially those with limited resources, be assured to receive fair compensation for their creativity? What is the right balance between promoting access to essential solutions and valuing innovation? To respond to these questions, this session will contrast the perspectives of various actors on innovation, its valorization, and the levers of its diffusion.

Atelier dynamique

Convergences Awards nominees: Hold-up! Let’s solve their challenges together

Session co-organized by Make Sense |

MakeSense.org encourages you to let your creativity run free to resolve in 90 minutes the challenges of four social entrepreneurs selected by the Convergences Awards. Armed with post-its and good spirit, and in the presence of the nominated entrepreneurs and a MakeSense moderator, we will produce together more than 100 ideas to offer solutions and accelerate the entrepreneurs’ project. More than 500 similar workshops to resolve social entrepreneurs’ challenges have already been organised by the MakeSense community, in 86 cities around the World.

Atelier dynamique

Development Impact Bonds : Innovative Finance for Sustainable Development?

Session co-organized by Social Finance |

Today, Impact investing appears to be a potential powerful tool to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of support for sustainable development in both emerging and developed markets. Development Impact Bonds have the potential to attract new sources of development investment, ensure a clearer focus on results, and encourage rapid adaptation in program implementation to incorporate evidence on what is working and what isn’t. This session will be an opportunity to discuss the pre-requisites for successful Impact investing, the potential for improving sustainable development outcomes, and the potential roles of investors, intermediaries, service providers and outcome funders.

Conférence interactive

Evening Youth We Can!

Youth We Can! is an evening event entirely dedicated to young individuals in search for a more meaningful life and career. Through this event, we want to instill the desire to become true actors of change. First, through a conference, young people will first present their involvement and projects to high level figures from the political, economic, and media sectors, and will then engage in discussion with them to exchange views and ideas. Second, participants will meet each other and exchange their thoughts on various societal topics through interactive workshops and animations. The evening will then unfold into a festive event.

Conférence interactive

Voice and action of civil society: What role in global governance?

Globalization has brought about the progressive and asymmetrical establishment of a world governance essentially in the dimensions of the economy and the state. While the challenges of universal well-being have likewise been globalized, the voices of citizens have long been absent from international institutions. In order to address this issue, civil society is structuring and organizing itself to develop alternatives and to take into account the interests of populations in making public policy. What role of civil society today as an actor in politics and democracy? What are its new forms of action? What should accompany this evolution? These questions will be addressed by different actors who are engaged in giving civil society a strong voice in world governance.

Conférence interactive

Challenges for an energy transition: Preserving the Planet and giving access to energy for all

While our fossil fuel reserves are being depleted, the global demand for energy could increase from 2010 levels by close to 50% by 2050. In light of this observation, we must reorient our modes of production and consumption to transition towards a lower-energy model in order to adequately satisfy the energy needs of today and tomorrow in a sustainable manner. The underlying rational of the energy transition is this: we must orient our economies toward more efficient and renewable sources of energy. How can this transformation be accomplished? Will it be an obstacle or an opportunity for growth? Can this transition act as a lever to expand access to energy to everyone? To respond to these questions, several actors from different sectors will discuss the challenges and necessary actions of making the energy transition a viable alternative for combating energy vulnerability and promoting sustainable growth.

Conférence interactive

New technologies and inclusion: Tools for a greater social impact?

Session co-organized by IMS-Entreprendre pour la Cité |

According to the latest report from the French National Digital Council, "Given the fast diffusion of new technologies, digital becomes more a requirement than an option". Facing this tangible reality, how to create the conditions for dissemination and understanding of digital tools for the greatest number? How to make these tools inclusion, economic and social development levers? As an introduction to the pillar "New Technologies for change,” three keynote speakers will share their vision of inclusion in a digital society in response to the presentation of two innovative projects.

Conférence interactive

Climate change: How to mobilise civil society and to value local solutions?

Session co-organized by GERES and Wild Touch |

Climate change is a reality that receives a broad consensus within the international scientific community and whose consequences are being felt across the globe. To tackle this issue, the emergence of local initiatives appears to be part of the solution for the most vulnerable populations who are being hit first by the effects of climate change. How do the civil society and the private sector get mobilized around this cause today? What kind of message and action can we expect from our politicians? To address this, stakeholders from different backgrounds will share their views on how we can mobilize collectively to cope with the impacts of the global challenge of climate change.

Conférence interactive

Social finance: Understanding the whole cycle

In 10 years, social finance has embedded itself in the world of asset management. In France, social finance represents one out of 1,000 household savings managers, a figure which, while modest, has the potential to grow in light of the sector’s growing notoriety and diffusion. The sector’s practices are spreading throughout the heart of the economy in the North as well as the South by stimulating social entrepreneurship, the relocation of activities to be in proximity to affected territories, and shorter circuits. What is the status of social finance today? What concrete effects will the anticipated scaling-up of the sector have? This session will help attendees better understand the cycle of social finance from savings to end beneficiaries and will further the debate over the challenges and levers for maximizing the impact of social finance in the North as well as the South.

Conférence interactive

Introduction to digital technology: A lever for social inclusion?

Session co-organized by Wikimedia |

Marginalization of vulnerable populations impacts all sectors, including digital technology, yet often seen as a lever for development. Outreach, education, learning how to use digital technology and tools to leverage their potential is crucial, as they may be true levers of social inclusion. During this session, private and public digital actors share their experience and their actions of solidarity addressing diverse audiences (people at risk of poverty, social entrepreneurs, the elderly, etc..). From physical access to tools to coding trainings, these actors develop solutions to reduce the digital divide in France and try to deploy these initiatives for the greatest number.

Conférence interactive

Circular and collaborative economies: New economic paradigms?

The United Nation’s modest projections suggest that, if current consumption and demographic trends continue, by 2050 we will need two planets to meet our needs. Addressing the state of affairs caused by the “extraction-manufacturing-mass consumption-waste” cycle will require the development of new models of production and consumption such as the circular and collaborative economy. Eco-designing, developing short circuits, turning trash into resources, integrating users and consumers as a link in the chain—these are the principles behind the alternatives solutions which will be discussed by this panel of diverse actors who are involved in making our societal model more sustainable and responsible.

Conférence interactive

Civic engagement in the solidarity sector: What motivations? What perspectives?

Engaging citizens in the North as well as the South has evolved dramatically over the past several years. In France, for example, the number of volunteer interventions has grown at a fast pace every year (+6.9% per year between 2005 and 2011)[2]. These numbers translate into a profound transformation in the modalities of engagement, which are often increasingly resting on more specific and targeted actions through volunteer networks that encourage citizen encounters. Understanding the new forms that citizen engagement is taking in the North and South is a considerable challenge. This is the objective of this session, which will bring together actors from different sectors to debate the challenges, levers, and perspectives with regards to engaging citizens today and tomorrow.

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[1] Recherches et Solidarités, La France bénévole, mai 2014
[2] Le Paysage associatif français, Viviane Tchernonog, Dalloz, 2013

Atelier dynamique

Innovation Game: Hacking technologies for development

Session co-organized by Makesense |

Participate in the Innovation Game workshop organized by MakeSense within the Convergences World Forum! Come help innovative projects resolve their challenges by using technology to respond to a social or environmental problem. During the first two days of the World Forum, these projects will present their innovations to all participants in the event in the “Village of Technical Innovations.” During the Innovation Game workshop, you will be able to invent and create responses to concrete challenges that these projects face in reality, based on the first ideas suggested by the public in the Village of Technical Innovations and with the help of your own creativity. By following a fun and dynamic method, you will be able to bring concrete solutions to real-world initiatives.

Session plénière

Convergences Awards Ceremony

The Convergences Awards reward the best partnerships between one solidarity actor and one private and/or public actor for an economically sustainable project with strong social and environmental impact. This Ceremony will award a prize to the European Laureate Award and the International Laureate Award, among three nominees for each category.

Session plénière

Closing session of the 7th edition of the Convergences World Forum



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