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Territorial Ecosystems in Transition Chair: Grenoble leading the way for change

Grenoble : un temps d’avance avec la chaire Territoires en transition
Published on
15 April 2019

The “Inclusive Sustainability: Territorial Ecosystems in Transition” Chair aims to support the evolution of lifestyles and economic models at the regional level. What is the primary challenge at a local level? To create knowledge and cooperation that will enable technology and ecology to merge smoothly into a single path. The City of Grenoble is leading the way.

Interview with Thibault Daudigeos, scientific coordinator of the Grenoble Ecole de Management research chair “Inclusive Sustainability: Territorial Ecosystems in Transition”.

Why is Grenoble an excellent homebase for the Territorial Ecosystems in Transition Chair?

Grenoble is a candidate for the 2022 European Green Capital selection. If the city is selected, Grenoble and its surrounding region will be highlighted as an example of transitions to be implemented at European levels. International leaders and investors could be inspired by the Grenoble model and support its innovation approach.

Grenoble is a melting pot of scientific and technological actors that foster an  innovative and markedly alternative environment. Our ecosystem is imagining new social and environmental solutions that will be key factors for future transitions. Grenoble’s population is a unique playground in which to test alternative solutions in terms of ecology and technology.

The chair has a unique governance model for a business school. Could you explain?

The chair is built on a three-party participative governance model that unites public actors (the City of Grenoble, the Grenoble-Alpes Metropolis, the Public Transportation Union (SMTC)) as well as public and private companies (Bouygues Immobilier and La Poste Group). The chair also benefits from the support of social and solidarity economy actors such as Alpes Solidaires, Citiz, Grenoble Alpes Initiatives Active, La Péniche and Ronalpia. This multi-party chair will produce the knowledge required to test innovative initiatives that will enable regions to implement a collaborative transition.

What will the chair's research focus on?

The chair’s research focuses on new services at the regional level. We will look at everything related to technological and organizational innovation (urban data, digital sensors, web platform, multiservice third-party locations, etc.) as well as new business models to match these evolutions. 

Studies using a representative sample of 1,000 people will be implemented in order to better understand factors that can be used to encourage behavioral changes. The idea is to support the development of public policies that meet the expectations of citizens across the entire value chain. Other studies will focus on business models and innovative governance models. Finally, the chair will help implement the concrete experimentation of new services.

What are the benefits for partners that collaborate with Grenoble Ecole de Management to support the chair's work?

Grenoble has confirmed its desire to evolve existing models in order to create new forms of organization that are built on a central role for citizens both in terms of thinking and participation. The school’s partners will take part in a collaborative action. The idea is to anticipate future transitions and demonstrate our ability to be a step ahead thanks to the school’s expertise. The chair will act as a catalyst for new models, new sectors, and new methods for implementing and organizing emerging jobs and activities.

How will the chair implement this development?

The first step will be to set up working groups to focus on three general areas of interest: new environmentally friendly behaviors, business models that integrate social innovation and participative governance, and finally innovation methods for experimentation. The representative sample of Grenoble citizens will be finalized by the end of 2019 and the first tests will be implemented as of 2020.

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