Global development?

9 Sep 2017 | News


This article is the testimony of an experience feedback on the ongoing support of a community (- 3000 inhabitants) on which I intervene on a long-term mission.

It is necessary first of all to welcome the position of the municipal team which assumes its need for a global accompaniment to help it to provide concrete and rapid answers to a population that expresses many needs. And this despite its belonging to an intercommunality of more than 20 000 inhabitants which clearly does not (or does not give itself) the technical means to assume its projects. In fact, there is a recurring gap between expectations and solutions, the magnitude of which increases all the more as society, in the digital age, is increasingly reactive and impatient. Trying not to go into a rather simplistic analysis, this lack of adequacy (this misunderstanding?) expresses, in part, the extremist posture of some voters during the last elections, especially in rural areas. This feeling is reflected in the recent actions of the rural mayors, who increasingly assert a recurrent malaise, a mixture of isolation, solitude and even abandonment. The isolation combined with a reduction of resources, disinterest and in the absence of a shared project are becoming more and more a problem of society.

This community seeks to innovate by proposing to mobilize its inhabitants in order to build with them answers to their expectations, with the dual objective of making them actors and more simply spectators, and sensitizing them at the same time to the functioning of a ” a community. This participatory approach has real surprises. On the one hand, because the increasing participation reveals that people (the inhabitants but not only) have something to say even if the debate and the exchanges are still marked by a lack of practice. Then, the discrepancy between the constraints and the margin of maneuver of the elected officials and the perception that the administrators perceive them, underlines a fracture, growing, precisely due to lack of democratic culture. This could be irremediable, well posed, it becomes a wealth by the confrontation of different practices, approaches and methods. It is a true innovation that allows to test new practices and to make possible what seemed previously delicate and improbable.

Finally, even if the community no longer has all the skills, delegated to intercommunality, this global approach necessarily crosses fields of action combining economy, environment, social, tourism, culture … precisely because a segmented approach is no longer possible. Thus, an exchange with organic producers and institutional partners, the possible use of a kitchen plant, the proximities of an agricultural incubator, potential buyers places a reflection on the possibility of a chain and short circuits that , from production to processing for immediate consumption and the cannery show promising opportunities. There are even related uses such as product awareness, culinary practice, learning and inclusion. Exchanges, the sketch of a project, the launching of a dynamic, the desire to go further, are the first ingredients necessary to draw this possibility. It costs nothing, the resources are local, it takes a little method to make envy emerge and … This is only an illustration of what this concerted reflection can produce. It remains to be transformed and, above all, to lay down clearly the limits of what can be done, given the human and financial resources available. It should also be borne in mind that innovation attracts attention and promotes partnerships, it is probably a source of opportunities for all communities in France …

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