vendredi 6 septembre 2013

4D Printing : self-assembly through local interaction

Today I want to share with you a video that marked me when I discovered about 3D printing... because the speaker shows how to overcome one of 3D printing's main shortcomings. Hope you'll enjoy the reading and watching on Grids at work!

mardi 3 septembre 2013

Perspectives on the energetic transition

On my blog Energy in transition, I am launching a series of articles which aim is to build an idea of what the energetic transition could be in the 21st century's world. Enjoy the reading!

mardi 20 août 2013

Printing... in 3D!

Today I focus on a new technology that might soon radically change our economy and contribute to making it shift from pyramidal to lateral... Enjoy the reading on Grids at work!

mardi 13 août 2013

Being renewable, and being sustainable

Renewables are often associated with offering our lifestyles a sustainable future. Because renewables won't have an end. Because they are clean. Because they have no ecological impact.
I question those issues in today's post, of which I hope you'll enjoy the reading on Energy in transition!

mardi 6 août 2013

Sustainable development, the 3 Ps

Today on Business with impact, I come back on the reason why I often focus on the social impact of business. Sustainable development is indeed about Profit, the Planet... and the People! Enjoy the reading...

mardi 23 juillet 2013

Fossil or renewable?

Today, I follow up with my classification of energy sources with discussing the why and how I made up my mind about the most tangent cases when separating renewable from fossil energies. Enjoy the reading on Energy in transition!

mardi 16 juillet 2013

The Canadian Center for Social Innovation

Today, I focus on the Canadian Center for Social Innovation, which business model shows us how building a community can be an efficient way to foster the development of social businesses. Enjoy the reading on Business with impact!

mardi 9 juillet 2013

Robin Chase: Excuse me, may I rent your car?

Today, I'd like to share a video where you hear founder of Zipcar and Buzzcar Robin Chase talk about how her experiences made her develop the concept of Peers Inc.

Enjoy the video here under and the full article on Grids at work!

mardi 2 juillet 2013

Conventional energies... or not?

I recently published a mapping of energy sources, classifying them as conventional or unconventional, and fossil or renewable energies. Some energies were not so easy to put in one box or the other, so today I focus on the distinction I made between "conventional" and "not-conventional".

Enjoy the reading on Energy in transition!

mardi 25 juin 2013

The Hult Prize

Today I'm sharing with you, not the knowledge of one particular social business, but of a social entrepreneurship prize that is worldwide known. I'm speaking of the Hult Prize and hoping you'll enjoy the reading on Business with impact!

mardi 18 juin 2013

Dealing with time 2/2

Today, I follow up my last article and reflect about the impacts of targeting efficiency at all costs in every domain of life, as my generation, Generation Y, might be tempted to do in an always and everywhere connected world, where information is so abundant and quickly obsolete. Enjoy the reading on Grids at work!

mardi 11 juin 2013

Two mappings of energy sources

Today, I share two mappings of energy sources that underlie all my articles in order to make clearer how I refer to each type of energy source. Enjoy the reading on Energy in transition!

mardi 4 juin 2013

Access to safe drinking-water

Today I'd like to share with you the awareness of two life-saving products I have known for a while, in order to give you an example of how businesses can have at their heart the goal of dealing with social issues. Enjoy the reading on Business with impact!

mardi 28 mai 2013

Dealing with time 1/2

Today's article is about my own generation: I look with wonder at the speed at which we live and think about the impact it has on our lives. Enjoy the reading on Grids at work!

mardi 21 mai 2013

Rifkin's TIR, pillar 5/5: electric vehicles

Last but not least, the TIR's fifth pillar is about transitioning to electric vehicles (EV), which role is of course to be energy-efficient but also to integrate the first four pillars:

  • EV should be as green as possible and be based on renewables (first pillar)
  • EV could produce and sell energy and therefore also be small power plant of their own (second pillar)
  • EV could store excessive electricity in their batteries (third pillar)
  • EV can connect to the grid and therefore participate in the complex game of electricity sharing (fourth pillar)
Hope you'll enjoy the reading on Energy in transition!

mardi 14 mai 2013

SolarKiosk: an example for sustainable development

Today I republish an article about SolarKiosk and its impact in developing countries and the world in general, but this time in English. To me, what's really important is that this company is including in its economical mission social and environmental objectives. And it's not an additional charge for them but really the reason why their activity is working: it is possible to make money AND create social and/or environmental value.

Enjoy the reading on Business with impact!

mardi 7 mai 2013

Circuits courts : consommer local

Aujourd'hui, je m'intéresse aux circuits courts, forts en vogue en ce moment, et tente de comprendre pourquoi ils se développent si bien. Bonne lecture sur Grids at work !

dimanche 28 avril 2013

Rifkin's TIR, pillar 4/5: smart grids

Here is the follow up on Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution with its forth pillar: the use of smart grids for transportation and distribution of electricity.

You can find the post on my blog Energy in transition. Enjoy the reading!

dimanche 21 avril 2013

Microcredit: capitalism for all

Today, I focus on microcredit. It consists in lending low amounts (the amount has to be considered in reference to its context) to individuals or businesses in order to finance the realization of small projects, often little shops or family businesses. Microcredit is part of the bigger microfinance family, to which also belong diverse savings, insurance, funds-transfer offers. All in all, microfinance’s objective is to commercialize ad hoc financial products to lower-income populations, who may otherwise have no access to financial offers.

How and where is microcredit used?

It is for this reason, and given the nature of the target population, that microcredit is generally associated with wills to promote economic development of the poor, women emancipation, children scholarship, alphabetization, and so on. With smaller amounts and shorter reimbursement durations, these offers become affordable for smaller projects bearers, whom are found in greater proportion in developing countries. In addition, the well-known Grameen Bank, funded in 1976 in Bengladesh by Professor Yunus, allowed to spread this image.

We think therefore less easily that we can find microcredit around the corner too. In France, personal microcredit on the one hand is a loan ranging from 300€ to 12000€, reimbursed in 6 months to 5 years, allocated by a bank to an individual (non-professional) having a personal project, like buying or reparing a personal vehicle or getting a vocational training. On the other hand, professional microcredit is targeting professional project bearers, be it individuals or organizations, with similar amounts and reimbursement durations.

Why does it matter?

One can see how the underlying logic of microcredit and microfinance more generally is to use the existing market logics and mechanisms to promote the inclusion of traditionally disadvantaged populations, without regard to where they are, what their job and income is, etc. The objective is to not exclude them from a system that has worked for others.

What’s also very important to me in this is the fact that the people benefiting from microcredit and/or microfinance are considered as active entrepreneurs and not as passive victims of a situation. It is not helping by charity, it is giving them credit really: lending money because one is confident they will be paid back. It is fundamentally different from charity and this is the reason why, besides obvious economic viability reasons, I believe microcredit should be used whenever possible prior to charity and aid. One last fact to reflect on: the Grameen Bank’s reimbursement ratio is 98%.

dimanche 14 avril 2013

Crowdfunding: financing a project collaboratively

Today, I'd like to speak about crowdfunding, a financial vehicle that developed massively recently thanks to the rise of the internet, social media, and collaborative platforms. Indeed, as "crowdfunding" litterally means, it is about individuals pooling their money in order to finance various projects, ranging from businesses (be it a start-up or a production plant), to citizen journalism, to movie production. The collaborative principle is applied to investing. I'd like to focus here on two organisations I know about and find interesting regarding crowdfunding.

The first one is WiSEED, a French internet crowdfunding platform offering individuals and businesses to invest in the under-8-years-old businesses selected by WiSEED on criterias like innovation, market performance, and market growth. This is pure crowdfunding: people can co-finance projects on the internet. And this is a specialised platform, focusing mainly on start-ups. The maximum loss for the investors is the capital invested (starting from 100€), not more. Before the start-ups are selected, the WiSEED members can first vote for the businesses they find most relevant and second follow and comment them. The WiSEED team then selects the best businesses and relays their funding needs. The interests can go up to 45% for example.

The second one is Babyloan, another French crowdfunding platform. This platform is interesting because it is not only about crowdfunding, but also about microcredit. Indeed, Babyloan is working with MicroFinance Institutions (MFIs) all over the world. The MFIs give Babyloan the informations about the project and project bearer and Babyloan relays the story on its website. There, you can choose the project to which you want to lend some money (starting from 10€). Some projects are developed right down the street, others are located on the other side of the globe. Once you've given your bank account informations and the project has been fully funded (by other Babyloaners), the money is collected from your account and transferred to the MFI responsible for the microcredit to the project bearer. A few weeks later, you start being paid back on a monthly basis. A few days ago, I received my forth notification 4€ had been recredited to my Babyloan account, paying back for my lending to a Filipino women wanting to increase her stockpile in her clothing store. A specific feature: on Babyloan, you don't receive interests, you just lend the capital, as you would do with a friend.

Of course, there are other platforms, but these two are those I know best, and I think they give a rather good idea of what crowdfunding can be today. Crowdfunding is also part of collaborative finance, a term used to describe financial transactions that occur between individuals without the intervention of traditional financial institutions. Generally, those transactions are highly personnalised (in the two examples I've used, you can choose the project you are co-funding) and when there is an intermediary institution between the lender and the borrower, its governance mode is more open than of traditional institutions (as you saw at WiSEED, the WiSEEDers give their opinion before the final selection is done).

dimanche 7 avril 2013

Rifkin's TIR, pillar 3/5: storing electricity

Today, I carry on with Jeremy Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution by focusing on its third pillar : the ability to store electricity once it is produced. This is important because renewable energies often are intermittent.

Read the post on my blog Energy in transition.

dimanche 31 mars 2013

L'ESS vue par les économistes

Je continue sur ma lancée à propos du secteur en pleine structuration de l'économie sociale et solidaire et m'intéresse cette semaine à une étude réalisée en début d'année par l'éditorialiste d'Alternatives économiques  Philippe Frémeaux, qui s'est efforcé de comprendre pourquoi les économistes ne s'intéressent que peu à l'ESS.

Source :

Sur la base de son étude, j'ai tenté de dégager les grandes dimensions de l'ESS, dont la largeur de champ est certainement l'une des raisons du relatif désintérêt de la communauté de recherche économique à son sujet.

Bonne lecture sur Business with impact !

dimanche 17 mars 2013

Rifkin's TIR, pillar 2/5: buildings as power plants

Maintaining the momentum, today I publish my article about the second pillar of the Third Industrial Revolution, according to Jeremy Rifkin: as renewables are generally a distributed source of energy, all buildings may (...should, and will) become small power plants of their own, leveraging the locally available sources of energy.

Enjoy the reading!

dimanche 10 mars 2013

L'ESS en question

Dans un de mes précédents articles, je me penchais sur les définitions de l'économie sociale et solidaire ainsi que de l'entrepreneuriat social. Aujourd'hui, je m'intéresse à la raison pour laquelle l'ESS est critiquée, parfois raillée pour son idéalisme. L'ESS est-elle donc si peu pragmatique ?

dimanche 24 février 2013

Rifkin's TIR, pillar 1/5: shifting to renewables

Remember my first article on Jeremy Rifkin? I was announcing the follow ups and here is the first: details about the third industrial revolution's first pillar, shifting from fossil fuels and nuclear energy to renewable sources of energy.

Enjoy the reading!

dimanche 17 février 2013

Humanitarian aid's efficiency

This week I keep up the momentum on humanitarian aid, but today I question the relevance and efficiency of the humanitarian aid model. Indeed, humanitarian action is being planned in international, political environments and it seems no developped country can oppose to contributing to this system, for obvious reasons. But as these actions are ultimately determined by political issues, how can we be sure they are efficient at meeting their objectives?

To know more about it, please follow this link to the article on my blog Business with impact. Hope you'll enjoy the reading!

dimanche 10 février 2013

Mobiles as tools for the good

Today's article is about how our mobile phones can support doing the good in the world, be it in the context of humanitarian aid or plain economic development. Digital humanitarianism has been introduced to me a few months ago by Paul Conneally's TED talk. I've kept it in mind since then and finally am able to share it on my turn.

Here is the video. To read my article, please follow this link to my blog Grids at work.

dimanche 3 février 2013

Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution

Today, I'd like to share one of my last readings. In his book "The third industrial revolution: how lateral power is transforming energy, the economy, and the world", Jeremy Rifkin offers us his vision on the way renewable energies on the one hand, and the internet on the other hand may/will radically transform the world as we know it in the next 50 years.


This article focuses on Jeremy Rifkin and the global theory he develops in the book. The five pillars he has identified for the "TIR" will be the subject of five coming articles.

Enjoy the reading!

dimanche 27 janvier 2013

Petites définitions

Pour bien démarrer l'année sur Business with impact, je reviens aux sources et reprends les définitions du social business et de l'économie sociale et solidaire. Bonne lecture !

dimanche 20 janvier 2013

Car sharing : having access to rather than owning a car

If you liked my post about Autolib' last week, I bet you're going to like this one too!

Today, I focus on car sharing, a new transportation usage that is born from applying collaborative thinking to a traditionally private good.

Source :

Here is the article, published on my blog "Grids at work".

dimanche 13 janvier 2013

Autolib', pour démarrer 2013 sur les chapeaux de roue

Meilleurs voeux pour 2013 !

Pour bien commencer l'année, je vous propose un article sur Autolib', dont les bluecars n'auront pas manqué d'interpeller les parisiens en 2012 et ne manqueront pas d'intéresser les autres. Le service proposé est en effet innovateur : alliant écologie et partage, deux nouvelles façons de penser qui s'ancrent de plus en plus dans les mentalités de demain.

Source :

Bonne lecture !