Innovate in the listening of the farmers to act in confidence
There are two projects to co-build the relationship change between administration and farmers, organised by the group “Les IdéaCteurs” :
- “la parole aux jeunes” an innovative form of debate with 80 technical students to become farmers
- a creative session “pour simplifier la vie des agriculteurs” organised in june 2018, with 40 people (half of farmers, half of public officers) which allowed, in a very constructive climate, to generate around 20 ideas about 3 possible axes of simplification.
There are very important challenges that concern agricultural field : climate, food, new business models, change skills and practises of farmers. Public policies have to sustain and lead this transition; our innovation proposes new methods to organise direct debates with farmers or future farmers.
The general directorate for economic and environmental performance of enterprises includes around 350 civil servants to lead national policies in order to implement a more successful agriculture and food sector in both environmental and economic pathways.
Regulations of market and competition, each products industry (vegetables, animals, etc.), common agricultural policy, better organisations are the mains subjects of this administration.
The new main challenges are to increase new agro-ecologic practices in our farms, to develop more autonomy and quality in local food production and distribution, to help agriculture to contribute to resist to the changing of climate.
These challenges need an important change of mindset of everybody and we have to call new forms or policies and new policy design to do it.
The main challenges for our administration now : create new ecosystem and new perspectives to lead agriculture policies.
Main problems facing the administration:
- to introduce new ways of discussion between partners, news paradigm for discussion.
- to cut the usual habits of discussion, to introduce new ways of mindset and news ways of discussion, and new public profile of administration, new legitimacy,
- to introduce more open and bottom-up methods and with less walls between different offices in the administration.
- To introduce new methods of work inside our organisation
- To demonstrate it is possible to have new forms of debate which give good results and not problems;
- To capture news ideas and give them a follow-up.
Who benefits from the innovation
- Employees in administration (people feel better in their work if there is more sense and more positive returns)
- administration (new public profile and legitimacy)
What was concretely happened ?
There have been two projects to co-build the relationship change between administration and farmers, organised by the group “Les IdéaCteurs” :
- “la parole aux jeunes” organised during the French week of public innovation (November 2017) with 80 students/pupils of an agricultural technical school (Chaumont, Haute Marne) on their sensitive feelings (motivations & fears) about the job of farmer, with the generous presence of the director of the very rewarded movie “Petit paysan”, Hubert Charuel
- a creative session “pour simplifier la vie des agriculteurs” organised in June 2018, with 40 people (half of farmers, half of public officers) which allowed, in a very constructive climate, to generate around 20 ideas about 3 possible means of simplification, in the framework of the French law “for a State in a service of a reliable society”
- for the project “ la parole aux jeunes” : national administration meet directly students in agriculture in interactive workshops, supported by a film to speak about what is to be a farmer.
- for the project “pour simplifier la vie des agriculteurs”, national administration organised a workshop with individual farmers (and not with classic professional organisations) and supported by design methods to discussadministrative process of simplification
How can we change the scale?
We can do this by multiplying this kind of projects, by catching very concrete questions embedding important societal challenges (animal well-being, decreasing of pesticides, farmers ‘s income, etc.)
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
There are two different workshops with design methods:
- a debate with young rural students after a projection of the movie ’Petit paysan’ : use of methods which stimulate creative & intelligence, both individual & collective (ice breakers, snowball, etc), in a sensitive approach to complete the technical work made during a huge momentum called “Etats généraux de l’alimentation” (July to December 2017), organisation of an original artistic restitution with the improvisation of 2 theater actors), appointment of a documentary film-maker who lives in this rural territory, to make a 30 minutes film which takes the time to really listen to these new generational farmers
- a debate with 40 people, all recruited intuitu personae, to co-build very practical propositions on the big issue of the simplification of the relations between farmers and administrations : use of a high professionnal external service provider to balance the risks of the project, who implements “makestorming” collaborative tools
What is the current status of your innovation?
Currently, we are generating ideas or designing solutions, which is especially relevant for the session “pour simplifier la vie des agriculteurs”.
Collaborations & Partnerships
Civil society organisation and government officials
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
- employers of administration
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
For the session “pour simplifier la vie des agriculteurs”, on the results and impacts :
- it occurred after 2 postponements ; the project-team (5 colleagues) showed a lot of tenacity! Especially in the radical choice to recruit 40 participants intuitu personæ, what is very unusual for the administration
- great satisfaction for the team but also into the whole group of 50 colleagues ”Les idéaCteurs, for this transverse work, the collective acquisition of knowledge and experience
- huge satisfaction of the participants (feedback survey very good) on the methods & the results
- the 2 sponsors/pilots (members of the direction board) convinced by the relevance of the used method of co-design & the quality of the services provider for photos/videos
- around 20 concrete ideas co-created by 5 mixed groups between farmers & public officers. It is possible to generate an action plan to implement simplification in different frameworks
Challenges and Failures
It’s absolutely necessary to convince each hierarchical level of the structure, even if we had a caution of general direction (for example, for some budget problems).
It’s difficult to give a good understanding about we want to do ; all the minds are not necessarily open to these approaches. It’s difficult for each of the group “Les IdéaCteurs” to devote time to work on these projects, which are still perceived as in addition to usual work to be done.
It’s very important to organise internal feedback to make progress on writing a methodological “memo” which will be very helpful in the organisation of such creative debates in the future.
Conditions for Success
Few words about the group “Les IdéaCteurs” : 50 public officers in the whole general directorate which count 350 people, who wishes to invest time & energy in the field of innovation in all forms it can take : public innovation, private innovation of economic actors of the agriculture, food, environment & health sectors, social & organisational innovation…
This group started in April 2017, works by project or continuously, meets every month, tries to get fresh ideas by forging links with other networks (Direction Interministerielle de la Transformation Publique -DITP-, 27eme Region, etc.)
The dynamism of the group is built on the motivation of the individuals who belong to, their desire to “play collective” to transform an idea in result. But the sustain of general direction is essential.
Few funds (not lot but a minimal) are necessary.
Few leaders to do it, having knowledge about new design of public.
“Les IdéaCteurs” are a vector of transformation on our technical/policy subjects and\or a team of facilitation on the use of new methods.
In terms of methods, IdéaCteurs learn about unusual methods of work for the administration. In terms of ourtechnical/policy subjects, there is progressive infusion via the acculturation of the group. Since a “IdéaCteur” begins to design an innovative action on one of his/her technical/policy subject for which he/she is responsible in his/her core business.
A major stake for the organisation of such creative workshops is to clearly identify what is expected form the ideation process, after a clear identification of the needs and the ways of use of the results. These workshops must come in addition to traditional circuits of consultation & expertise.
- to take a lot of time for explanation
- to be sure to be supported by the management
- to have and capitalize some communications tools to explain and illustrate what we have done