Enough of the projections of the funeral on the future of our companies to the digital era. In practitioner and expert of the topic, the entrepreneur Guy Mamou-Mani, former president of syntec numérique, the oracle optimistic of the ongoing revolution. His essay : “The revelation does not take place”, intends to correct the major misconceptions.

The Express : To understand the impact of the digital transformation in our lives and our societies, should we not already begin to stop thinking of digital in a minimalist sense, as a separate area within the broad catch-all of the services?

Guy Mamou-Mani : It is a major point, indeed. One day, a few months after the defeat of 2012, I asked Nicolas Sarkozy why he had very little spoken of during the campaign the transition to digital. He replied : “there is no wireless service industry.” This type of sentence has lost fifteen years in France. We live in a revolution of society, in which technology is changing the world, but we are still in the confusion between computer science and digital. The first term refers only to a technological revolution, the second to an anthropological mutation.

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I understand that the transformations induced by the digital present everywhere in our lives to be destabilizing. It is seen at the school. How can we teach today as it was fifty years ago? It is necessary to imagine a new pedagogy. Banning smartphones in the classroom seems to me to be a false good idea. Of course they must not disrupt the class, but used wisely, they can bring a lot as mini-computers. A teacher who does lessons on the Middle Ages might say : such a group is looking at on his phone the economy of the medieval times, another family, a third health, and then we put all his research together.

The digital returns often the image a bit cold of a world that is algorithmic, where the human has disappeared. What is this vision you think it is reductive?

For me, the dehumanization, it is France isolated as described by the yellow vests, desertification, medical, etc., by telemedicine, no need to make miles and wait months to see a specialist : you can find the best distance. Certainly, the link of the digital “is” not the physical link, but when it does not exist, the digital relationship, this is still better than nothing! The examples are plethora. Today, instead of sitting in lecture halls are crowded, you can attend the course from a great teacher in itself. Africa remained, for thousands of years in the process of development, created today’s start-up through to digital. And all that you are going to gain in productivity and efficiency allows you to release a certain number of people, job, binding and repetitive to assign them to other tasks, more fulfilling.

But when you transform cashiers, and security guards in the reception staff, many are on the edge of the path…

What you say is true since the dawn of time. Each major innovation has resulted in a first-time job losses, to create new ones in a second time. During the industrial revolution, each sewing machine operation eliminated about 80 jobs. But it is this bond technique, which has allowed the birth of the fashion industry. The countries whose economy is more robotic, are also those where there is the least unemployment, Germany for example.

What happens to employees in this dangerous interval, it also ignores the duration?

This question is central ; it refers to the training. Emmanuel Macron had perfectly grasped this issue prior to his election, as he had reason to say that it was necessary to defend not only the jobs but the employees – if a plant must close, the challenge is not to prevent the closure, but to train the people to another job. Also, I confess I do not understand why he speaks so little today, and is so little in this direction. What I see of the “training” that is implemented by the government is not necessarily in connection with the transformation of the company related to the digital revolution.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister of Education, has integrated the teaching of the code to the school…

of Course, just as Mounir Mahjoubi, the secretary of State responsible for digital, has created France Num, to accompany the digital transformation of SMES. But let us be aware : 90% of trades are affected by the digital, according to the european Union, and 85% of trades 2030 do not yet exist, according to the projections. We are at a crossroads, which calls for a massive commitment.

how the digital facilitates the integration of the least educated?

In digital careers to speak of, you can succeed without cultural capital, or social, provided you have a good experience, technological skills and an understanding of the issues of tomorrow. There are 400 schools in the digital in France, in which school leavers find a future. The area offers fantastic opportunities available even to people who do not speak French. In the industry, in the computer, the needs of educated people is evident.

You jump quickly on the problems posed by the accumulation of data : security breaches, the police infiltration of the individuals …

But I do not pass in silence, because this would be proof of otherworldliness that deny them. Our vision of digital technology will not evolve if we do not strengthen the framework of trust. How do you want to develop the e-health if patients believe that we are going to steal their blood for monetize? Unlike many of the business leaders of the digital world, it is for this reason that I support the european regulation that has just been put in place, the RGPD.

In addition, I am convinced that if you teach coding to children from the youngest age, you will train responsible citizens, who will no longer accept so easily deliver their data without counterparties. We can multiply the screaming alarms and the analyses of anxiety-inducing, but no one knows, in reality, what awaits us. The digital revolution is not written in advance, it will be what we make it.

Read our complete file

who benefits from the digital-to-school? Pass your code [computer science] first! The three digital revolutions that await the school

*The apocalypse digital will not take place. Editions of the Observatory. 220 p, 16 euros.


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