You have just launched Lightsoff.fr so that citizens can challenge merchants who still leave the lights in their windows on. What are the first results?
Lightsoff.fr was born within our new incubation program. The idea was to allow citizens to easily raise awareness of businesses that leave their storefronts lit at night thanks to polite and benevolent messages to copy and paste. This type of lighting represents 250,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of Marseille’s annual consumption. More than 500 businesses have already been sensitized in a few days throughout France and we see volunteers taking over everywhere.
Many citizen actions are taking place and taking the form of increasingly strong protests. What is your position on these topics?
At Bayes Impact, our goal is to facilitate the creation of citizen public services, that is, initiatives of general interest aligned with the values of public service. We therefore try to have an approach that is as constructive as possible in our initiatives: this makes it possible to multiply the impact because we have distribution partnerships with the public authorities.
Civic sense, mobilization for services that complement or accelerate public services are your niche. You even call one of your initiatives LaReserve.tech which brings together developers whom you call reservists. The semantics is military, even warlike. What did you mean?
The idea came to us with our experience of the pandemic. If it has taught us anything, it’s that citizen innovations like covid tracker, Covidliste or BriserLaChaine.org are essential. They make it possible to fill “the holes in the racket”, all those critical needs that emerge in times of emergency and to which the public authorities sometimes find it difficult to respond. But to create these solutions, you need expertise, vital forces ready to be mobilized quickly. Hence the notion of Reserve, because the covid is unfortunately neither the first nor the last crisis we have to face. We need a community that can be activated when necessary.
Behind this citizen mobilization, the creation of these tech solutions, who finances?
The citizens who realize these tech solutions are volunteers. They get involved because they want to be able to help respond to current societal challenges. In parallel, Bayes Impact identifies and frames projects, and supports the large-scale deployment of initiatives. These operations are financed by a logic of sponsorship from public or private organizations (in particular Caisse des Dépôts, Google, or other French Tech companies), which gives us great freedom in our field of action.
What are the other initiatives, in France and abroad, that inspire you on these Tech for Good topics?
Beautiful Tech for Good communities exist in France and abroad, in particular Data for Good, Latitudes, or the g0v movement in Taiwan… Our initiatives, and in particular our new community of citizens ready to activate their efforts in times of crisis, are related and complementary.
Read alsoInvestigation of the Tech for good phenomenon
If you had a single initiative, a single tech response to a social or environmental problem, what cause would you tackle?
A subject that is very close to my heart is the way in which we manage the dependency of the elderly. We all know that it is a very perfectible system, but we had to wait for the Orpéa scandal for the general public to take hold of it (for three weeks, until the next crisis drives the previous one out of the news). And in the meantime, there are many human tragedies that occur, which could be avoided or relieved with innovative ideas. This is what we want to do at Bayes Impact, to create a framework to give these initiatives every chance of having an impact.
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How to put Tech at the service of citizen ideas – Challenges
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