Viva Le France’s Investing in Social Innovation for the Digital Future

Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Europe, Green, Tech

Let’s visit France to know about what our digital future holds… An annual social innovation event called, ‘Futur-en-Seine’ that took place recently, brought together more than 80 prototypes and innovative devices from the world of digital content and services that could be part of our lives in the future. The event was the brainchild of Cap Digital, a unique not-for-profit organisation that creates digital content and services in Paris and the Ile de France region. Cap Digital connects people, organisations, universities and labs so they can innovate together, making an impact globally.

This event also brings together the cultural side of our lives into the mix with performances, lectures, workshops and panel sessions presented by innovators, CEOs, designers and researchers from the digital industry. Futur-en-Seine is structured around 10 areas that affect both our digital and real lives: cities, social innovation, health care and well being, new design, robotics, art and culture, DIY, children, knowledge and data.

Patrick Cocquet, CEO of Cap Digital says, “We want people to be confident in the future and not be afraid of the digital world we are creating. We want to influence the future and when you have global economy you can influence the future.” Cap Digital receives money from the French government, but operates as a private company. Its goal is to have a healthy mix between public and private companies in order to move ideas to prototypes to commercialisation or help small to medium sized companies grow, collaborate and play on the global stage.

This year Futur-en-Seine had 15 prototypes that included small companies and research projects like NoRack, a new round green data server that doesn’t require an air conditioning cooling system and is specifically designed for big data storage; Mail for Good, a platform for NGOs and their online funding initiatives and systems; and BabblePlanet,a social game for kids to learn spoken English and interact with kids from other countries, fostering a more global  community. These were just some of the projects that received 45% of their funding for their projects via Cap Digital, and in order to create commitment to these projects, each developer had to come up with the rest of the funds to complete their prototype.

Cap Digital believes that the digital economy has no borders and that it is critical to support this ecosystem in France through social innovation events like Futur-en-Seine because it brings science, technology and new thinking together, with investors and global entities to build an ecosystem for the future that will benefit us all internationally.

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Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.


Justmeans is the world’s leading source of information and connections for the sustainable business industry. Founded in 2008, the company rapidly grew its online community of practitioners, investors, journalists, activists, and students to 250,000 registered users. A wide variety of companies rely on Justmeans news distribution services to create, distribute, and analyze performance on media releases related to social and environmental performance. Justmeans is also the publisher of the Social Innovation Awards and a number of leading conferences in the sustainable business industry.

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