M. Macron is the Future of Work (=🤖)…and interesting 🤖 links
Big idea: 🇫🇷🇫🇷 elections could be the trigger for greater reform in the labour market
The final round in the 🇫🇷 presidential election takes places this weekend, a contest in which Emmanuelle Macron (=👶🏻), an independent centrist described as a social-liberal faces Marine Le Pen (= 👩🏼) the extreme-right candidate. One of the final battles before the vote was this week’s debate between the candidates. It was a match that has been described by 🇫🇷 journalists as one of the most violent debates in history. 👩🏼 opened proceedings by describing 👶🏻 as ‘the candidate of uncontrolled globalisation 🌎, Uber-isation 🚕, precariousness, social brutality 👊🏿… the war of all against all’ (there’s a review of the debate here).
What I want to focus on this week is how each candidate is proposing to react to the radical transformations that are taking place in the labour market and workplace 👔. What is their vision 👁 for dealing with an era dominated by change? What do they think 🤔 of these changes: the growing number of freelancer workers, an increase in remote teams, traditional offices giving way to coworking spaces, millenials and their expectations,…? Clearly, there are two radically different views.
👶🏻 vs. 👩🏼
👶🏻 believes we need to embrace and adapt to the changes that are taking place in the labour market; and views them as great assets to our economy. Transitioning from a more traditional industrial-oriented economy to a services and digitally-oriented 💻 economy, 👶🏻 wants to invest 💰 heavily in training ✍️ to help workers embrace the digital 💻 revolution. He is the champion of tech companies and the start-up scene in 🇫🇷. According to the FT ‘👶🏻 fires up 🇫🇷 tech’ primarily because he is a start-up himself. With more than 240,000 people 📈(source : En Marche, 👶🏻’s party) joining his En Marche party within 12 months of its creation, 👶🏻 has rocked the traditional French political landscape of left (where he’s originally coming from) and right, to create a new political force that could win Sunday’s 🇫🇷 election. He uses the same language as entrepreneurs, talking about ‘new usage’ in politics, disruption, transformation and simplification’. He genuinely believes that start-ups can help the country to grow 🚀, and that ‘innovation comes from start-ups far more than from from established companies’. With Macron as a president we could expect more incentives to invest 💰 in start-ups, more investment 💰 from the State and simpler administrative procedures for the start-ups themselves…
When he was Minister of the Economy 💵 during Hollande’s mandate, Macron voted for a bill 📄(known as the El Khomri labour law) that simplifies administration for businesses. For instance, companies are no longer obliged to distribute printed copies 📬 of employees’ payslips and can instead supply a digital copy only ✉️ 👫. This helped a few start-ups in 🇫🇷 — Payfit, for example, raised more than €5.6M in investment 💰funding thanks to the payslip processing software it created to aid small businesses.
In his team, Macron has put forward Axelle Tessandier 🙆🏻, a young successful entrepreneur with no background in politics (check here for her full portrait in 🇫🇷) as one of his campaign’s icons. She’s well know in the tech world; as is Mounir Mahjoubi 👦🏻, now in charge of Macron’s digital campaign; formerly president of the Conseil National Numérique and co-founder of La Ruche qui dit Oui,.
If 👶🏻 were not running for election, there is a rumour that he would probably be in Silicon Valley 🏄 running a start-up 😱 😂(the same thing was said about Obama).
“Make France great again”
👩🏼is the total opposite: protectionist, anti-Europe, anti-globalization 🌎, she is the candidate of ‘workers’ ⛑, low income earners and those being marginalised by globalization. Her intentions regarding labour reform are not clear and are changing since her recent alliance with Nicolas Dupont-Aignant, a sovereignty 👑 candidate who achieved 4.5% of the vote in the first round. For example she’s proposing to nationalize 🇫🇷 companies that fire workers ⛑ to protect jobs, nationalize 🇫🇷 ‘highways’ and lower 📉 the retirement age though there are no clear propositions for how she is going to finance this. She also wants to tax 🇫🇷 companies that hire foreigners, including Europeans.
Le Pen is clearly not the candidate of entrepreneurs nor is she in line with the changing trends in the labour market 🤖. She is asking the 🇫🇷 to turn in on themselves, become insular and closed-minded. ☔️. But her ideas together with the general economic climate –19% of 15–29 year olds in France are unemployed (source : Ministere du Travail) — have helped her to gain 📈 popularity and become a real threat.
We’ll see what happens on Sunday, but on a final note, I think it’s interesting to look at the parallel that can be drawn with the 🇺🇸 elections, where all entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley were against Trump (except for Peter Thiel). The final result — the election of Trump — was a real ‘wake-up’ call in the Valley — a reminder that entrepreneurs need to solve ‘real problems’, but that too often they are disconnected from the realities of working people ⛑. This is why Mark Zuckerberg started a tour of the 🇺🇸to meet people and understand how they are thinking about the future 🤖.
Coming back to 🇫🇷, even though there’s no doubt that tech is the future (and the present), tech is still a relatively small ecosystem and does not represent everyone’s interests. We need to be very mindful of not neglecting the needs of the marginalised areas of society ⛑, as has been the case for the last 30 years with our past presidents. Otherwise we could have a very nasty surprise at the next French elections in 2022.
Links sharing :
Slack introduces Frontiers, its first future of work conference (VentureBeat). This should be really interesting. It takes place in San Francisco the 12nd & 13th of September. Strong signal and message from Slack about its positioning in this eco-system.
How to Make Decisions like Ray Dalio (Tren Griffin) Great framework on how to take decisions with a focus on being non-consensual and confronting your idea.
Elon Musk’s TED 2017 Full Interview In case you intentionally missed it as everyone spoke about it. Really impressive (again) speech and demonstration from Elon Musk on his next and boring start-up building tunnel to fight traffic.
Next Insurance raises $29 million for online platform that targets small businesses with tailored plans (VentureBeat) The insurance market is being digitalised quickly and many new initiatives with different business models are starting to shine.
Hans Rosling: ‘A kind and constantly curious genius’. Because everyone should know about Hans Rosling (The Guardian)
That’s all for this week. Thanks again for reading. Please send me any articles you find or any feedback you have for topics you think should be included in future newsletters.
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Europe Text by Tracy MCNICOLL Latest update : 2017–05–04 National Front candidate Marine Le Pen came out swinging in…www.france24.com