Five women who are inventing the world of tomorrow
Scientist, entrepreneur… By choosing creation and action as a way of life, they have transformed our way of seeing the world.
“To honor the complexity of living beings”, whether rats, octopuses, baboons, chimpanzees or birds, such is the ambition of Vinciane Despret, Belgian philosopher and specialist in animal ethology : since the early 2000s, his work has deconstructed the biases at work in those of ethologists, most of whom are male and fascinated by aggressiveness, a little less by collaboration. Then there was the Covid pandemic and the months of confinement. And there was silence in the towns and in the countryside. And so we listened, and rediscovered the song of the blackbirds, this “audiophonic novel”. And we finally understood the importance of the work of Vinciane Despret, who had just published Live as a bird, brilliant title (and reference to the naturalist Aldo Leopold), subjective and scientific, funny and passionate essay on the creation of territory in birds. If, in the face of the collapse of biodiversity, the objective is to improve interspecies socialization (between them and us) and to show adjusted respect for living things, as his friend the philosopher Baptiste Morizot summarizes, then nothing will happen without the ability to marvel. And in this, Despret, who has wonder as his driving force, is the right guide.
We can start with “Living in a bird” and continue with “Autobiography of an octopus”, published by Actes Sud.
New consumption codes
With her two partners, she is behind Yuka, the app with 26 million users, launched in 2016, which has transformed the way we buy: now one in three French people scan their products before going online. checkout to find out about its components and the score out of 100 evaluating its nutritional quality or its danger to health or the environment – same approach for cosmetics. Independent of any marketing link with brands and players in the food industry, Yuka plays a real lobbying role: many manufacturers are changing their formulas to obtain the famous green light. A consumer revolution and a ground swell that should redouble in force with the launch of the app on TikTok.
Delphine Remy Boutang
Ten years ago, she was one of the first to see how digital technology could change the professional lives of women, simplify the creation of a business, promote its visibility and the sharing of knowledge. Passed by London at IBM, Delphine Remy-Boutang opened to cohorts of women of all generations the Palais Brongniart, the Fashion Institute or the studios of Radio France, in Paris, for days of conferences and networking stamped JFD . When the reform of the baccalaureate sinks the share of girls in scientific disciplines, it creates digital bridges between Africa and the Old Continent, develops an investment component to support the growth of start-ups created by women. A major breakthrough bet to transform the world. Better.
messenger of hope
Its success recounts both the path strewn with pitfalls of a woman scientist far from worldly buffets and the advent of a technology which, having proven itself against Covid-19, will concern other diseases such as cancer. The 67-year-old Hungarian biochemist has been convinced since she was 30 of the potential of messenger RNA (roughly, with a classic vaccine, you are injected with a virus protein, the messenger RNA tells your cells how to make the protein ). From the United States, she was recruited by the German company BioNTech (she is now its vice-president), and her work made it possible to design the messenger RNA vaccine that is 95% effective. As a child, she rushed on the beast when her father killed the pig, to observe its organs. “You have to focus, she says, on what you can change.”
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She is one of those who, by creating a company, initiates a revolution. In 2016, this engineer, who worked for major agri-food groups and was struck by the scale of food waste – a third of the food produced, i.e. 10 million tonnes per year in France alone – co-founded Too Good To Go. merchants to sell their unsold items of the day at bargain prices in “surprise baskets” rather than throwing them away. Customers identify the lots offered on an application and just have to pick them up in store. Seven years later, Too Good To Go is present in 17 countries, claims 72.5 million consumers and more than 180,000 registered merchants, and nearly 200 million baskets saved from the trash. From a simple idea, Lucie Basch created a movement and sparked global awareness, which she nurtures through her constant work with public authorities, schools, businesses… and, for the past few weeks, farmers, as co-president a producer support fund. A 360 degree commitment for a lasting impact.