The challenges of Vivatech 2022
The 2022 edition has taken a stand. In order to ensure that we act for more inclusion and diversity in Tech, the event is partnering with Diversidays, which is presenting the first part of a major study on inclusion and diversity in the startup world, in partnership with PwC and Occurrence. It is therefore a bigger and more responsible edition. Co-organised by Publicis Groupe and Les Echos for the past seven years, it is reviving the innovation sector after two complicated years.
Six major themes reflect the sector's strong trends:
- Race to net zero emissions, i.e. the carbon reduction objective to be achieved within three years according to the IPCC report, which involves the participation of the tech ecosystem;
- Mobility rebound, following the major shift in the sector over the last two years;
- Future of work, to invent new uses in the workplace;
- Inclusion is a mindset, to make diversity more a part of the tech world
- Web3 & Metavers, where emerging technologies are explored: Web3, quantum, metavers;
- European scaleups, which highlights European start-ups
At the same time, the event is boosting its experience, both in person and remotely, notably through a free digital platform, which complements the live conferences, as well as the discovery of virtual showrooms, 3D innovations and metavers.
Key figures and commitments:
- More than 2000 exhibitors
- More than 30 countries
- 119 million people reached
- 91,000 physical visitors and more than 300,000 connected visitors
This year, Vivatech is thinking big, in order to put diversity, inclusion and sustainability at the heart of the exchanges. For this reason, the event is aiming for ISO 20121 (responsible event) certification by 2023, allowing it to aspire to sustainable event status. Urbanomy, EDF's carbon and energy planning consultancy startup, has consolidated VivaTech's carbon footprint for 2021 and 2022 into a strategic roadmap to reduce the event's environmental impact throughout its lifecycle.
The event has also partnered to plant 12,000 trees on a 9-hectare area to offset its carbon emissions.
Environment, inclusion and diversity: a winning bet?
That said, despite the great success of the event and the contagious optimism that emerged, it would be wrong to claim that it was a green show, even if that colour and the word "green" were everywhere, as TechCrash copiously described in the special edition of its newsletter.
Welcome to the meta-green. [...] Unsurprisingly, greentech and metavers were the big winners of this 2022 edition. Whether it's with the "French Tech goes Green", the green receipt, the Google logo nicely repainted in green for the occasion or the connected mirror (which informs in real time about CO2 emissions)... EVERYTHING was adorned with "green", from the carpet to the fake plants scattered between two stands of disposable goodies. VivaTech 2022 was also an opportunity to ask the real questions - "Can data save the planet? - or to chant the unexpected slogans "Greentech is the South!" between two Tech for Good conferences organised by BNP.
It is true that the tech sector still has a long way to go to avoid this type of comment (without which we could not improve, wink to TechCrash). Metavers, NFTs, Web3 and space travel, as well as a number of questionable innovations were omnipresent. No, indeed, Vivatech is not a green fair, nor is that its primary ambition. On the other hand, the tech community has become aware of its environmental responsibility and has made commitments to change this, which is important to underline.
There is perhaps also a nuance to the pro-diversity and inclusion rhetoric, as although progress is being made year on year, it is slow to evolve for a number of reasons. However, it is one of the two areas highlighted by French Tech, along with GreenTech this year. Gender diversity requires changes in the governance model of companies (more open and democratic governance in particular), in the culture of the sector, but also in the educational model from childhood onwards and the need to highlight female success stories in scientific and technical fields. Here are some examples of what has been done:
- BNP Paribas, together with Simplon and the associations Digital Ladies & Allies and BECOMTECH, offered a series of conferences to boost gender diversity in the digital professions, addressing various themes (deconstructing preconceived ideas, arousing vocations and encouraging girls and women of several generations to feel legitimate in choosing a career path in the digital sector)
- BNP Paribas puts women entrepreneurs in the spotlight with its ConnectHers programme.
- BNP devoted an entire day to digital inclusion for the general public, aimed at families.
- The Occitanie region also had a whole corner dedicated to digital inclusion.
- Finally, diversity also means representing cultural diversity, which is notably achieved through the AfricaTech Awards.
We are still looking for a new performance model and we will have to invent it, but we can see that the numerous delegations of large companies are increasingly interested in it, as shown by the themes addressed during the conferences in particular.
Another proof of this interest is the attendance at the fruggr stand and the media spotlight on its raison d'être and its value proposition, which for us symbolises the increased awareness and interest of large companies in CSR, carbon footprint reduction and responsible digital technology. fruggr received no less than three awards during the Vivatech trade show: Challenge Vivatech-Orange, La Poste-French IoT prize and KPMG-la Fevad top 5 ecommerce startups. Each of these awards highlights one of the dimensions of its business model and the impact that the platform can have for companies that want to improve their impact.
Some tweets that did not go unnoticed
A message of hope and optimism from President Emmanuel Macron
The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, spoke once again this year at an event that he loves and has actively supported since its inception. In particular, he delivered a message of encouragement to the FrenchTech community, in a complicated context.
When Vivatech was launched in 2016, it was a gamble and there were people who said that it was doubtful, that the French were playing the rooster by saying that they had a place to take in technology, but this event has imposed itself. Bravo because we have come a long way on a national scale. [...] This late spring of 2022, with a French ecosystem that is natively European, we have multiplied by 5 the number of funds raised. I had set a target of 25 unicorns in 2025, and we are at 27.
Diversity and inclusion was the watchword this year.
Bob Bejan, Corporate Vice President Global Events, Production Studios & Marketing community at Microsoft, emphasised the role of inclusion and diversity in business success
Digital Africa, representing the cultural diversity of the French-speaking world
African startups were once again in the spotlight and three of them received the AfricaTech Awards in the #Fintech, #Healthtech and #ClimateTech categories. Several conferences and exchange moments allowed to present the challenges of tech on the African continent but also to create synergies, in particular via Digital Africa, a network that aims to bring out "Made in Africa" solutions for the real economy.
An edition rich in committed innovations
Top 4 SD innovations
We dug deep to find a few digital innovations for the environment, inclusion and education that caught our eye this year.
Environment & greentech
How can tech help protect and restore the planet, reimagine urban life, limit our carbon emissions and offer sustainable alternatives to major sources of pollution?
BeFC Biobatteries and eco-friendly digital labels
BeFC addresses the pollution caused by miniature batteries by offering a version that produces energy from enzymes.
World first: Air Liquide inaugurates Cryocap™, a technology for capturing CO₂ by cold. Air Liquide inaugurated today in France Cryocap™, a unique industrial installation allowing the capture of CO2, emitted during the production of hydrogen, by cryogenic process.Cryocap is the technology developed by Air Liquid, which captures the CO2 produced by industrial sites and transforms them into hydrogen. CO2 capture in hydrogen production units
#Environment&Greentech #Energy #Industry&SupplyChain
Kumulus-1 is a machine capable of producing drinking water from airborne moisture. Relatively compact and easy to install and use, it can produce 20-30 litres of drinking water per day.
#Environment&Greentech #Deeptech #Africatech
Diversity, inclusion & education
POZZZ is a game that offers personal and group challenges to encourage and reward time without a smartphone. It helps teenagers, parents, couples and employees, at school, at work, to find their life balance.
A brief history of Vivatechnology
Let's take a quick look back at the steps this event has taken to become what it is today.
For 6 years now, Vivatech has become the European CES, a must-attend tech event. Vivatech made its debut in 2016, organised by Publicis Group, under the impetus of the startup ecosystem and driven by the President of the Republic (then François Hollande). Emmanuel Macron is Minister of Finance. The star guests are Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), Jimmy Wales (Founder of Wikipedia) and Tim Armstrong (CEO of AOL). This first edition brings together 5,000 startups and 45,000 visitors.
The following year in 2017, the exhibition took place at Porte de Versailles and attracted just over 6,000 startups, 1,400 investors and almost as many journalists. French President Emmanuel Macron gave the opening speech on 14 June, during which he announced the creation of a €10 billion fund for innovation and the launch of a French technology visa for international entrepreneurs4. The share of women among speakers was then 25% in 2016 and 35% in 2017.
2018, the event is three years old and still growing to welcome 100,000 visitors and more than 300 international speakers attending the third edition of the event. Among the celebrities and influential figures present are Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO Uber), Ginni Rometty (CEO of IBM), Chuck Robbins (CEO Cisco) and Bill McDermott (CEO SAP Service), but also the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. That year, the African startup ecosystem was highlighted through a dedicated hub called Afric@Tech. President Emmanuel Macron announced a programme to finance African startups.
The fourth edition, in 2019, welcomes 124,000 visitors and is marked by Tech for Good. 13,000 startups are present as well as 450 international personalities, including Young Sohn (en), president of Samsung, Philippe Wahl, CEO of La Poste. Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Olympic champion Usain Bolt, Holly Ridings from NASA, John Kerry and Margrethe Vestager.
The years 2020 and 2021 are decisive and challenging for the organising team, which is forced to cancel the 2020 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The year 2021 will see the return of the hybrid fair, which will also include a remote content offer. 500 exhibitors and 5000 visitors, with the necessary sanitary measures. France 24 states that this edition is "hesitant" to surf on the new trends that the pandemic is bringing out, but that this edition is under the sign of reconnection to its values (France 24). Amongst the celebrities speaking, we find Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, or Brad Smith, President of Microsoft
In conclusion, in a context of unbridled technological race, the measurement of impacts and the sufficiency of the means used are more than ever necessary levers to accompany the transition, both environmental and social, in order to guarantee results through proof. We are only at the beginning of this reflection. The comparison of positive externalities versus negative externalities generated is only too rarely mentioned. Some so-called innovations raise questions about their contribution. The recent European laws on CSRD or, more globally, ESG could be the safeguards for more virtuous innovation.
Author : Marie-Christine Aubin