Inventing industry anew
In the midst of this economic crisis, countries are doing what they can to protect their industry and keep their manufacturing jobs. Out of rekindled feelings of loyalty, the media and public opinion are also troubled about the demise of these workers. Experts, professionals and ordinary citizens alike are angered by the trend to deindustrialize the country. They are taking to the streets demanding a rebirth of industry and clamoring for any ideas or solutions for slowing down what many see as a collapse.
It is common knowledge and widely conceded these days that France lacks competitiveness in a globalized world. Clinging to our bygone national pride, a genuine collective anxiety is setting in and becoming a current theme that could be expressed as: "The way things are going with deindustrialization, what will French factories still be making in 20 years?"
All projects begin by analyzing the situation and improving what is already there, so the Fives' Plants of the Future Observatory began by taking stock of how French people today actually feel about their factories. Is it a lack of interest, fear, rejection, a cultural disconnect, general scorn – as many have been saying in recent years – or is it symbolic fondness, economic optimism, faith in progress, in factories and our future?
The pages that follow contain the answers to these preliminary questions.