Changing the world at scale: We Act for Good  |  Pascal Canfin, WWF France

Changing the world at scale: We Act for Good | Pascal Canfin, WWF France


Good afternoon to you all. This closing session for the very first day
is about the connection between NGOs such as WWF and startupers like you. So what are we after as WWF? We are trying to live within the limits of
the only planet we have whether we talk about natural resources (forest, fish stocks) and
climate change. So we all know where we are in terms of ecological
crisis. Don’t worry not many figures. Just one story…getting back to 1880. We are going to take 45 seconds together to travel from 1880 to today to understand climate evolution. It’s starting. It’s the NASA figures and we are now in 1820’s. It’s becoming hotter and hotter. It’s getting worse… Then 1990s and here is where we are now. That is where we are NOW. So now is 1.1 degree celsius more than when
we started to measure climate change in 1880. You all the figure of the 2 degrees, the 1.5
degrees. This is the limit we should really stay within
and even below. We are already more than half-way to that
limit. So we really really need to act otherwise
we are going to see more and more and more of that. Of course those images are about Emma and
other recent climate weather events. Where are we? This quotation by president Obama is a very
good summary of where we are. “We are the first generation to feel the effects
of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.” So it’s very clear that it is just now or
it will be too late. But it is also very clear that it is now because
we have the means; which was not true 10 years, 20years, 30 years before so that’s our challenge,
our responsibility as a generation. Is change possible in such a short period
of time? 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, if we do not
change at scale in the next decade … Well for ourselves and for our kids the planet
will not be a nice place to live in. We have examples in history because of course
change does not just come only from startupers like you. We have had change in the car system. This is the 5th av. in NYC in 1900 and the
very same street 13 years later. No car vs. no horse. So it means that in 13 years you can dramatically
and massively change a whole system of transportation. Of course you had some pollution with the
horses, you had other kinds of pollution with the cars we have here and the new ones we
have now. But it means that the system can be changed
in 13 years time. Another example; at announcement of Pope Benedict
XVI in 2005 you could not see a single smartphone because it did not exist. Or more accurately it existed but for a very
small number of early adopters. 8 years later so not even 13 years; the announcement
of pope Francis you have all types of tech and smartphones everywhere. only 8 years later! So it’s not just a tech issue because it change the way you are. In 2005 you are in Roma (because you are interested
in the event), you just look and you are waiting for the new pope to be announced; you are a witness. In 2013 you are an actor of the event, you are a media to convey the message and to convey the way you see this event. So it’s a dramatic change not only from a
technical point of view but also from a societal point of view. But sometimes things don’t change. Here you have the French national assembly
in 1945 and the very same French national assembly (and I used to be part of that) in
2015. Of course my message is not ‘politics is not
important’; ‘politics do matter and the rules of the game matter’ and all the people in
this room do care about the financing rules and the fiscal rules. So the policy and politics matter. But we all know that it is not enough. And that’s why we need connections and actions
together between NGOs and the NGO community and the entrepreneurs you are. What is our vision of the connection between
green issues and IT? The very first one is ‘how to green IT?’ I am not going to focus here on this dimension
but this is the very first pillar. You have here a couple of figures you can
have in mind. Just one: the equivalent of the total CO2
emissions of the internet globally equals the total emission of civil flights worldwide. So when you talk about climate change or when
you think about climate change impact you have the usual suspects in mind like cars
and airplanes; you don’t naturally think about the internet and your computer and your smartphone. But at the end of the day they are equivalent
[in terms of climate impact] And here we are only talking about the internet. So it is massive. There is another dimension which is ‘ IT for
green ‘. How could the transformational power of technology be used for all of us, for the
planet, at scale and in the right time frame? That’s the issue for us and that’s where we
see the connection between yourselves and ourselves. Of course we have one basic example: communication. Let’s take this figure. We have now (as WWF France) almost 1 million
supporters , and I invite you to join. This community is not complete yet. And we can send a single message on Facebook
and reach 9 million people (that’s our record). So 1 message for almost 9 million people reached
in France. Monitoring air pollution in real time thanks
to new data capturing. Car pooling, car sharing, any kind of smart
way to collaborate in order to reduce our CO2 emissions, reduce the costs and move forward
in busy cities. Protection of species. We used, as WWF in Africa, drones to protect
elephants, rhinos and so on. Food waste; there are many apps on this topic
like Too good to go in order to reduce food waste and there are so many things still to
be done on that topic which means we could expand even more. That’s exactly why we are here now. It is to create, by taking all this examples,
a single infrastructure that will gather all those initiatives at scale. Because that is the issue. The issue is not only changing; it’s changing
at the right path, the right time, at scale. That’s our mission. This is where we need to cooperate more. And that is our proposal of course. To move from very nice experiences, new business
models, new tech, new services, that are not yet at scale and by joining our strengths
having a chance to reach scale. What is our concept? Last year we framed it as ‘crowdacting’. Crowdacting is obviously coming from crowdsourcing or from crowdfunding but applied to an acting dimension. Let’s act together to create a community around
3 simple concepts . 1/ Horizontality. A lot of corporates and institutions (and governments and of course NGOs) are top-down, are vertical. All we are after, and you are yourself coming
from that dimension, we are after horizontality. I don’t believe in top down things but i believe
in our capacity to crowd source things and to move together. 2/ Community. Most of you know and knew WWF. I did the test before. I guess most of you went to the cinema to
see the documentary called ‘Demain’ [ Tomorrow in French]? Hmmm that’s about 25% of this room. If i scale that to France that’s about 20m
people. In reality 1.5 million watched this film. This is huge for a film documentary. And for the ones who watched the movie I think
you came out of the theatre being inspired, being pumped up and you said “well it’s my
time to act” and then you came back home and wondered “which community do I join to act
together?”. The answer is “you can’t” because it does
not exist. You have a community of velib users. You have a community of organic food consumers,
you have a community of WWF supporters, you have a community of… and so on and so on
But you can’t join a integrated community where in a very simple way – and I can tell you, you
know that by heart how complicated it is to be simple – in a very simple way we can start acting together. So we decided to do a project which is called
‘We Act for Good’. It’s WAG. It’s an app. It has been under development for a couple
of months now and the mvp will be available in November 2017. We started from the drawbacks that prevent
people from acting. The three most common drawbacks we know are
the following: 1. It’s too complicated. I would love to do something but it’s too
complicated 2. I would love to do something but it’s too expensive 3. I would love to
do something but I don’t know how to or where to start. The awareness is there. Figures might be over-estimated because when
answering surveys people will never honestly say “I don’t care about the planet”. For real it’s not 87% of people who are aware,
maybe it’s 50%. But that’s more than enough to act collectively, at scale. A cultural majority is there. But our mission is to transform it into an
acting majority. We need to address those 3 challenges. First we will do that by engaging. This app, and this is its advantage compared
to initiatives which have already been attempted is that we will use machine learning to engage
each user personally so that a student in Paris will not be engaged in the same way
than a family in Nice. And we will have special editions for kids
and for the adults and kids will be able to get their parents onboard. We will leverage our NGO experience and knowledge
to engage people in a new way with the help of machine learning. The second thing we will do is ‘acting’. Getting people to take new challenges, make
new recipes, take your bike and so on … but at the end of the day part of the actions
we are after will be stamped on a map to show. Not all, if you take your bike from home you don’t have to be geo-localised on the map. But sometimes of course all the services nowadays (and I noticed while walking amongst you today) are using maps. So the whole thing is gathering a lot of information , very basic information. So if we don’t want to live in a world where
in the ocean there is more plastic than fishes we need to change two things 1/use less plastic
and 2/ allow fish stocks to renew and sustain a longer life. So you are aware of the fish stock challenges. But where do you find fish which is certified
‘sustainable fishery’. Maybe you’ve heard about some information
one day maybe by WWF or by Nicolas Hulot foundation or by Greenpeace but where do I find it in
my neighbourhood? That’s the kind of information I need to know
in order to move from intention to action otherwise I have awareness and intention but
no action and no fish at the end. WAG provides this kind of information. ‘In a 200 meter radius of your location there
is a certified sustainable fishmonger’. That’s the kind of things we could duplicate
for organic food, for waste, for fair trade items for SO many things. That’s why we are investing together with
partners in this infrastructure to create this new functionality in order to make it
more simple and concrete to act. The third dimension is ‘at the right price’. Remember ‘too complicated’, ‘where do i start?’
and ‘it’s too expensive’. It’s becoming less and less expensive actually. We need to change people’s mindset. But still sometimes it’s more expensive. The idea is to usue very simple social networks
and systems such as discount prices and group purchase which are not applied at scale for
green goods and for green services. We consider that we can cover the three main
drawbacks. We want people to: ‘be proud of being par
of this community’. I am proud of being part of this community. I am not part of it because I am forced to. I am doing it because I am proud to. The second things is ‘to have an interest
in doing it’. ‘I do it because I save money, I will have
20% discount of my electric bike, I will have 20% discount of my green energy bill’. And the third one is ’emulation’. It’s a collective story. It’s not only about myself, it’s not about
me being alone and not knowing where I should start but it’s being part of a collective
travel adventure and story. So let’s try to summarise that. Compared to what’s already existing, compared
also to what you [entrepreneurs] are doing. The first thing is mainstreaming. The last thing we want to do is to produce
something for a niche market for the Parisian bobos ( well ok some of us might be that). That’s why one of our partners is Plus Belle
La Vie. Plus Belle La Vie is the largest soap opera
in France. “How many of you watch Plus Belle La Vie?”. So that’s 1%, 2% maybe 3%”. There; you can see now. The difference between the audience of Demain
and the audience of Plus Belle la Vie. That’s where we need to connect the dots. So that we can add all the forces to cover
a very large part of the population. The second thing is using big data and machine
learning to have the right information at the right time in the right place for the
user which costs a lot as you know. The third thing is ‘local to global’. This project, and this app now is developed
by WWF France and partners but with two dimension of growth in mind. The first one is to get even more local than
France, to go to micro level and to be used as a tool for public local policies. We are currently partnering with the city
of Rouen in Normandy in order for them to use this app as a public tool for their own
objectives (reduce CO2 emissions, collect more waste…) The second one, we are already discussing
how we can grow this app globally because it is designed to be global. We already have two other countries (which
have WWF offices) which are already working on it: South-Korea
and China (a small one). That means that imagine in 6 months time we
have in South-Korea, China, France and maybe other markets a tool that could be integrated
so that if you travel or move to another location you can use that same app just like Uber and other apps to engage you into
action. If that existed today I am pretty sure you
would already have it on your phone. This is exactly what we want to create. What can we do together? The big word here is not ‘what’ it’s ‘together’. Of course around WAG. How are we going to WAG together? The first thing for you to is to get everyone onboard,
get our existing community to promote your initiatives, your products,
your services, your goods. Not to promote it for bad reasons but to help
promote the goods and services which can help consumers be the change The second thing is, if you are a local authority,
you can use it for you local policy. The third one is to become one of our partners
and the fourth one is changing visibility and creating exposure. And from talking to many of you today it’s
pretty clear that we have a win-win situation here. And I am sure many of you are interested in that and that’s the whole point. If we do it all separately. if everyone of us develop their own solution
it will be great but it will not be enough. If we just wait for politicians or big corporations
to do it they won’t ever deliver. So starting from a micro-level which is yours
as an entrepreneur and thinking about reaching scale thanks to a joint effort in creating
this community for action together. That’s how we can win the race we are against
for instance in climate change. Thank you.

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