Second edition of the event "Agir pour le vivant": economy, territories and transitions

Published on 09/01/2021 News

A look back at the second edition of the "Agir pour le vivant1" event, supported by Mirova, which was held in Arles from 22 to 29 August 2021. During these seven days of debates and meetings to raise awareness and try to design a model of society that integrates the challenges of the living world, the teams of Mirova present on site had the opportunity to share their experiences and their views on the role of finance in the environmental and social transition, but also to draw inspiration through inspiring visits to the Arles area.


Economy and environmental transition: finance is not neutral

Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova, was alongside Sophie Swaton, philosopher and economist, and Nathan Stern, founder of Biens communs, consultant in new technologies at the service of social cohesion, for an exchange on the theme of "Creating a new financial civility", moderated by Anne-Cécile Bras, RFI-Radio France environmental journalist.

During this conference, the question of the role of finance and taxation in the social and environmental transition, as well as that of the acceptability to citizens of proposals such as the eco-detax, were developed. Philippe Zaouati also mentioned the growing demand among industrialists for more regulation in favour of actors with better environmental and social credentials, in order to be able to gain in competitiveness (for example, this column published by a group of 150 French textile company managers).

Click here to watch the full conference (in French)


Finance is not neutral: through the decisions we take in the financial world, we have an impact on the real economy and its development.

Philippe Zaouati

Philippe Zaouati also took part in a debate with Eva Joly, lawyer and politician, and Michael Vincent, economist, entitled "Civilising the economy".

Our CEO called for the economy and ecology to be reconciled rather than pitted against each other: massive investments are indeed needed in all sectors to make the ecological transition a success.

According to him, the cultural battle for green finance has been won in that the majority of financial players now recognise the relevance of the subject and are beginning to take into account the risks linked to climate change, while regulations are making progress on these issues. However, the battle for the concrete evolution of the financial sector in the face of these issues is still to be fought, as evidenced by the functioning of the core financial markets, which are still very much oriented towards the short term.

Finally, Philippe Zaouati insisted on the central role of governance issues in accelerating the transition of the most carbon-intensive companies.

Click here to watch the full conference (in French)

A few years ago, it was impossible to talk to listed companies whose business model was based on a high-carbon economy. Today, we must ask ourselves the question of dialogue with these companies: they must be accompanied in their transition, and shareholder engagement must help push them in the right direction.

Philippe Zaouati

Fabien Léonhardt, Portfolio manager and head of Mirova's social impact investing division, had the pleasure of taking part in the residency "The factory of action for the living in the territories": more than twenty experts and project leaders came together to reflect on new ways of planning and thinking about territories based on the principle of ecological solidarity.

Hervé Guez, CIO of equity, fixed income and social impact investing, participated in the 3rd session of the workshop dedicated to the "Natural footprint of companies and organisations". Philippe Zaouati and Ladislas Smia, Director of responsible investment research, had represented Mirova in the two previous sessions of the same workshop. They were thus able to combine their expertise with that of all the partners of Agir pour Le Vivant to contribute to the collective reflection on the creation of shared value through business models that take greater account of the role of living beings.

Alongside the festival, Mirova's teams took advantage of their presence in Arles to feed their reflection through inspiring local initiatives:

  • visit to the LUMA Foundation, which focuses on the direct relationship between art, culture, human rights, environmental issues, education and research;
  • visit the Atelier LUMA, a design and research laboratory that investigates the resources and know-how of the bioregion and develops local solutions for an ecological, economic and social transition;
  • meeting with the teams of the Tour du Valat, a research institute for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands, and a visit to the Domaine du Petit Saint-Jean, to better understand the challenges facing the territory in the face of the climate crisis and rising water levels, and to discover the agroecological projects developed by the team.


"By telling stories, we shape the world"

During an evening supported by Mirova on the theme of "Stories of the living", proposed by Pierre Ducrozet, writer, and Julieta Canepá, artistic director and author, the guests were inspired by stories, decisive moments, founding moments told by guests from various backgrounds, who have a unique relationship with the living world, sublimated by a live musical performance.

During the week, Mirova's teams also attended the preview screening of Cyril Dion's new feature film, "Animal", co-written with Walter Bouvais, in the Antique Theatre in Arles. A great moment of emotion in front of this initiatory journey of two young climate activists, in search of our deep link with nature and the living.

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