Lille Utopia

Meeting in Fives

At our last meeting we visited Fives. We started to discuss the future of work and how to offer opportunities to everyone, but during the evening and a few mulled wines later, we tried to reform the European Union and tried to make sense of the strategy of the left and the right in the presidential elections.

Volt Lille - Utopia 2026 - Moulins

The last two years and Covid have already shown how much our definition of work can change in a short space of time - working from home has become the new norm for extended periods of time and many frontline jobs are not valued (or paid decently) - yet are essential to sustaining our daily lives … see this tweet

What future for work ?

We discussed the video showing how in Roubaix, after many years of investment in trying to get young people a job or give them a perspective, no significant results have been achieved. Millions and millions of budget within the Politique de la ville are spent every year, but apparently without any effect.

What about the future? Will automation make more and more jobs obsolete - autonomous cars will eliminate the need for Uber drivers and artificial intelligence will ensure that administrative tasks are done automatically and quickly. For now, we have kept the following ideas:

  • Introduce a universal basic income. At some point in the future, automation will mean that there will not be enough work and we need to think about alternative livelihoods before this happens. Experiments with Universal Basic Income in trial projects have shown that UBI removes the stress of having to take any job to survive and allows recipients to focus on their real interests. It is interesting to ask whether, in a society built on this principle, the jobs that no one wants to do but that have to be done will suddenly be adequately paid. We will return to this point when we discuss the future of work.
  • Make lifelong learning a possibility. We no longer live in an age where you get a degree and can expect to work in the same profession until you retire. Society and our economy are changing too quickly and we need to ensure that everyone who wants to learn a new profession can do so, regardless of age and financial resources. Public education must be free and excellent if we are to ensure lifelong employability.
  • Make job applications anonymous. Whether in Parcoursup or in job applications - there seems to be rampant discrimination based on name, origin and place of residence. We would like to remove these parameters from applications so that employers, universities or public institutions cannot pre-select on the basis of these parameters and ensure that everyone has a chance to succeed.

We agreed that the discussion should be continued at another time and that we would keep the list of proposals open for the future.