SMART CITIES               

Every city in the world wants to be creative and innovative. This is a "very heavy" trend on an international scale. Creativity and innovation have become key factors of attractiveness. Cities want to offer a living environment at the forefront and thus attract a skilled workforce (brains), investments, congressmen and tourists. They are all currently taking stock of their "creative park" (creators, companies, institutions, events, infrastructures, buildings, culture, etc.) and are doing everything they can to convince themselves that they are the best in what many still call the new economy....

From a marketing point of view, this trend is the equivalent of a huge strategic repositioning effort. On closer examination and analysis of the characteristics of this mega phenomenon, we discover that for this great creative marketing exercise to be perceived as credible, it requires municipalities to take into account a double constraint: originality and authenticity!

The world of creativity is a brand new environment with its own rules and specific properties that are not exactly familiar to us. It is as if we were all suddenly confronted with a formidable new continent, whose proportions and possibilities we could barely measure. On a global scale, we are witnessing the equivalent of a gigantic treasure hunt, a creative gold rush. Who will get their hands on the biggest deposit, the biggest vein? Some parts of the world can count on tremendous financial resources to help them "stand out", but for the vast majority of cities this is impossible.

Despite everything, municipalities feel the obligation to publicly illustrate their creative potential, to make gestures of brilliance to stand out and to take original initiatives that would set new standards in this area. Now the subject here is creativity and innovation...Quite a contract!

It is one thing to shout out loud and clear that our city is creative, but it is also necessary to go beyond known formulas, traditional commercial recipes and common ground. However, this is what we are seeing at the moment. Cities compete with each other on the basis of their creative parks and their policies of openness to creativity, technology and innovation. In fact, they have a traditional approach to a completely new challenge.

I am one of those who think that to innovate, we must at least do something that we have never done before... We must do something new!


I have developed a unique approach to the place of creativity in companies, organizations and society. I associate creativity with democracy, in the sense of recognizing and allowing access to creativity for all individuals in a group, without exception, regardless of the size of the group. At the very least, it is like a new rule of conduct, a new way of seeing people, a whole new dynamic of relationships and communication within a group or community. This allows citizens to play a new role in society and to fill an unprecedented need for involvement and participation in an original way. Over the past few years, I have striven to translate into a simple and user-friendly program a process that allows all members of an organization or community to experience a creative process, to become aware of the immense talent pool they constitute and to collectively discover the richness and potential that has always inhabited them and that our society urgently needs today.

In this great game of strategically repositioning cities in the world of creativity and innovation, I propose to place citizens at the heart of the strategy. In terms of originality and authenticity, it's hard to do better.

Jean David





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