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Goods, power or money? Why care is what we need

— Gregory Pouy, Cultural Analyst

Goods, power or money? Why care is what we need — Gregory Pouy

Published:

1.2.2023

Photo:

Nathalie Mohadjer

Gregrory Pouy has a purpose: allow people to be a little more serene in this world. Cultural analyst, creator and host of the podcasts Vlan! and Ping, he's also a writer and a teacher. The message he aims to carry to us as individuals, social animals, and for some, actors of the business world: care and ecology must become central in our relationships, and this requires the evolution of our collective imagination.

What do you think is the emerging issue that will matter in the years to come?

I believe that we are moving from a society of goods to a society of links and precisely to a society of care. Finally, taking care of links.As the philosopher Cynthia Fleury says, "if civilization is not care, it is nothing" and to add "care is the only way to inhabit the world".
There are 4 dimensions in care: physical first, psychic, social and environmental.
This is what seems to me to be crucial in order to live the current changes in a peaceful way.

What are its challenges, and how can it have a positive impact?

The approach of the last 100 years has been focused on analysis, performance and optimization. It has had excellent impacts such as increasing life expectancy on earth, reducing infant mortality and ending famines.
At least in the West, this reality is very different from one area to another.But this civilization in which not having life is a sign of success is now totally out of control and is damaging the very conditions of the world's habitability.
It is strange how much easier it is to envisage the end of the world than the end of capitalism.The challenge is obviously to redefine what success is. In today's civilization, it is about accumulating goods, power, money and fame. This leads nowhere. Putting care back in the center will allow us to focus on what is really essential, it is a different balance and not an ecology that is often described as "punitive".
During the Covid period, we all realized that what was essential was to connect with those we love and even with our neighbors whom we did not know yet, and to take care of each other. I would like to put to rest the idea that "Man is a wolf to Man". I fundamentally believe in the opposite.

What are the current obstacles that need to be removed so that this promising subject can develop?

We have collective beliefs that are very difficult to change naturally, which is what makes them so strong once they have been established.These imaginations have made it possible to build the belief in the individual as king, in financial capitalism as the only model, in replacing well-being by living well.
It is from these imaginations that we must separate ourselves. Rethinking a positive but different imaginary is what I believe is complex and many of us are working on it.
The reality is that we can already see that things are changing. The relationship with the bicycle in the city is a good example, but these fundamental changes are very slow.

And about you: can you tell us quickly who you are, and what you do?

I am a human being who at my level tries as much as possible to transmit and allow people to be a little more serene in this world that is falling apart.I do this through a podcast, Vlan! created in May 2017, courses that I give in high schools or universities and then through the writing of a book released in March 2020, Unbearable Paradise.
This podcast has already had many impacts and that makes me very happy.
On the other hand, I try to move the lines in companies because I basically owe it to their role in the short and medium term to face the challenges in front of us.I do this through another podcast, Ping, which talks about care in leadership but also through conferences for companies.

How did you become aware of the subject we are talking about?

I remember as a child watching José Bové burning Mc Do's and thinking that this man should go back to the countryside, that he had definitely not understood anything about modernity. I had come a long way.
It was also a long process for me as a marketer whose job for more than a decade has been to help brands sell more.
I think that my curiosity naturally led me to topics around ecology.
Finally, I gave myself the freedom to be myself and discussions with experts from different backgrounds convinced me.Then, reading Cynthia Fleury mainly made me realize how care was at the center of everything.

"Putting care back in the center will allow us to focus on what is really essential."

Who are the actors who will count, or who already count?

I believe that climate activists have a major role to play, as well as people in companies who are moving the lines, and even more so when they are C.E.Os like Hubert Joly who are moving the lines because they are setting an example.But in reality, we all have a role to play because we are social animals and we all copy each other. This is also how our collective imagination evolves. Therefore in the daily acts make the difference, not so much on a purely ecological impact level but because they make the mass of people change.

Where or from whom can we learn more?

I think there are many people who talk about ecology, I think of Bon Pote or Camille Etienne for example.
If it's about imagination, you got it here but the sociologist Michael Dandrieux.
If it is about care, the French reference remains Cynthia Fleury that I quoted in this interview.