Better understand the digital impact in our lives

The aim of the Digital Society Forum is to shed light on significant societal changes driven by digital technologies. Sociologists, psychologists, researchers and players in the digital world are uniting to consider the impact of digital technologies on our everyday lives, and are sharing their visions, alongside the general public.
Discover two testimonials from users who are also Orange's employees.

Three questions to Coura Sow

You will soon be introducing the Digital Society Forum in Senegal. How did this ambitious project come about?
The idea was born in 2015. In early 2016, I met the Digital Society Forum team in France and its partners – and I took part in a workshop. Back in Senegal, I worked with Mouhameth Ndaw, head of external relations, on adapting the DSF to our context. The people of Senegal are less connected that the French, so we will extend the meetings “in real life” by organising afterworks, debates that will keep the ideas from the roundtables buzzing.

Where do you stand with the launch?
We’ve already identified the experts for our first roundtable, which will look into digital technology’s impact on employment. They are all enthusiastic. We’ve also got the backing of partners – academics, a press group, even government bodies. We’re currently completing the documentary research and developing the background presentation. The first roundtable will take place on 1 December, with some 70 participants, contributors and guests. The next day, we’ll present it to students at the university.

What does the Digital Society Forum mean to you?
First of all, it’s a way for Orange Senegal to live up to its corporate social responsibility. It’s also a way to get involved in the major issues the country faces, starting with unemployment. Digital technology can help solve the difficulties developing countries deal with. e-health, e-learning, e-education, e-government are so many solutions to be rolled out! And the DSF can play a major role in these projects.

Coura Sow, head of relations with the digital ecosystem, Orange Senegal
The Digital Society Forum is a way to get involved in society’s major issues and to help resolve them...
Coura Sow, head of relations with the digital ecosystem, Orange Senegal

 

Three questions to Alexandre Cros

What motivated you to take part in a workshop?
In the beginning, I was interested in how the workshops unfolded, because I was thinking of organising one myself locally. After taking an Orange course on the Digital Society Forum, I was invited to take part in this workshop on telecommuting, held in La Rochelle. I was immediately taken! We were split into tables of six: I was with a colleague, someone working in a start-up and three business students. The differences in perspectives, experience and outlook enabled us to produce unexpected ideas, in a true spirit of teamwork.

What are the strengths of these workshops?
With a very short time frame, you have to be attentive and let everyone speak up. You don’t try to be comprehensive but – on the contrary – spontaneous and creative. It’s very liberating; it calls on your ability for “intellectual agility”. It’s more productive that a debate on a social network, for instance: everyone is more considerate of others, listens more. However, it might have been nice for the speaker’s initial presentation to be more interactive, with a Q&A session.

Do such workshops improve our understanding of digital technology’s impact on society?
They can produce new ideas! I’m now eager to organise a workshop, probably on the work/life balance and more specifically on women’s perspective. I work with elected representatives, local government bodies and consular organisations on a daily basis – so I’m thinking of inviting some of my business contacts to take part. I think they’ll be happy to support this programme.
 

Alexandre Cros, head of relations with local government Orange in the Sarthe département (Le Mans area)
The Digital Society Forum’s workshops are genuine, productive exercises in collective intelligence...
Alexandre Cros, head of relations with local government Orange in the Sarthe département (Le Mans area)