How collective civil intelligence is improving air quality

By ENGIE - 25 May 2021 - 14:21

What are the solutions to combat air pollution, which is the second-highest cause of deaths in France after smoking? With its institutional, NGO and educational partners, ENGIE has offered to use its know-how of collective intelligence to safeguard the air, a common asset that we all share. The result was an event that brought together all the stakeholders in Lyon, France on 30 March and 1 April to turn ideas into solutions. And now for the next step: turning these solutions into actions.


People Ask was a survey organised before the event.

In September 2020, the staff at ENGIE joined their partners specialised in collective intelligence and digital technology, such as bluenove, the emlyon Business School, the Grenoble School of Management and International Mozaik, to try to understand the fundamental issues of air quality. This joint effort resulted in a public survey that was conducted between November 2020 and January 2021. The survey identified the local population’s feelings and expectations regarding air quality. Almost 1,700 people took part in the survey. In their opinion, road traffic is the primary perceived cause of the deterioration of air quality. Most of them believe that the measures required to improve this situation must involve the regulation of road traffic and industrial activity. A joint project with ATMO Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes helped to better identify misconceptions about air pollution and the need to raise public awareness. 
The People Lab event, organised by ENGIE and its numerous partners on 30 March, was attended by more than 100 voluntary participants, who opened the debate with citizens, industrial manufacturers and members of civil society. The event featured speeches by Gilles Boeuf, the President of the Scientific Council of the French Agency for Biodiversity, Isabelle Delannoy, a theorist in the symbiotic economy, and Jean-Luc Fugit, the member of parliament for the Rhône department and President of the French National Air Council. The participants worked together to provide solutions to the issues related to air quality, ranging from governance and funding, to awareness-raising, housing, mobility and health.


ENGIE is promoting collective intelligence through its People Labs

The event in the Rhône-Alpes region was the twelfth People Lab organised by ENGIE. The Group decided to promote the pooling of ideas and collective thinking several years ago. Since 2018, four or five People Labs have been held per year, covering a broad range of subjects, from the climate and education, to artificial intelligence and the circular economy, which are always addressed from a societal perspective. These open events bring together employees from ENGIE’s various internal communities, plus students, experts, partners, business people, opinion leaders and customers, who are always on hand to contribute to the debates. The events feature three highlights: inspiring presentations to introduce the subject, conceptualisation exercises to think together, and pitches promoting ideas that can come to life, which all help to accelerate innovation. These People Labs are now part of ENGIE’s DNA.

And in the future? Two People Fabs to take action

The People Fabs in Lyon and Grenoble were just the start, not the end. This 2-year project that was launched in September 2020 is scheduled to last for 1 more year. Most importantly, the innovative ideas spawned by this collective intelligence will find concrete applications in the near future. Lyon and Grenoble will progress from People Labs to People Fabs by taking these ideas onboard and launching pilot projects with other partners, including the Crédit Agricole and ConvAIRgence. ENGIE and its own partners will help them to achieve success by setting up a dedicated organisation run by experts from the emlyon Business School, the Grenoble School of Management and International Mozaik. ENGIE also plans to recruit some students on work experience programmes to implement the projects selected by the People Fabs. The Group and its BUs will underscore their commitment by testing these solutions in real-life environments and, who knows, transforming them into solutions that can be replicated on a large scale. We promise to publish regular information on this phase, no matter what the outcome is.  Stay connected!



I am delighted that we have succeeded in federating so many players around the subject of air quality, a subject that raises high expectations for solutions. Thanks to this People Lab, ENGIE has developed an approach that combines the thoughts of a large group that is committed to turning ideas into projects. In Lyon and Grenoble, the Group has committed to hiring around ten undergraduates who will take concrete action and help to build the projects selected by the People Labs.” 
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Board of Directors, ENGIE


We are delighted to witness the creation of the first ENGIE Regional People Labs in Lyon and Grenoble, because they bring societal innovation much closer to its beneficiaries.” 
Valérie Gaudart, Director of Culture, Communities and ENGIE People Lab, ENGIE


"This 2-year project is an exemplary illustration of co-construction, through its location in the regions and at the heart of local issues, and its representation of society by motivated ambassadors who are engaged in the combat against air pollution, in which all our internal and external stakeholders are involved.
Thierry Raevel, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Delegate in the France Institutions and Territories Department, ENGIE