Michel Godet

The Courage of Common Sense In Defence of Building the Future Differently Publication date : January 4, 2007

Shame, anger, hope: these are the most important words in this groundbreaking book which is also a candid review of the state of the French nation. His diagnosis is a harsh one.
The world is going through a period of unprecedented economic growth. Yet France, unlike the other developed nations, appears to be declining and marking time. Michel Godet believes that if the fault lies with the French, so does the cure, and he argues that it is possible, with courage and common sense, to build a future without dipping into the pockets of future generations and without increasing France’s public debt.
Godet contends that the French are wrong to fear the future. After confronting some conventional ideas with the facts and then examining them in the light of plain common sense, he concludes that most of them are unfounded. He shows that globalisation is not to be blamed, that the precautionary principle may be dangerous, that the planet has an abundance of expensive oil, and that the ageing of the population need not be an entirely negative factor.
Not only does Godet offer a diagnosis that goes against much conventional wisdom, he also makes many suggestions for the future, including seven key proposals, i.e.: how to make France’s mammoth of an educational system progress; how to pull out of the 35-hour week gracefully; how to create hundreds of thousands of commercial jobs; how to ensure that there will be lasting solidarity between generations without family pauperisation.
The author argues that wealth lies in an educated, fulfilled population in a society where there is trust and where projects abound.

Michel Godet holds the chair of industrial forecasting at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. He is also an elected member of the Académie des Technologies and of the Council for Economic Analysis. His previous book, Le Choc de 2006, published by Editions Odile Jacob in 2004, was awarded the French Economics Book Prize.