France Digitale wants to teach French parliament members about tech


France Digitale presented its roadmap for the upcoming 12 months. France Digitale is an association that acts as a lobbying organization when it comes to defending the interests of the startup community in France. And the organization had a couple of new things to announce.

Rachel Delacour first introduced the event. She is now co-president with Jean-David Chamboredon. Today, the association is launching the France Digitale Campus, a six-month training for members of the National Assembly and Senate learn about technology and the digital economy.

While Emmanuel Macron’s presidential victory led to a big renewal of the National Assembly, there are still some parliament members who don’t really get technology. For instance, back in 2009, then Minister for Culture Christine Albanel said that French citizens should protect their home internet connection with the ‘OpenOffice firewall’.

“Members of the National Assembly who we have interacted with, in particular those in the finance commission, didn’t really get venture capital, hyper growth or business angels,” France Digitale Vice President Olivier Mathiot said — he’s in charge of this project.

“For this reason, we started talking about this France Digitale Campus idea with Fleur Pellerin back when she was in charge of digital affairs,” he added. A few years later, France Digital Campus is now more than just an idea.

Details are still thin, but France Digitale is aware that parliament members won’t simply take a six-month sabbatical to go back to school. That’s why it won’t be a full-time job. The organization wants to collaborate with startups to make parliament members interact with a startup in their own office for a little bit. This way, they could realize what it feels like when you create a startup in France.

“We will start with a proof of concept, a small batch of 10 to 20 people,” Mathiot said. “For now, most parliament members are part of [Emmanuel Macron’s party] La République En Marche but we want more diversity with members from other parties.”

France Digitale is also starting another long-term project. The organization wants to become a professional organization in order to create collective agreements for tech companies.

“It’s a very ambitious project, and it’s unclear if France Digitale is going to be a professional organization in 2020,” co-president Jean-David Chamboredon said. So don’t hold your breath for this, but the association is looking at different ways to make this happen.

In other news, BlaBlaCar CEO Frédéric Mazzella is now Vice President and France Digitale ambassador in Europe. Finally, France Digitale Day is going to happen on September 25th in the Musée des Arts Forains.

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