“Building a successful economy from our weaknesses”: this oxymoron may seem difficult to put into practice, fragility rhymes with vulnerability, limit or weakness, and performance with efficiency, surpassing and strength. However, the subject attracted nearly 150 people during the last national pilgrimage to Lourdes, an ideal place to define the reasons and the means to take up such a challenge.
In a city fully equipped to accommodate disabled or sick people, it was symbolic to remember that many technical inventions, such as remote control, offer answers to their inability to move. No one today imagines electrical or electronic equipment without this functionality, which constitutes major progress for everyone in terms of comfort. Another example: tools and applications for controlling the blood sugar levels of diabetics, used by many athletes to better understand their bodies and thus improve their performance.
Vulnerability factors concern a growing number of us, as illustrated by these figures from the Vulnerabilities and Society Circle: 19 million people suffer from chronic illnesses, including 10 million with long-term illnesses (100% covered by Social Security); 10 million people are disabled, with 80% of them having invisible or ignored disabilities according to the APF France Handicap; 5 million people suffer from addiction, 9 million live below the poverty line and 6.6 million are in a situation of social isolation (less than one contact per week with the five networks: family, friends, professional, territorial and affinity).
Faced with this situation, it is urgent to work with and not only for vulnerable people. Companies must adapt in order to satisfy the needs of potential beneficiaries of their products and services but also to meet those of their employees. Vulnerabilities in the fields of social, health, disability and old age constitute levers for economic and social development. It is up to us to mobilize them.