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Seek strategic and specific skills to support inclusive growth in France 

Research – Innovation – Territory – Development – Environment- climate change - France 2030 - Strategic skills - Specific skills - Inclusive growth

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Theclimatic changes, the reversal of demographic trends experienced in the territories, thepandemic, energy crisisand the recurring tensions on the world markets in terms offeedconstitute a set of challenges of capital importance for France.

At the same time, the globalization of economic exchanges imposes new work standards: production rate and cost, level of productivity and quality rules. In this context, the territories that engage in the food, ecological, economic and social transition come up against a major obstacle in terms of skills. Indeed, transitions cannot be sustainable and shared without a significant increase in individual and collective skills.

The territories can remain highly attractive by benefiting from the numerous contributions of skills from the new inhabitants. By seizing transitions as an opportunity to bring them together and they can transform local production tools while offering residents new territorial training to acquire strategic skills. Thus, at the base of this diagnostic proposal, it is a question of identifying the territorial strategic competences allowing the transitions.

The diagnosis that we propose has a double interest. On the one hand, hesheds light on territorial strategic skillswhich are a veryinnovativecurrent academic research work located at the interface between economics and management sciences. On the other hand, it is also aterritorial social innovation approachinsofar as it opens up prospects for immediate action in the fields of agriculture and agri-food. In the longer term, this diagnosis proposes to identify one of the major shortcomings of existing training courses, namely the territorial quality of their offers.

“An innovative diagnostic tool at the service of the actors of the territory and directly linked to academic research.”

Over the development strategies, in France, for various reasons that relate to the history of the territory and the local economic and social culture, we observe a dissociation of economic development and training strategies. Thus, the structures in charge of training in the territory operate independently of those in charge of economic development, while the two are structurally linked. The evolution of employment in a territory is linked to the quality of economic development and the quality of training. Strategic skills are approached differently in other European countries and in Canada.

In Iceland, as part of work carried out in 2017-18 in an Erasmus+ programme, we highlighted another reality concerning vocational training systems, in fact, it is constantly adjusting to economic, social and to environmental constraints. In Quebec, we worked on strategic human resources in a hyper-rural context. This work carried out in 2019-2020 was sponsored by the MRC du Témiscamingue.

In France, skills are considered with a view to professional or residential mobility. However, they can also be considered from the strategic point of view of transitions, the local anchoring of activities and emerging professions. However, there are no diagnostic tools oriented towards specific strategic skills. At the scale of a territory, a sector and a transition issue, the protocols remain insufficient. Our work comes directly from university research, the protocols are the subject of a specific valuation within the framework of the Young Innovative Company.

“The territory is absent from reflections and training strategies”

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The diagnosis that our partnership proposes is based on the most recent university research on the subject. Deployed on an experimental basis in several territories in Occitanie and Pays de la Loire, this proposal is based on a combination of qualitative and above all quantitative data in order to identify the skills that can be strategic for food, agricultural and environmental transitions while being specific to the territory in order to be able to build their own strategies of resilience and attractiveness.

In order to ensure the perfect transferability of diagnostic tools while contributing to the subject of specific territorial strategic skills in agriculture and food, we propose to work on several typologies of territories.

      _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-58d_challenges of urban agriculture

  small town and its territory 

      _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-58d_diagnostics scalen peri-urban territory bordering a large agglomeration

      _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-5136bad A scale diagnosticsemi-department on a hyper-rural territory

Scale Diagnosticsoverseas territory

 Community of Communes

of Erdre and Gesvres near Nantes

South Lozère PETR

or Figeac

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Agglomeration of Fougères

Desirade Island

or Marie Galante


Quantitative and qualitative method

The method that will be used is based on two types of sources: quantitative and qualitative.

  • Bibliographic inventory: determining issues of the territory in terms of agricultural, food and environmental development

The first step is to establish an objective and quantified diagnosis based on the available documents. The objective of this work is to highlight the challenges of skills as they can be identified by various specialized works. It is in no way a question of creating new data on the territory but of basing oneself on those that exist in order to shed light on the issues. We will strive to determine as best as possible the major trends, their evolution and the factors of change. This analytical work will lead to the drafting of a summary which will serve as an objective reference for decision-makers and which can be used to initiate training strategies.

  • State of play to be said by actors: Identifying the specific territorial strategic skills from the point of view of the actors

In a second part, which will be carried out in parallel with the first, it is a question of collecting the analyzes and visions of a panel of actors of the territory, and their point of view concerning the question of food, agriculture and territorial transitions. To do this, we will organize a series of 10 interviews per territory per type of actor: agriculture and territorial food. We will start from a base of questions drawn from the doctoral research work defended in 2019. This work focused precisely on specific territorial skills. It is a question of extending this academic research work by a more operational application.

The construction of the interview grid as well as its administration will be entrusted to the responsibility of the Cube teams in conjunction with the researchers participating in the program.

A third component will consist of including the various institutional actors operating in the territory: CREFOP, Ministries, Regions, etc. It will be a question of identifying with these actors the conditions and the means for the implementation of innovative training tools for the territory. .

This project addresses food, agricultural and environmental transitions through the introduction of skills and new professions.

Make food, agricultural and environmental transitions an opportunity for the development of agriculture and food resilience for the territory

Empirical work based on extensive prior research on new professions and new skills

Innovate through Specific Territorial Skills

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- Look for specific territorial strategic skills. (PHAM, 2019)

The Diagnosis consists of looking for Specific Territorial Skills. Our project builds on doctoral research work to build a grid prototype and apply it to diverse terrains.


- Territories and their multiple proximities (Zimmerman, 2008)

- Learning Territories (Pedler et al. 1996): an organization that facilitates the learning of its members and which is constantly changing in order to achieve its strategic objectives". In France, Jambes (2001) introduces the notion of Learning Territories in perspective local development.

- The concept was applied to the rural context by Barthe (2017).

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- Specific territorial resources for rural municipalities

- Food, agricultural and environmental transition

- Training and new skills

- Territorial social capital and human capital dynamics

-Rural-urban relationship

Our approach Research/innovations/experiments

In a context of global warming, the displacement of populations and therefore a shortage of primary resources, we support the territories through research-actions, in particular by promoting the development of the skills of local collectives to manage the commons: food, agricultural and environmental resources, biodiversity .


We rely on research carried out internally or in partnership with other researchers. The concepts and explorations are intended to be translated into methodological and technical innovations.

Our diagnoses are not only tools intended to inform the decision, they are thought to be at the heart of territorial social innovation.

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Our diagnoses are not only tools intended to inform the decision, they are thought to be at the heart of territorial social innovation.

See Mazzilli and PHAM, 2021, HR-oriented territorial diagnosis:  from the analysis of needs to the emergence of social innovation

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