“It’s up to businesses to foster the necessary conditions for change.”

Laurent Bigorgne, Director de l’Institut Montaigne, a European-focused independent French think tank​

When a company the size of Orange defines its purpose, it demonstrates a significant shift in the way economic agents see their role in global society. It is possible that Orange’s initiative to include its purpose in its bylaws could encourage other companies in France, Europe and around the world to do the same. Today, all businesses need to strongly define and demonstrate their commitment to society and the environment. There is no need for restrictive top-down legislation applied only by a few governments – indeed this kind of approach tends to suffocate competition. The only way to drive change is for companies to take action and increase awareness.

Orange’s purpose addresses one of the key challenges we are facing in today’s world, that of trust. Traceability, transparency and security are essential considerations in an era when mistrust in institutions, businesses and each other is growing and people are all too keen to turn to social media to express their opinion, often with vitriol. Digital technology is a double-edged sword. While it can bring about exceptional progress that improves well-being, health, justice and democracy for humanity the world over, it has a dark, sometimes scary side that can appear both uncontrolled and uncontrollable. In this context, the fact that a major European provider of inclusive digital services like Orange has stated its intention to become a trusted partner represents a significant commitment that is exceptionally important for the future of our society.

We hope Orange will continue to reinforce its position as a force for economic good and take on an active role as a major driver of digital transition in France, Europe and the world. We are also relying on Orange to adapt its action to suit local priorities and different regional realities as well as a full range of needs across all generations.

Jean-Marc Maillet-Contoz, “Taking an inclusive design approach to innovation.”