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Nantes - ‘‘Attracting talent with and for digital tools useful for all”

Edited on

08 June 2018

The City of Nantes chose to digital as a priority. It provides startups to develop their activities in a
simplified way, and now have a strong local dynamic. In 2014, Nantes obtained the Metropolis
French Tech label. Since then, a lot of start-up companies set up here and many posts are created.
In Nantes, more than 1000 posts are vacant. Higher education of the region cannot supply enough
young graduate compared to the needs of the companies. The City has to work hard to resolve this
problem. With the Local Group, the City tries to implement a strengthened cooperation with public
authority, NGO’s, startups and inhabitants, in order to develop and attract Gen Y creative talents in
the digital sector.

Opportunities offered by the development of the digital sector for the City and its inhabitants was
the main theme of the transnational meeting of the Gen-Y City project, organized by Nantes on the
21st-22nd of September. The metropolis welcomed about thirty representatives from cities partner:
Poznań, Coimbra, Bologna, Genoa, Granada, Sabadell, Wolverhampton, Klaipeda, Kristiansand,
Daugavpils and Toruń.
Nantes received its partners during a unique and original event: the Digital week. Since 2014, the
metropolis organize a lot of events during ten days in September, “the week of the digital cultures”. It
offers times to share, meet, experiment, train, create, and to think about digital stakes. All along the
meeting, the objective of Nantes was to share good practices in promoting digital cultures and
supportive environment for startups. This sharing of experiences was made by local actors
themselves, especially NGO’s which are very present and proactive in the metropolis. The partners
also have been able to appreciate some events of the Digital week.
The Deputy Mayor for Education, Educational success and Urban policy hosted the meeting on
Thursday morning. Some good practices was introduced: Museomix, a non-for-profit organization
which aims to promote the digital and interactive spread of culture in museums; PiNG, an NGO which
have a FabLab and who tries to spread the digital culture by creating with new technologies,
especially to young people. Then, the “House of Employment” exposed its flagship, organized during
the Digital week: “le tour du numérique”. During a week, a training discovery course is organized for
job seekers to discover jobs, trainings, and startups only in digital sector. If they decide to train, they
can be sure to find a job in Nantes.
In the afternoon, city partners could discover la Fabrique “Tre In the afternoon, city partners could
discover la Fabrique “Trempolino” a place for cultural initiatives with new technology.

Then they were informed of initiatives existing in Nantes to enable inclusion of disabled people
because of digital. With a presentation of initiation to digital coding for disabled pupils in Nelson
Mandela high school, and a round table about “Employment, digital, inclusion and handicap” as part
of the Digital week, local stakeholders could expose problems disabled persons have to face to in the
labour market, and how they are trying to change it with digital in order to help them to find a job.
On Friday, the day started with a presentation from ADN Ouest, member of the local group, about
the professional opportunities in the digital sector. Nantes has a lack of students in digital sector, and
the NGO present, especially in schools, the opportunities and jobs: webdesign, graphic, coding,
engineering… Short training, long training, a lot of opportunities exist but are still little known by
pupils, parents and teachers. To keep going, city partners visited offices of a startup from Nantes, i-
Advize, in order to talk about entrepreneurship, and about simplifying environment for startups in
cities.

On the afternoon, the purpose was to share experiences from partners in a creative way. The activity
was a workshop “vignettes” with representatives of cities working together in small group. The
objective was to make cities share their best practices about digital. It was an opportunity to deepen
the discussion about how digital can be useful in some areas as education, youth policy and labour
market integration, and how the cities can seize the matter to innovate and be in touch with younger
people. During the workshop, small groups had to play being shot. Four videos will show the result of
this workshop.


With all the practices exposed during the meeting, Nantes would like to show how digital can be a
way to attract Gen Y, and at the same time, how digital is now necessary to Gen Y to emancipate. It is
not about take pupils to digital sectors because a lot of jobs are vacant, but the City and the local
government has to make digital opportunities and training accessible for all.
The meeting end with the visit of the recently re-opened “Musée des Arts” with digital supports
andthe Scopitone show, an electronic music festival, which was a real success!