Muhammed Muheisen AP Photo
entrepreneurship, innovation, projects, start up

orianne ledroit: on improving public service by learning from startups

“people need to understand what is happening within the digital culture and use it as inspiration.”

On my current trip I’m exploring some of the innovation trends in France and Italy. While the European Union is still economically morose, I find that the proximity of so many economic and intellectual hubs combined with the current job scarcity is paving the way for an interesting generation of resilient thinkers and doers. Amongst them, I chose to interview Orianne Ledroit who co-founded Les Voyages Apprenants, an interactive tour / workshop using design thinking and other startup-like innovative methods to inspire communities and decision makers.

(photo credit: Muhammad Muheisen, AP Photo)
1. Your full name, age and occupation

Orianne Ledroit, 30, Civic and digital hacktivist – Co-founder Les Voyages Apprenants

2. What was your dream job as a kid?

I always wanted to be a political leader because I want to promote inclusive projects and collective problem solving. Some people could say I was naive, I’d rather see myself as an open-minded optimist.

3. Where do you get your support or motivation from?

I get support from my family and my friends, and get validation from the success of my past projects. But I’m also inspired by my ideological values: to feel true to myself I need my work to align with my principles.

4. What sparked your motivation or need to start your own thing?

A simple observation : communities and political leaders both need to be introduced to the current innovation practices if we want to offer  better public services. They need to understand what is happening within the digital culture and use it as inspiration to implement a better way to produce and deliver public services. Firms and organizations also need to connect with makers, innovators, startups that are disrupting their activities and seize opportunities to improve what they have to offer. That is what we (me and co-founder Marine Ulrich) aim to do with Les Voyages Apprenants.

“I always wanted to be a political leader because I want to promote inclusive projects and collective problem solving.”

5. What were you the most excited about when you started off?

I was mostly excited about building something from scratch and challenging myself. I needed to do something on my own which would bear my mark.

6. What did you wish you knew before starting all this?

A lot of things, of course, but what comes to mind is how to clearly define the commercial value of our project. That being said, I don’t think somebody else’s advice or take on a similar venture is a valuable as getting your hands dirty and trying it out yourself.

7. Describe a day in your life as you’d like it to be in 3 years.

I would love to teach teenagers and students whatever I’ve been fortunate enough to learn since I’ve started working. I’d love to use my experience to help young people think hard about what they really want to do.

8. What would you like to know about other innovators who answer this survey?

I’d like to know why they engage in such projects and what is the deeper meaning driving their pursuits.

9. What would be the one thing you’d like your eulogy to say?

I am going to invest money in transhumanist research so that I don’t need to think about my eulogy or my own death :-)

On a more serious note, I hope people will remember me as just wanting to be happy and to work towards a society that respects people and enables them to succeed based on merit. Hopefully, by the end of my life, I will have contributed to that.