Here we go again with the latest from Olivier!
Let’s start with some bad news, namely the situation of NewB (www.newb.coop) which failed to collect enough capital to pursue their banking activity. We are very sad; we shall know soon whether the cooperative will be maintained for non banking purposes or has to be wound up. That will be decided by the General Assembly at the end of November. The sector needs to reinvent itself in the hope of creating new perspectives together.
For microStart (www.microstart.be) and their clients the increase in energy prices and high inflation rates pose tremendous difficulties, new challenges are now following the Covid crisis. Let’s hope that both inflation and rates will come down rapidly. microStart is always on the lookout for volonteers who are willing to accompany entrepreneurs in the pursuit of their plans.
SIREAS (www.sireas.be) bravely continue their work post Covid after the move of their headquarters from Porte de Namur to the Bourse area. As state subsidies tend to be cut in the social sector we need to continue proving our worth to society and really merit the public aid granted to us. We are working on new training programmes for sectors in need of labour.
On a personal note, Barbara and I spent two months in our paradise Les Cèdres in the Dordogne this summer and another week at the start of November, as always with great pleasure and many friends visiting. Presently we are thinking about ways and means to involve our friends in the financing and maintaining the quality of life there without necessarily increasing the number of members, given that the price of a share is too high for most of you. We are exploring new avenues and testing untrodden ground, and I hope we’ll be able to find good intermediate solutions between our current system and full membership.
After the Covid induced restrictions were lifted I was at last able to meet some of you whom I hadn’t seen in a long time again in person. And I will go on doing so, it’s simply wonderful! I managed to motivate some of you to join either microStart or SIREAS as volonteers, making me very happy!!
This being said, the general outlook is pretty grim, what with climate change and the massive migration flows which are bound to ensue, the war in Ukraine, complex relations with China, an increasing number of extreme right wing governments in Europe like in the country where I grew up, Italy…..who would have thought? But, Olivier – don’t you always say you are an optimist?
Yes, but I must admit that I’m having a hard time with that right now, especially when I think of the young people and children who will not experience the same feeling that we, the old ones, have enjoyed since the nineteen-sixties in Europe. It is true that we, too, worked hard but the general context was one of economic and social “progress”, peace and mainly success, for us at least. We turned a blind eye to our actions in Africa, Asia and Brazil which are having catastrophic environmental consequences for these regions now and for us tomorrow. The young generation will have to rethink the system rapidly but without violence, and definitely without wars, which, as we know, are outlets resorted to by the political classes to divert attention from their failure to reform and improve existing systems. A few days ago I attended a conference by Jean-Marc Jancovici (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jean-marc-jancovici?) at the ULB with 700 people, mainly entrepreneurs. Fascinating. But in two hours, the word “progress” was not mentioned once. The concept clearly no longer is what it used to be when I grew up.
Finally, would you like to start 2023 by listening to the magnificent Mozart Requiem? Our version is enhanced by an actor who provides insight into the story behind the works…We have sung it 4 times already, some of you were there; there will be 2 more performances at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles on January 14, 2023 (two slots, 4 pm and 7.30 pm), see posters attached. Booking at https://forms.gle/XTZgg8NGZAsQYrgF8 or email to email@example.com for more info. Barbara and I would be delighted to see you there (again?) 😊 😊 😊 😊.
That’s what I wanted to share with you for now !
My previous newsletters are on my site https://olivierbrissaud.info/
To those of you whom I won’t be able to see in the near future I wish already a good end to this year, hope to see you soon!
Olivier, November 2022