“Committing to the common good”, by Philippe Royer: the utopia of a Christian boss



Written by a Christian boss, this book is neither a work of spirituality, nor an essay on economics, nor even a management manual. It is a bit of all of this and, at the same time, much more: the testimony of a business manager, Philippe Royer, 56, who, in times of crisis, invites people to go “beyond the chaos of the world” and to “Becoming aware of our duty of hope”.

→ ANALYSIS. Christian bosses hope for a new economic model

Faced with crises, economic and ecological, which call into question our model, the president of Christian Entrepreneurs and Leaders (EDC), accompanied by Arnaud Bevilacqua, journalist in the religion department of The crosswonders: “Do you agree that we need to change the model? » For him, in fact, “we are not doomed to choose between the two major models offered today” : the American model, symbolized by Gafam, which has become “unbalanced and dangerous”and Chinese, which “decided to control everything”. He therefore offers “a third way” : “the economy of the common good”.

How to qualify it? “The economy(…) is defined as the reunification of actors who will operate exchanges in order to produce goods and services, he begins. When we add to it the notion of common good, this means that it has the concern of all. » This common good therefore differs from the general interest, in the name of which “it is possible to make decisions that accommodate an increasing number of excluded people”. Here, on the contrary, “it is a question of preserving the ‘commons’ – the sovereign functions but also the road system, the oceans – and of defending a vision where each person must find their place and be respected in their dignity”. “The cape is the ‘good of all'”summarizes Philippe Royer following Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The learning of freedom

A utopia ? Philippe Royer assumes part of it. “Only utopians can carry a positive vision and operate the necessary strategic transformation”he recalls, while emphasizing that this utopia is “already at work”winning “broad membership”. As shown by the success of the “mission companies” created by the Pacte law of 2019.

In his own sector, agriculture, this leader rebels against the image of“polluting farmer” according to which “farming (will not) not compatible with ecology” and explain how “we have taken up ecological issues around low carbon, protein autonomy, non-GMOs and animal welfare”. This has not been done to the detriment of economic success, since his company has gone from a turnover of 4 million, when he entered it in 1998, to a structured group approaching 100 million today.

The author recognizes it nevertheless: this change “was not done in a snap of the fingers”. He had to gradually change. This supposed the removal of certain brakes, starting with “understand that another world is possible”make “Learning to Freedom”accepting one’s fears and wounds… A path which, affirms Philippe Royer, presupposes “decide to stop just trying to survive and take full control of your life”.

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The author

Leader of an agricultural cooperative group, Philippe Royer has chaired the Christian Entrepreneurs and Leaders (EDC) since 2018, which brings together more than 3,500 members. He will hand over on the occasion of the national foundations of the movement, organized from Friday March 18 to Sunday March 20, in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime).

The book

Everything is screwed up? Strengthened by his experience as a leader and his Christian faith, the author refuses to give up and on the contrary proposes “a vision for the world of tomorrow”. “We can engage in the proposal of a new social project on the scale of the post-war one, which had transcended currents, sensitivities and in which all the actors had joined together to provide solutions”he writes, relying in particular on the encyclical Laudato si’ of Pope Francis.

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