Transfo Paris Session #15 – Ending on a high note

Here we are at the final session of Transfo Paris.

This time we have an appointment at the Town Hall of the 4th arrondissement, warmly welcomed by one of the ambassadors, Isabelle, who has recently taken up her post.

These two days will be devoted to two objectives:

1. Always go further in the prefiguration of the lab, in particular:

– Continue to think about the support that will enable ambassadors and any city agent to free up time to contribute to the lab’s projects.

– Advance on the support of the presentation of the lab

2 – Close Transfo Paris with as much care as we launched it with, and in particular enable everyone to reflect back on their experience and think about their commitment to the future lab.

Apart from these two objectives, the two days are not structured as usual, hour-by-hour by the residents. We consider that the ambassadors are now independent enough and that the fluidity of the group is sufficient for the priorities to be set directly with the group. That’s how it worked!


Tuesday, February 13, it’s a “lab”… and “party”!

Following an icebreaker/“group-knit” led by Lilas, Tuesday is devoted to putting finishing touches on a new version of the Lab Map, a large-scale orientation map of the Lab project in poster form. The poster includes lots of valuable information for those who want to know more about the lab and how it works. In no particular order:

  • a general text;
  • the lab’s actors and ecosystem;
  • activities: projects, resources, intervention modes;
  • codex/rules of life and values;
  • governance;
  • referral and selection of projects
  • modes of mobilization of contributor-ambassadors;
  • dissemination methods;
  • capitalization of project experiences;
  • spatial organization of the lab.

The poster was presented to the ambassadors who shared their first thoughts on the various proposals. This working session, conducted in an expanded group, largely focused on the conditions necessary to enable the commitment to the Lab of the agents from the City of Paris. The ambassadors were able to expand on the incentives and disincentives to their future engagement, particularly regarding the issue of the mission letter. In particular, we clarified the concept of authorization to work with the lab. Rather than an authorization, which implies some sort of finiteness, the principle that we agreed collectively is the following: an agent who wishes to get involved with the lab will be offered projects. At the start of the actor’s involvement, s/he will participate in two days of integration during which s/he is initiated in the appropriate methods and approaches for the project, and meets the agents who have already contributed to the lab, with the support of permanent lab people or external service providers. This initial immersion will have as its objectives:

  • integration of the team that will be engaged in the project;
  • initial introduction to working methods for newcomers (or a refresher for those who have alreadyparticipated); and
  • presentation session of the project, objectives, and a reflection on the possible modes ofintervention.After this morning work sequence, where the main elements of the poster were reviewed, including a critical approach to the layout, the group is divided into three subgroups for the afternoon.

– The first group will work on the draft structure of the website developed by residents.

– The second group is responsible for writing a presentation of the lab, which could then be used for all supports (oral presentation, handbook, website or any other form!). From this work emerges the idea of talking about contributors rather than ambassadors. The principle: to show that anyone can contribute to the lab!

– The third group is involved in the finalization of a mission-type letter for future agents- contributors.



During this time, the resident team revised the poster so that it could be presented the following day to external participants we invited to a brainstorming session on the lab. These participants are former contributors with whom we have already worked on cases, and who are already familiar with our working methods.

During the lulls, the ambassadors are given a questionnaire, “Feedback on Transfo-3,” to be used as a means of reflecting on the experience, to which we will devote time the following day. The answers to thequestionnaire are to remain private and are not intended to be seen by others. We ask the ambassadors simply to take the time to complete it to help them to come to share the following day with clear ideas.

At the start of the day, we announced that we need to organize ourselves to prepare the party planned for that evening’s Superpublic. In a sign of the fluidity of the group, the tasks were assigned in a flash, and by the end of the day everyone knew what he/she had to do.

Rendez-vous at Superpublic, where Mehdi plays the master chef. On the menu: Tajine! Maxime, who was kind enough to join us for this last session (he was leaving Transfo due to a transfer to a new post), fixed us a delicious chocolate fondant.

The soirée starts quietly around the stoves, until Marie-Automne hands out the costumes, reminding us that it’s Carnival Day. We celebrate this end of Transfo in a dignified manner: a feast of delights for the taste buds, good cheer, music and dance. We give the ambassadors the letter of purpose they wrote and signed during the first session. The opening of this letter is the occasion for a few surprises and bursts of laughter. And by the way, everyone is entitled to their colorful “TRANSFO” medal made specially by Julien and Lilas.


Wednesday, February 14: farewells in order!

9:00 am – we welcome our visitors for a session of visualization and critical assessment of the Transfo poster. According to the principles of collective intelligence, the ideas are enriched progressively, with the help of these external contributors. The discussion, which lasts between 90 minutes and two hours, covers the objective of the lab, mobilization processes, the place and governance.

The new poster, already revised the day before, is enriched with new comments, for a version that will have to be reworked by the residents on the basis of these exchanges.

We close the working session with heart-felt thanks to the external participants. After a short break, we sit in a large circle for the final stretch: first the ambassadors must say whether they wish to continue or not, and how. They all say they want to continue working with the lab, and they answer the questions on these forms: TP_S15_fiches agents vierge.

Finally, we finish the work we began in the last session: answer the question “what do you do during ‘soft time?’” – that is, the time when the lab still doesn’t quite exist or when your department no longer gives you leave to participate. The proposals come flying out and the program of easy commitments is organized.

In the afternoon, we begin the final debriefing: what I learned, understood, what surprised me, the things I remember best and affected me most. Thanks all around, the ambassadors remark on the high quality of the atmosphere throughout the experience. And residents are entitled to their little gift: a lifeguard t- shirt (a real one!), and pool sandals. Some people have all the luck!

Sophie takes the opportunity to close by presenting a notebook of ideas, which is intended to be shared. The idea is that each week, one ambassador will pass the notebook on to another. The chance to meet up, keep in touch and share ideas!

Good luck to the City of Paris innovation lab and its agents-contributors-chefs!