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  • gabriellehalpern

Hybridization: a social project, a vision of the world!



On the occasion of International Women's Day, the agency RB & associates, a consultancy and communication strategy firm, celebrates women, through their visions and their commitments in the world of work. Eleven women with a distinguished career have agreed to take their pen to deliver in a free forum their observation of the world and the role played by women in favor of a more just society. Find here an excerpt from the tribune of Gabrielle Halpern:


Hybridization is the theme to which I devoted my doctoral thesis in philosophy, even though I had been pondering this question for much longer! If the term "hybrid" was rarely used a few years ago - except in the automotive field or in that of biology - it is clear that the sanitarian crisis has put it under the spotlight. From now on, the events are hybrid, as well as the meetings, the fairs or the trainings. But we would completely miss the treasure of the hybrid approach if we limit it to a mundane "mix of digital and not-digital". The hybrid is what is mixed, contradictory, motley; that’s all that’s out of our boxes.


I chose to study the question of the hybrid, because I felt, through many weak signals, an evolution, a movement, a transformation: the phenomenon of accelerated hybridization of the world. My hunches have proven to be correct, as the hybrid now touches every aspect of our life, society or business. Nothing escapes it: objects, territories, identities, materials, products and services, politics, consumption and marketing methods, companies or public institutions, professions, buildings, manners to innovate and work, education, etc. We are seeing the emergence of new combinations and re-combinations; we are entering the era of improbable marriages!


This arouses unease in society, because the things, the situations, the beings, which until now entered our boxes do not fit any more and all our definitions are shattered ... However, this hybridization can also be the best engine of creativity and innovation! I decided to work on this theme, in order to show how it could be a chance for the human being, for our societies or for companies and how we could learn to tame this hybridity to feel at ease in this world.


This hybrid theme, I've actually worn it forever, and it touches me very personally. I have multiple origins, my upbringing is made up of different cultures and identities - like so many people in France and elsewhere in the world. This may not necessarily be obvious, because you are not part of one world or another; in fact, you have a funny identity and you are nowhere! Growing up, I understood that it could be an asset if I could hybridize all these identities and cultures and learn to become a centaur. Over time, I have also hybridized superior studies, professions and professional universes.


When I continued my studies in philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, we were then in 2008, in the midst of an economic crisis, the world was collapsing around us and many were those who said to me "where will philosophy lead you? This is useless " ! I therefore wondered about the place, the role and the responsibility of the philosopher in the world. They cannot be in one world or another, they cannot be confined to and in one identity; they are necessarily at the heart of a thousand worlds, they do not have the right to think by category, their responsibility is to be engineers who are constantly building bridges between worlds, ideas, identities, human beings. Their role, which is at the same time a duty, is to hybridize, ceaselessly and relentlessly, and to bring meaning to these hybridizations. They are engineers, smugglers, translators, crossbreeders ...


Hybridization is not just a strategy, it is a state of mind, a social project, a vision of the world.