Updated January 19, 2023

Mobility and people... vast subjects!

By Shana Devleschoudere
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Philippe Dehennin, President of FEBIAC, and Francine Messinne, partner in the law firm CEW&Partners, are convinced: anticipating the immediate future is a priority!

Philippe Dehennin, President of FEBIAC, and Francine Messinne, partner in the law firm CEW&Partners, are convinced: anticipating the immediate future is a priority!

This week, we conclude our exciting series on the future of tomorrow and the Next2Be collection that is its new medium. And to end on a high note, we once again introduce you to two players whose professions are very different, but who are already very much involved in the future. In other words, tomorrow!

Francine Messinne, partner at law firm CEW&Partners

If there's one sector that needs to anticipate the future, it's the automotive industry. And if we extrapolate a little, that of mobility. That's why the Fédération Belge et Luxembourgeoise de l'Automobile et du Cycle (Febiac) is a partner in the Next2Be project.
Febiac's immediate future hinges on two major challenges: the climate challenge and improving mobility, by easing congestion in major cities.
The Federation is well aware of this. In the words of Philippe Dehennin, its President: "It would be dishonest to claim that the elimination of the car is the only horizon for urban mobility policy. However, public managers need to realize that not everyone can get around by bike, on foot, by bus, streetcar or metro. Cars will always have their place in cities. To ease congestion, manufacturers are committing to new technologies. More energy-efficient cars, connected and soon autonomous vehicles, communication and data technology: everything will be increasingly interlinked, opening up a vast field of new possibilities". Technology and its evolution will therefore be paramount. But Febiac believes that a collective effort is essential: "In return, cities themselves need to invest in data to facilitate the intelligent combination of different modes of transport, based on a genuine political will to make them work in harmony. We need to remove all the political and technical obstacles that stand in the way of co-modality.
As for sustainability criteria, Febiac explains: "The automotive industry is the one that invests most in research and development across all sectors. Every manufacturer is committed to sustainable supply chains, environmental protection in factories, recycling of end-of-life vehicles and responsible data processing. But the main focus remains on the road to zero-emission driving and the significant increase in the share of electrified vehicles. The automakers are working to ensure that the global battery production network is supplied as far as possible with ethical products and cutting-edge technologies".
While some see ecology as the great challenge of tomorrow, others prefer to "invest" in people today. Such is the case of law firm CEW&Partners. "This philosophy is motivated by changes in the business world", insists Francine Messinne, CEW partner, before adding: "We are witnessing an intensification of the pace and pressure on companies and their managers. Consumers and business partners are demanding ever-faster service, lower rates and a response to societal and environmental challenges. Reconciling these expectations is a challenge, all the more so as shorter working hours are in vogue. In a world where entire sectors are having to reinvent themselves in the face of the emergence of disruptive players, new regulations and innovative technologies, companies need to be proactive, flexible, innovative and seize opportunities.
That's why the law firm, located on Avenue Louise in Brussels, sees its development in four areas: "The direct, trust-based relationship with our customers, which is central to us. Our ability to stay at the cutting edge of developments, not only legal but also technological (blockchain, fintechs...) or societal. Internally, on the atmosphere and solidarity that characterize us and enable everyone to develop professionally and personally. And finally, on our involvement in the community: support for artistic and environmental projects, skills sponsorship, teaching at universities...".
More than ever, entrepreneurs can no longer afford to adopt a wait-and-see attitude... We can't wait until tomorrow to do what we can do today! The future is built in the present. Discover this in the Next2Be interview collection, the new reference for those who believe that "The future is now! Next2Be is on sale in all good bookshops.
In the meantime, this weekend, don't wait until Sunday evening to take advantage. The warrior's rest begins on Friday, no matter what time it is, as long as the week's hunt was a good one...