Influential french AI expert and futurist Jean-Christophe Bonis: “You are the engine for yourself in something that touches you, and this energy creates a move, and as the results – the opportunities.”
A futurist, entrepreneur, TED speaker, writer, passionate about new technologies and tireless globe-trotter, Jean-Christophe was recognized in 2019 among the most influential French experts in the field of artificial intelligence across the planet.
After a career as a VC, he decided to leave everything to give a meaning to his life. He travelled the 5 continents to meet the different cultures impacted by today’s digital challenges. An entrepreneur committed to the ecosystem of successful start-ups, Jean-Christophe led for 10 years a start-up studio dedicated to projects in the field of artificial intelligence (anomaly detection, computer vision, smart city and industry 4.0).
Facing success and fails, he believes in «Tech for Good» and empirical experience. Having dedicated all his career to innovation strategy, Jean-Christophe is now working hand in hand with the next generation of entrepreneurs as a mentor and investor. To do so, he co-founded in 2020 with a few other successful entrepreneurs an alternative venture capital fund providing smart money to seed projects around the world. Led by his knowledge and influenced by the latest happenings, he has been actively participating since the beginning of 2020 at the implementation of deep learning solutions in the fields of health tech and green tech.
Jean-Christophe is co-author of “24h of innovations, wake up it’s already tomorrow”, from the DUNOD editions, Nov 2018, France.
We talked to Jean-Christophe Bonis and Olga Duda, asked a few questions about the development of tech ecosystems, impact investments, the future of innovations and skills for entrepreneurs in the VUCA world.
TechUkraine: You definitely know about the La French Tech initiative and TechUkraine is the partner organization of it founded with the aim of pushing forward Ukrainian tech globally. What do you think about developing ecosystems and the role of such organizations?
Jean-Christophe: For sure, I know and I am running as a President of La French Tech in Warsaw, Poland. I think Dominique Piotet, President of La French Tech Kyiv and CEO of UNIT.city, is doing a great job.
I’d like to mansion 2 points about La French Tech in general:
- La French Tech is good when the President links startups and projects with the actual business.
- It isn’t nice when it’s just communication.
So if you want to copy and improve the model, the most important part is taking care of startups, companies (fewer politics).
It’s not crucial for the type of company. I’m a general partner of an investment fund dedicated to tech. I want to tech any global sector that impacts the ecosystem: green, social, emotions (mental health). That’s my thesis on investments.
TechUkraine: You are in the right place now because Everything is tackable in Ukraine!)
It’s the same for La French Tech, TechUkraine, and other similar organizations – you need people that make ordinary things bigger, not trying to use it just for business, commercialization, not promoting themselves. To have a big mission: to link, think broader, and impact. That’s the main point.
According to previous experience, La French Tech next year will do an extensive “cleaning” that will enhance the strategy and tactics of the organization.
The elements of the ecosystem are projects, financing, facilitation, people creating ecosystems, people financing it, improving it, and people like Olga [Olga Duda, Open Circle: University of generations], which could run the acceleration of the ecosystem.
Olga: I would like to add that the best ecosystem I know is in California where the state is out of the ecosystem because direct control kills the initiatives. So we have to develop groundwork.
TechUkraine: My next question is about entrepreneurship in new realities, the uncertain challenges we face every day in COVID times, and changing your mindset after a “sabbatical year”.
Jean-Christophe: You live your life, and in some period of time, you find out that you are inside the box: social, religion, family. When you are young, it’s complicated to distance yourself from your circle (friends, colleagues) and ask your inner voice: what do I really want to do in my life?
When I was 27, one morning, I woke up and asked myself: what am I doing? What is my value? I’m not linking with these people. I sold everything in my life, took a backpack, and traveled for two reasons why:
- I was totally unbalanced.
- I was deeply trying to understand:
- I tried to learn and understand the connections between innovation and civilizations and society in Mumbai, Kyiv, the Philippines, etc. I want to build knowledge and understand the linking of innovations, entrepreneurship, culture, and community.
- Why are people trying to follow us? What does happiness mean for people – in Seoul, Kyiv, Croatia, etc.?
I backed with understanding and the goal of what I’ll be doing.
You were all born with a gift. Our task is as soon as possible to understand what our gift is, enjoy it, and be in harmony to create, be entrepreneurs, develop projects, etc.
- I consider we with Olga could create a dynamic that improves the opportunity with the synergy of competencies of us (business skills, finance, mental health, etc.)
- You are the engine for yourself in something that touches you, and this energy creates a move, and as the results – the opportunities.
Olga: I’d like to emphasize critical thinking, deeply critical thinking. After developing soft skills – it’s about intuition, conciseness, and intuition. We launch the lab where we will push together our gifts. It’s not about Kaneman.
My gift is seeing the whole picture, linking the dots – creating connections.
Jean-Christophe: The KPI’s and results of our work are to give value to people.
And first of all, we want to start from opportunities of entrepreneurship for women: to integrate the woman into an entrepreneurship approach, mix business strategies, financial with deep understanding why what. Entrepreneurship is all about it. That’s why we launched this educational series of events.
I think it could change society and create a butterfly effect globally. Let’s try.
Thanks, Vozianov Conceptual Store, for hosting the interview.
Photo by (с) А. Sarymsakov
In February 2022 the experimental team scheduled the public offline Work shop in Kyiv. Jean-Christophe Bonis with Olga Duda will hold the master class for business leaders – “Neurosystem of the owner – a tool for modeling the future of the company.”