Catalogue of remarkable citizen innovations 2020 : 6. Prevention/health

The power of simple ideas that re-enchant the world !

September 2020

Innovation Citoyenne et Développement Durable (ICDD)

On the occasion of the 2020 Produrable Fair, in a difficult context due to a particularly aggressive pandemic, which challenges our lifestyles, our ways of producing and trading, as well as our modes of governance, the ICDD association is pleased to present some thirty innovations or remarkable citizen initiatives that it is currently supporting

Concerning climate issues, or the necessary abandonment of fossil fuels in the short or medium term, it was frequently said in high places that a solution would be found: Each time a major problem was posed, it seemed that a solution was always found, until now.

« Don’t worry: we’re taking care of you and everything is under control: you can come and go as you please. In fact, it has become clear, especially with the arrival of the pesky and elusive Coronavirus, that this is not the case: our world is very fragile, and it doesn’t take much to suddenly stop the frenzy of human activity and confuse the Academies of Science, Medicine and Technology.

Things are becoming more problematic, more complex and more difficult to predict. Faced with the urgency of the situation, faced with the tragedies that are happening and that are occurring more and more frequently, we realise that it is urgent for everyone, and in particular all citizens, to be « on deck » and to see what they can do to participate in the resolution of the problems that collectively face us all.

Citizens have not waited to be asked to do so: they have long been aware of the issues at stake and, here and there, have devised solutions that are particularly relevant:

  • By their originality

  • By their simplicity

  • By their return to a common sense that had often been lost

  • By their concern for economy of means

  • By their sense of solidarity

  • By their formidable efficiency

The « problem » being that « we didn’t ask them anything »! It is therefore very difficult for their solutions to be heard, encouraged and supported, and then, once they have been developed, to be promoted to the extent of their potential impact, which is sometimes considerable.

The field of citizen innovation has never been so vast; it concerns all aspects of common life, all dimensions of the human ecosystem. To carry out our monitoring, we have focused on the priority expectations of citizens in a number of areas.

Citizen innovations » (simple, powerful and inexpensive in terms of health) are most often linked to a preventive approach to health. Sometimes « modest and brilliant » initiatives are developed and disseminated by « citizens-who-didn’t-get-requested », but curiously, we rarely hear about them.

This is the case of Nutriset, near Rouen, which manufactures a peanut-based paste developed in the early 2000s, which can easily be produced in Africa, and which makes it possible to save severely malnourished children who were previously fed by tube in a hospital. Without hospitals, most children would die. By developing the Nutriset paste, there is no longer a need for a tube, and parents can feed their child themselves and restore their child’s health. This silent breakthrough was welcomed in 2012 by Action Against Hunger, as the NGO now has a solution to effectively help families with this problem.

Very recently, it was also « discovered » that it was a hospital doctor in Geneva (and not an international laboratory) who developed the « hydroalcoholic gel » that is essential in the event of a pandemic like the one we have just experienced. He did not even want to register a patent, because his job is to treat, not to make money. Once again, the simple solution that citizens needed did not come from the big laboratories, but from those on the ground who were more aware of the problems.

Giving life to the elderly

Siel Bleu is a « social and solidarity-based company » that has decided to do everything it can to keep the elderly in good health…through « adapted and joyful » gymnastics. The Siel Bleu teams go to the Ephad and organise gymnastics sessions « with joy and good humour », showing the attention we have for the elderly, giving them the means to move around more safely, maintaining their health at the best level and bringing joy where there was mainly boredom.

Thanks to the services of Siel Bleu (more than 700 physiotherapists in France and Europe), « we give life to years, and years to life ». Reduction of health problems and better serenity within the Ephad. Sheet 6.1. and

With Covid 19, Siel Bleu’s services were suspended, but online exercises could be set up until the situation returned to normal. This online activity is perhaps the starting point for new activities for Siel Bleu.

Prevention of cognitive disorders and Alzheimer’s disease

We know how serious and widespread Alzheimer’s disease is in our society. A doctor, Bénédicte Défontaines, an Ashoka laureate, has decided to do everything possible to delay the dependency of people suffering from this disease. Although it cannot be completely cured, it is possible to slow down its progression and gain about ten years before losing one’s autonomy. It is the work of the Alois Network to have developed a network of neurologists working in a coordinated manner.

The Aloïs Network also works on the prevention of cognitive disorders in children and adults. These are a real public health issue.

Its objective:


links to sheets : inks to the sheets see pdf doc attached(pdf/710 – icdd_rpertoire_des_innovations_citoyennes_produrable_200720.pdf)