Regions facing their futures
Purpose - This article aims to treat contemporary economic development from a regional and European perspective. Design/methodology/approach - The article applies a French prospective (foresight) approach to the issues of employment, decentralization, and privatization as an antidote to the usual discussions of governance and globalization. Findings - The article stresses the need for simple, appropriable methods and questions designed to help groups start futures exercises. It contrasts key concepts such as corporation and region, governance and its popular definitions to show how collective futures exercises are a vector in regional development and a form of participatory democracy. The focus is on the human factor, i.e. local initiatives, which improve regional dynamics and create strong ties. An appendix outlines current French priorities. Originality/value - The article appeals to local "actors" to look toward the future together in a participatory, proactive process within regional and broader European frameworks.