Complex multi-actor systems have developed around satisfying critical human needs, such as nutrition, mobility, energy, or housing. These systems, as well as enabling sub-systems such as education, finance, etcetera, represent most of our economic activity, but there is also enormous inefficiency embedded in the complexity and dynamics through which these systems have evolved, making them responsible for most of humanity’s environmental and social impact. Current efforts to reduce our negative impact can hardly be considered successful, because too much focus is still on marginal improvement of our traditional models. Only 18% of the 169 targets set for the 2030 SDGs are on track to be reached (most targets show virtually no progress and 15% are in fact reversing). This is why increasingly, scholars and practitioners are trying to understand the nature of systemic change, the radical reinvention of our critical systems. Cambridge University Press recently published ‘Transforming our Critical Systems – How Can We Achieve the Systemic Change the World Needs’ by Sasin professor GJ van der Zanden and researcher Rozanne Henzen. Sasin has invited thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to share their visions and insights on the reinvention of the systems that they are part of. These pieces provide a rich variety of perspectives from business, policy makers, civil society, academia and think tanks, as well as enablers such as finance, technology and start-ups. In systems change, incorporating perspectives from multiple stakeholders is essential to come to a shared understanding of the system dynamics and challenges, develop a shared vision of the future and explore possible interventions and collaborations. Sasin Collaborative Thought Leadership: Transforming Our Critical Systems
- Leadership in VUCA-World: Eminent business leader and thinker, Professor Dr. Klaus M. Leisinger shares his vision and insights on the importance of purposeful leadership as a foundation for the creation of future-fit systems.
- Asian Culture and the Vision for the Future: One of Southeast Asia’s most renowned Chief Sustainability Officers, Dr. Darian McBain, advocates how the world’s efforts to transition to more environmentally sustainable and socially just systems of value creation would benefit from recognising the value that Asian cultures can bring to a sustainable future.
- Re-perceiving Energy System Transformations: Outstanding scenario- and systemic thinker, Jeremy Bentham, co-chair at the World Energy Council, makes a compelling argument to accelerate the energy transition by creating mechanisms to generate downstream funding for upstream transformation investments and focusing more on achieving changes on the demand side of the energy system.
- Value-focused Management of the Sustainability Transition: After in-depth study of the reporting requirements of the majority of world’s principal sustainability standards and frameworks, Philip Sugai, Director of the Value Research Center at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, concludes that the sustainability transition would benefit from more systemic focus on impact and stakeholder value created, rather than on reporting and disclosure.
- Additional articles for this series are coming soon!