Society faces complex challenges at all levels. From cities and national governments working with their citizens to adapt to the opportunities offered by and implications of rapid technical and societal change, through to global topics such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Companies need to re-invent themselves to remain relevant, citizens want to connect and contribute.
Society is complex. In our hyper connected world, any change impacts many parties. The complexity of collaborating to address dissatisfaction with current reality, often referred to as Challenges, has long passed the point where any one person or organisation can solve them. We need to collaborate.
Societal change is accelerating. The simple fact is that we are seeing an exponential rate of change and technological development. The impact is that new challenges are emerging faster than we can address them – and this gap is growing. Trust in existing ways of working is eroding. Too many of our citizens feel disconnected from and not able to contribute to the future we are going towards.
Collaborating effectively on challenges is hard. It is changing established ways of working, affecting identities, governance structures and norms built up over centuries. And our current platforms and tooling are optimized for a simpler and more hierarchical world.
We need a fresh and holistic approach to how we collaborate and manage Challenges. Put the Challenge central. Sounds simple, but with this the focus changes. Desired outcome driven, not activity or organisation driven.
What do we want to change? The shared representation (context) of the current and desired reality, representing perspectives, interests and insights from all impacted.
Who wants to contribute? The people and organisations (community) that wish to collaborate, a social network around the context.
How are we collaborating? Making it easier to work together (collaboration), as the Challenge moves from initial enthusiasm and prototyping through to delivered change (continuity).
By making the Challenge central, it gives a foundation / approach to ensuring that the needs of citizens and society remain the focus. Critically it enables wider engagement – anyone can contribute to building a better future.