Fragile and complex systems

Why are they out-of-date ? Technological developments and demographic growth are creating new challenges for wealth creation. Globalisation of markets facilitates economic growth, but it also reduces government capacities to deal with national issues. When wealth creation becomes more uneven, within or between countries, and given the enormous growth of access to information, the legitimacy of the democratic-capitalist system comes under threat.         

The complexity of a system and its challenges needs to be matched by efficient and effective system operations.  Today, the complexity of interests to be taken into account challenges the rationalist economic thinking prevalent in corporate governance as well as linear legalistic thinking dominant in public governance. Foresight and insight, essential ingredients of the ‘critical mind of governance’  (Yezehkel Dror) are often insufficient, so are the ways to deliberate and to seek alignment about what are the common goods, and value systems underlying choices.

Since a decade Europe is suffering convergent crises, though their roots are often older. Governance has remained too static, instead of dynamic and flexible. There may be positive experiences from business to be inspired by, but business strategies need to open up to other concerns than just market calculations.

The development and completion of innovation ecosystems in inter-dependent European and national contexts has become a key requirement. This means creating a framework where industries, entrepreneurs, citizens, governments and centres of knowledge interact alongside the lines of complexity, cooperation, competence, competition and communication to achieve solutions, with a focus on people in the real world (High Level Group on EU Innovation Policy Management, 2014).