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Complex Challenges

Complexity - what is this all about?

Many of the major challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, the energy transition or migration, are due to multi-layered and constantly changing causes. Only rarely do supposedly innovative solutions have the desired effect immediately. On the contrary - solutions often generate novel, previously unthought-of side effects.

This also shows that it is becoming increasingly unlikely that a single company or even a single sector will find adequate answers to the major questions of our century. Rather, it has recently become a reality that a multitude of interest groups must be involved in problem-solving processes.

The logical consequence of this is the need for a radical rethinking of the way we define such problems at their core and develop appropriate approaches to solving them.

How to foster new skills in the public sector?

It is no secret that the way public institutions work is not always compatible with the interests of the private sector or civil society. Moreover, traditional interpretations of problems and their solutions are common, especially in smaller municipalities: clearly defined beginning and conclusion, limited budget, fixed goal.

This way of thinking and acting can no longer provide a sufficient framework for innovative problem-solving efforts by public institutions, such as the development of ecological forms of mobility and housing. In order to fully develop the innovation potential of the public sector, it is necessary to teach new skills that enable the staff of public institutions to recognize complexity as such and to implement solutions in a proactive, cooperative and risk-taking manner.

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