An essential ingredient to the successful resolution of grand challenges. Challenges of this magnitude require the collective intelligence and perspectives of government, civil society, academia and business and industry.
It does not happen often enough, and when it does, it tends to quickly digress to a talk show with little real-world application.
Each area represented brings significant value to the table. Presented correctly, this could translate into a sensational four-course meal that fosters insightful conversation and deep connections. Prepared incorrectly, the toxic results could break down relationships and flare up the dormant intolerance.
Civil Society. This is the beneficiary. This is the point. We need to understand their challenges from their perspective. Authentic, unprejudiced experience is the key informant of the way forward.
Academia. This is the environment in which we investigate the perspectives and experience of civil society. We discover the underlying truth without the individually tinted lenses and discover the disease rather than the symptoms. We understand the challenges and potential solutions. We plot a course towards the future we imagine.
Government. Here we create the vision towards resolution. Here we mobilise resources and commitment towards a joint goal. We remove hurdles and encourage participation through policies, incentives, legislation and initiatives. We coordinate.
Business and Industry. Here we execute. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is also where we innovate. We find new ways to solve the problems and integrate technology, expertise and opportunities.
We could opt for business and industry to just fund government-driven solutions with taxes (which is what we usually do). If we are honest, the experts in execution between government and business, from an efficiency and outcomes perspective, we would likely agree that business has a better track record and better expertise.
You would need to align business objectives with desired outcomes. This is precisely the role government plays. It is when they cannot find creative ways to align these outcomes that they treat business as funders and attempt to execute themselves.
Dialogue is critical.
Appreciating the role of each contributor is invaluable.