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Governance Innovation – governance of tomorrow for a more sustainable

The world is changing rapidly. Challenges in climate and welfare and development of artificial intelligence leave many asking what the future will look like.

To cope with uncertainty, change and complex challenges and still be competitive, Sweden needs greater anticipation and understanding of the world and paradigm shifts, and ability to respond quickly and long-term on needs for system innovation and transition.

How we do things is just as important as what we are trying to achieve. This is for example seen in how hard cities, trade and industry sometimes have in reaching their objectives, in how scaling up of innovation is met with hindrances in policy and infrastructure, or in how economic targets and measurements sometimes conflict with social and nature values.

Societal systems of today have developed during a long time through parallel economic, technical and societal processes, many interconnected. Operative and strategic decision-making is often based on assumptions and tacit, preconceived notions that the present and the future are, and will, be extensions of history. But in reality, authority and room for manoeuvring is shared among many stakeholders, and the future often catch our activities off guard, especially when trying to reach grand goals of transitions.

Governance innovation with RISE is about partnerships with stakeholders that need to think and act in new ways to solve problems and tackle challenges. Simultaneously, we deliver concrete results and further develop ways of working and guidelines, and organisational capacity and capability.

By developing ways of understanding, improving and modernising governance and leadership at any and all levels of society, together we can create modern governance with better conditions for cooperation and decision-making, and for reaching organisational and societal development goals.

Partnerships often look like:

  • Platforms and clusters, to strengthen capacity for change in organisations and sectors, through interactive, co-creation processes for governance and for strategies that contribute to developing a more sustainable society
  • Policy innovation and Policy Labs. Design thinking, analysis of technological innovation, structures of organisations and policy that together shape future societal systems, and new governance logic for structure and models of organisation and financing.
  • Anticipation and readiness to rethink strategic orientations and long-term governance directions. Foresight, futures literacy, horizon scanning and serious games are used to create capacity and ability to be well prepared, ready to make decisions.
  • Realisation of the potential in data, were standards and storage from perspectives of future usefulness, personal integrity and information security are important. The need for data literacy, structure, capability and organisation for data as a central resource needs to be met to enable systematic and secure sharing of data and for data-driven techniques such as machine learning.

It follows from above that governance innovation is hard to execute for singular organisations. In Sweden, RISE is uniquely positioned between authorities, companies, academia and civil society organisations, and with access to researchers and physical space for testing and demonstration, RISE can engage with stakeholders with a holistic view - from a user, to a system, to a transition perspective - on practically any thematic domains.

RISE work in governance innovation is done by strategic advice, arenas, interactive workshops, interviews and visualisations of complex systems for governance. Also included is norm-creativity, behavioural change, and organisational culture. To respect democracy and ethics and create positions of common interest is often important aspects.

Magnus Carl Eriksson

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Magnus Carl Eriksson


+46 10 516 55 61

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