An article by John Atkinson and David Nabarro says that as we face the greatest problems of our times a new mantra emerges, the mantra of ‘systems change’.
Why? The major challenges facing our world cannot be solved for everyone everywhere through discrete solutions.
- The challenges of climate change call for solutions that go beyond energy use and governance changes.
- The challenge of ensuring everyone can access healthy and nutritious diets cannot be solved just through increasing use of fertilisers or genetically modified crops to boost productivity.
- The care needed by increasing numbers of elders will be hard to fund through existing patterns of state-based support.
We continue to look for single solutions because that is our usual way of working, it feels comfortable and stable. But in these examples, and in many others, there are no single solutions that can be relied on to overcome the challenges. Our comfort is being undermined by the growing sense that though many things we currently do are good, they may also not be sufficient. Hence the shift to thinking in terms of systems change.
This article was first published on HeartOfTheArt.org