Adaptive Governance and societal transitions

The societal transitions facing organisations today are large and complex. Well-known examples include the energy transition, climate transition, and mobility transition.

At TNO Vector we believe it is possible to make decisions on and respond to these societal transitions more quickly and more robustly. Within our Adaptive Governance service we help organisations achieve this.

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Societal transitions within a complex playing field

The energy transition, climate transition, and mobility transition are already complex challenges in themselves. Where these societal transitions converge, however, the playing field often becomes even more complex, as they touch on different policy areas.

Whichever of these changes you are dealing with, one of the biggest challenges is quickly making targeted decisions within the system or structure in which the transition is taking place.

Asking the following questions can help create clarity:

  • What are the goals, where is the common interest and what is the learning ambition?
  • Who is responsible and who is involved?
  • Who has the mandate to make a decision?
  • What if knowledge is lacking and there are major uncertainties?
  • Can we apply adaptive governance to speed up decision-making and better respond to change?

What is adaptive governance?

Decision-making takes place within a certain governance structure, characterised by the interplay between organisations, decision-makers, decision-making processes, legislation, and guidelines. The societal transitions and the necessary innovations require adjustments to this interplay. Adaptive governance is the method used to make these adjustments.

Adaptive governance cannot happen without multidisciplinary knowledge

The decisions made by key decision-makers within governments and companies are complex and the world is evolving faster than ever. Adaptive governance requires solutions that not only work today, but also work tomorrow and beyond, and do not come at the expense of other policy areas.

To achieve this, various parties need to be involved. The chosen solutions should not only be efficient and effective, but also widely supported, future-proof, inclusive, and transparent. Lastly, they need to take various public values into account.

Adaptive governance and TNO Vector

TNO Vector works with stakeholders and clients to identify what applied multidisciplinary knowledge is needed and how organisations can develop the necessary skills for adaptive governance.

We do this using system analyses and governance analyses, for example. We develop new methods and make use of existing ones, and in this way make societal transitions manageable.

And we remain in constant dialogue with you to ensure that the way adaptive governance is structured fits in with your organisational goals and the way your organisation works and makes complex decisions.

Read more about our methods