by Edwin Roman
I grew up in a country that has implemented systems thinking in government as early as the 11th century, when democratic waterboards where instituted to manage the dikes that keep the Dutch low lands (polders) dry. In this collaborative and democratic system there was no place for power politics, because lack of agreement would surely get everybody drowned. Today 50% of The Netherlands consists of polders, which is reclaimed land below sea level. As a result the Polder Model of fact based, collaborative policy making, has become deeply ingrained in Dutch society and institutions. This very culturally embedded systems thinking approach turned out to become a key enabler for creating one of the most competitive economies in the world: The Netherlands climbed to #4, according to the World Economic Forum (weform.org). An interesting example can be found here: Delving into the dutch way.
Having been in South Australia for over 6 years I couldn't help noticing how deeply divided and ineffective policy making can be at all levels. The tragedy of Australian politics being immature and at times hysterical, is that this leaves us with a political system that is deeply averse to finding win-win situations and collaboration across political view points. It does not surprise me that Australia's economy performs nowhere near its full potential, at place 22 out of 31 countries in the global competitiveness report. The World Economic Form states that:
"Australia needs to improve its innovation and business sophistication in order to rise up the ranking"
I think better innovation and business sophistication requires a multi partisan cultural change, where we learn to trust each other, even when we do not always agree on everything. A great way of building trust is finding common ground in successes and role models and celebrate them (without claiming them). The good news is that there are many great initiatives under way in South Australia, that with sufficient sense of purpose and focus can transform our economy.
The Dutch Chamber of Commerce started the "Innovation Series" events to highlight those initiatives that remind us of our cultural values of trust and collaboration, that can transform South Australia into the best place for innovation and new business. Our last event with Flavia Tata Nardini (Fleet Space) and Suhit Anantula (Business Models Inc) left a big impression in this regard, and a positive feeling that anything is possible! (see previous-event).
Our next Innovation Series event will be held in Tonsley, Australia’s fist pure play high tech innovation district. Created with government resources to cluster like minded high tech companies, and transcend their individual competitive needs to a much greater purpose: the capability to collaborate, co-create and commercialise world class products and solutions on a global scale.
The topic of the DutchSA event will be appropriately: the Triple Helix of Government, Universities and Business working hand in hand to develop our economic ecosystem. We illustrate this with a tour of the Tonsley innovation district facilities, including a visit to Sage Automation (from startup to international high tech power house), and presentations about:
For more information and registration go to Next Event.
This event is made possible by: