It can be used publicly in any sector in society, as well as privately with organizations and their external partners. It is a tool for societal change management- a Stone Soup Global Leadership tool.
The status quo of how we approach today’s increasingly large and complex challenges in an open and border-less world is simply not good enough. Too many people are depending on a small handful of “elite” experts, policy makers, or organizations to come up with solutions to “save the world”. Today’s societal challenges increasingly need cross-border and cross-sector collaboration across global supply chains - as in energy and environment. Often they require fast, coordinated responses e.g. natural disasters or financial crises.
As Gordon Brown said to the Young Global Leaders Forum, “The new generation is in a position to solve some of the intractable problems that the world has faced for centuries. But we cannot do that unless global leaders recognize that there is now a category of problem that is not just a common problem or a shared problem, but a global problem that cannot be solved without all the nations of the world working together. We need a systematic approach as to how we as a global community can solve the problems that we face. There is an opportunity, because of the changes in technology and our ability to communicate and talk to each other that never existed in the previous generation, to make a huge difference in the way our society works. Global problems need global solutions.”
To help society address large, complex challenges, Blueprint needs to address the lack of five things:
By definition, experts focus on specific content areas. So while today’s challenges require broad systematic approaches to solve them, the knowledge lies piecemeal across many individuals across disparate organizations and geographies; currently only a highly selective subset of experts gets access to a holistic view of the industry. We need to piece together these insights to architect a path forward - much like piecing together a treasure map.
Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum says, “We need new models to drive systemic decision-making in a more complex, interconnected world.”
In the offline world, expert insight is often not distributed broadly enough. Nuggets of insight might be conveyed in a speech at a conference or class to a select audience, or in a short quote in a press interview. The most comprehensive industry agendas may be published as a whitepaper by a trade organization that reaches a small audience, or for a large fee by a consulting organization. These reports may be in a language or manner of communication that is inaccessible to a broader audience. This knowledge in reports also gets stale over time. Information distribution is not transparent, and geographic distance, culture and language differences make knowledge sharing difficult. We need to close the information distribution gap.
Complex challenges with global supply chains require all stakeholders to work in unison. Yet rarely are challenges approached in an integrated fashion. Take for example the next generation sustainable city model: envisioning and implementing this concept requires multiple government branches, technology companies, financial institutions, real estate developers, urban planners, engineers and many other stakeholders to interact closely, over a long period of time.
Generating solutions is difficult in society where the stakeholders do not all report up to the same leader. Government, academia, private sector, and civil society are not overlapping enough to develop integrated approaches to problems. We need to get all the right stakeholders into the change-makers’ circle.
In the offline world, convening depends on the connector’s personal relationships so events may miss some crucial stakeholders. Stakeholders are thrown into loose coalitions that physically meet infrequently or rarely. Insight is lost as individuals leave these groups.
We are not yet effectively tapping into what Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls “a vast untapped reservoir of compassion and of determination to build a better world.” We need to seed and harvest more solutions from broader circles. We need to better leverage the brainpower and passion in the public domain, and capture the advantage of diverse resources.
More and more, innovation is happening in surprising places by previously unknown players. To paraphrase Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council Summit (GAC) 2011, “New global players, especially non-state players, are appearing. We need new models of governance that welcome newcomers in appropriate ways.” We need a better way to engage more locals with real on-the-ground experience to figure out how to deploy solutions locally.
The offline world approach of “let a thousand flowers bloom” with ad-hoc solutions and ad-hoc collaboration is resource intensive. It doesn’t allow us to fully leverage the mistakes and learnings of the past nor share best practices to accelerate deployment of solutions. Resources are often allocated to projects based on politics, serendipitous personal relationships, lobbying, or strength of marketing, rather than by merit.
4. Concise insight.
Another issue is information overload in the age of the Internet. In an era when data is plentiful, decision makers increasingly require global context and a holistic view to make informed decisions. To paraphrase Klaus Schwab again, "Decision makers are overwhelmed with data. We need to recognize what actions are necessary and identify projects that will make this happen."
JUCCCE and its partners seek to build the Blueprint for Impact to provide the world with a tool that brings together three fundamental mechanisms which will change the way experts, decision makers and communities around the world solve global challenges. These three mechanisms - Agenda for Action, Open Innovation, and Convening - holistically address the five elements that are currently lacking in the way solutions are generated when tackling large, complex challenges.
Structurally, Blueprint is an publicly accessible website that acts as a clearinghouse of societal goals, calls for action, projects, people, organizations, policies, and reference documents. It is bilingual (English and Chinese). Information is drawn from and voted upon by worldwide contributors. Commenters are credited and rated to motivate participation and content quality.
- Agenda for Action Mechanism. Blueprint provides a structure for piecing together the insight of disparate experts worldwide and breaking down society's challenges into a set of key goals and actionable steps to achieve those goals. This Agenda for Action is easily browsable in a nested list and publicly accessible to a wide variety of users, creating a democracy of information. As the world's needs change and new players appear, the insight that Blueprint delivers will be holistic and up-to-date.
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3. Convening Mechanism. Blueprint for Impact builds and draws from a global community of cross-sector, cross-border stakeholders to collaborate on solutions with most merit.
a. Blueprint will serve as a stakeholder clearinghouse that crosses sectors and borders.
b. For each Call for Action, the Blueprint will drive multi-stakeholder collaboration, (especially on “nexus” issues such as Water, Energy, and Food Nexus) by explicitly calling out the various cross-sector, cross-border stakeholder types required. Sample stakeholder types for Call for Action: governmental bodies, political groups, trade associations, trade unions,technology innovators, and financial institutions.
A look at a specific Call for Action:
Call for Action: ability to integrate intermittent energy onto the grid (⬆) [34 comments]
Description: Grid operators must be able to integrate power generated from wind and solar onto a grid that traditionally expects stable levels of power.
Amazing projects and solutions are tried around the world, but there are few platforms to share successes and challenges and collaborate with experts and practitioners facing similar challenges. Blueprint is a platform that will allow solutions to be replicated and scaled to have even greater impact.
- An alpha site based on Drupal code is completed with a basic clearinghouse of people, organizations, projects, policies, and documents.
- Volunteer researchers from around the world have been populating the alpha site with content.
- JUCCCE is fundraising for the beta site now.
- Initial “star-quality” expert organizations have been recruited to build out Agenda for the energy sector and build a credible lobby of organizations.