Where do (or should) missions come from?

In light of the recent rise of ‘mission-driven innovation policy’ the question arises: Where do missions actually come from? Who defines them, and towards what end? How do we select appropriate missions, according to what metrics? These questions are particularly pertinent now with calls to 'build back better' after the pandemic, but with limited possibilities for citizen participation during the pandemic.

This talk will present a governance perspective on mission-oriented innovation policies aimed at tackling the grand challenges of current societies. Based on a ‘wicked problem and solution’ understanding, tensions and trade-offs in formulating missions at different governance levels (local/regional, national and supra-national/global) will be presented. These tensions evolve around (i) the problem and solutions framings underlying ‘the’ challenge or ‘the’ mission, (ii) ways to include various stakeholders, incl. citizens, in mission processes, and (iii) the coordination of actors and innovative activities across sectors and scales. Also, it will be discussed whether and how these tensions can be addressed by mission policies organized across scales and governance levels.

Speaker: Iris Wanzenböck | Assistant Professor, Innovation Studies Group, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
Moderator: Nils Rochowicz
Join the session at the Innovation Constellation.