state (public sector entities), administration (systems of a society), steering systems, systems thinking, complexity, research, research activity, tutkimus, tutkimustoiminta, steering
The Steering2020 project provides an overview of the development and current state of Finnish state governance and strengthens the discussion on the possibilities of systemic governance. The analysis identifies enablers and barriers in the transition to more phenomenon-based steering. The more systems-based form of future steering and anticipatory governance is called systems navigation.
The project is based on complexity- and systems-theoretical interpretations of anticipatory governance. From the perspective of complexity thinking, the challenges and opportunities of system navigation are not in the characteristics of institutions and actors themselves, rather in the relationships between them. Systems navigation is a structure and process of systemic steering that emerges and guides interaction, with an emphasis on a humble and forward-looking approach to governance and decision-making, as well as systemic trust and learning.
The Covid-19 crisis has provided an exceptional frame of reference for analysing the policy tools and instruments of systems steering in crisis situations. In part, the exceptional situation has reinforced the perceived need for a more systemic approach to steering, in part it has highlighted the longing for clear competencies and less complexity.
Multilevel systems steering does not represent mainstream. It is therefore important to draw lessons and learn from examples of cultural change on international, regional and local level, as well as to support systemic trust and adaptation, and to introduce incentives to reform guidance when needed.