How governments can – and should –steer their societies
Can a society be steered? Should governments even try to do that? Or should they just preside?
In this paper, Demos Helsinki fellow, UCL professor and former Chief Executive of Nesta Geoff Mulgan shows why governments should steer and how they can show the way for our societies to overcome the transformational challenges that they are facing in the current century, from the climate crisis to aging populations.
“Steering through capability” – not using only tools of downward control, but rather enhancing the capabilities and problem-solving skills
The paper’s focus is on “steering through capability” – not using only tools of downward control, but rather enhancing the capabilities and problem-solving skills of other tiers of government, citizens and businesses. To do this, the paper describes how governments can combine direction with experimentation, linking multiple partners through so called ‘constellations’; showing how these can be supported by ‘intelligence assemblies’ that orchestrate rapid learning and mobilization of data, and the curation of knowledge commons. These are summarized in to five keys for the future of steering – potent tools for any government seeking to lead our societies through the challenges ahead.