Residence with international experts frames valuable insights for reimagining Collaborative Governance


Arantzazulab hosted a two-day residency for strategic reflection with the participation of leading international experts in the field of social innovation, systemic transformation and democratic innovation:  Jayne Engle, director of Participatory Canada; Anthony Zacharzewski, director of the Democratic Society; Gorka Espiau, director of the Agirre Lehendakaria Center; and Michelle Zucker, a researcher who leads Arantzazulab’s Thinkers in Residence research program. 

The aim of the research is to explore the elements to be taken into account in order to rethink collaborative governance and the elements to consider in activating local innovation ecosystems. These last days, the Arantzazulab team members together with the experts  reflected on the research hypotheses. We hypothesise that for transformation to occur, at the scale needed to address the massive challenges associated with climate change, decreasing trust in governments and democracy, deep structural economic disparities and human inequalities, we need the following: New future-fit institutional and governance structures; New funding mechanisms; local ecosystems and systems convenors to catalyse change; new roles that we may need to create in the future-fit design.  

Thus, in the two-days, the group reflected on the future of collaborative governance, based on the experiences that the experts brought in, delving into the desired model of the relationship between governments and civil society. In addition, based on the research hypothesis, new questions were raised and the next steps for the research were defined. First, there is a clear interest to connect local ecosystems of transformation with the global level. In addition,  we will explore and connect with what is already being done in small nations  (such as, Scotland, Wales, Finland, Costa Rica, or Iceland).Furthermore, new funding models to support ecosystems will be explored in more depth, as well as the different ecosystem models catalysed by similar labs or systems integrators  

The numerous initiatives that are being carried out in our region (for example, the Etorkizuna Eraikiz model of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa) have attracted the attention of the international experts.  The two-day residency was a significant step forward in the research promoted by Arantzazulab. Stay tuned for upcoming work!