As one of several initiatives for a sustainable industry, Vinnova is now working on missions - a way of working that requires in-depth collaboration. Read the interview with Ulf Öhlander who project leads the work together with Vinnova's mission team.
During the autumn of 2021, Vinnova will test missions as a way of working in several areas, including the area of sustainable industry. The ambition is for us as a public authority to be able to formulate objective and initiatives together with business and citizens.
In what way is mission a way to achieve the global goals of a sustainable industry?
- We see missions as a tool to gather strength and mobilize actors. In our mission work, we have chosen to explore inherent goal conflicts in the development of a sustainable industry. The purpose is to find common objective to work towards - where everyone's interests are taken care of.
We believe that goal conflicts between different in themselves laudable objective are inevitable. What we strive for in the mission work is to find the right balance between different interests and needs. For the industry's transformation to sustainability, there are exciting contrasts between resilience and local production and efficiency and globalization.
This is what the workboard looked like after an initial digital workshop on target images in the sustainable industry, with 15 external actors and 9 colleagues from Vinnova. At this first workshop, we got a lot of ideas, input and insights, says Ulf. (The post-it notes describe, for example, different target images, ideas or conflicts.)
The purpose is to find a common objective where everyone's interests are taken care of.
- For example, the pandemic has made it clear that our global value chains are vulnerable and we are seeing the development of new industrialization in Sweden. Swedish industry is well placed to influence global climate emissions - through the export of sustainable products and services. It is an example where one needs to explore what benefits the development towards sustainability best: short and resilient value chains for the export of sustainable products and services - alternatively market-oriented manufacturing.
How did you choose the actors and why are these included?
- In our internal team, we have gathered colleagues with different backgrounds and contact networks and together we have worked to get a mix of external participants. The goal has been to invite a wide range of representatives from different parts of the value chain within the industry, but also to involve society in the form of representatives from regions, municipalities and citizens.
Everyone has participated from their perspective, which has helped to lift the discussion and capture issues of a systemic nature.
What do the external participants see as opportunities and synergies in participating?
- We have had very good support among those we have invited. Most people are curious about the working method. This means a new way of working with change where several different target images are taken into account at the same time.
no one can do everything but everyone can do something and contribute from their perspective.
Those who participate see an opportunity to influence and contribute from their perspective. We need to do this together, no one can do everything but everyone can do something and contribute from their perspective.
What do you hope to achieve and why is it important?
- We hope to create consensus and gather strength. We hope to initiate a transformation where resilience and local value creation meet global sustainability goals.
We need everyone's perspectives. With the mission work, we as an independent actor in the innovation system can drive and reach consensus - which is too complex to solve by one or a few individual actors. We bring together conflicting goal images to create understanding and solutions for the whole. It will be like a mapping of the global transformation that is taking place - where objective and solutions are woven together. Different objective can counteract each other. In this work, we are helped to find and highlight the common goals - and which direction we want to work in.
How has the process gone so far and how do I find out more?
We have had an introductory digital workshop with 15 external actors and 9 colleagues from Vinnova. On it we got a lot of ideas, input and insights. In the autumn of 2021, we will have a further number of workshops with external participants. Possibly one of these physical meetings will take place as the restrictions are released and it will be possible to see more.
Follow the development here and if you want to know more, you are welcome to contact Ulf Öhlander who is our contact person.