Sasin Collaborative Thought Leadership: Transforming Our Critical Systems

26 Jan 2024
Complex multi-actor systems have developed around satisfying critical human needs, such as nutrition, mobility, energy, or housing. These systems, as well as enabling sub-systems such as education, finance, etcetera, represent most of our economic activity, but there is also enormous inefficiency embedded in the complexity and dynamics through which these systems have evolved, making them responsible for most of humanity’s environmental and social impact. Current efforts to reduce our negative impact can hardly be considered successful, because too much focus is still on marginal improvement of our traditional models. Only 18% of the 169 targets set for the 2030 SDGs are on track to be reached (most targets show virtually no progress and 15% are in fact reversing). This is why increasingly, scholars and practitioners are trying to understand the nature of systemic change, the radical reinvention of our critical systems. Cambridge University Press recently published ‘Transforming our Critical SystemsHow Can We Achieve the Systemic Change the World Needs’ by Sasin professor GJ van der Zanden and researcher Rozanne Henzen. Sasin has invited thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to share their visions and insights on the reinvention of the systems that they are part of. These pieces provide a rich variety of perspectives from business, policy makers, civil society, academia and think tanks, as well as enablers such as finance, technology and start-ups. In systems change, incorporating perspectives from multiple stakeholders is essential to come to a shared understanding of the system dynamics and challenges, develop a shared vision of the future and explore possible interventions and collaborations. Sasin Collaborative Thought Leadership: Transforming Our Critical Systems
  • Leadership in VUCA-World: Eminent business leader and thinker, Professor Dr. Klaus M. Leisinger shares his vision and insights on the importance of purposeful leadership as a foundation for the creation of future-fit systems.
  • Asian Culture and the Vision for the Future: One of Southeast Asia’s most renowned Chief Sustainability Officers, Dr. Darian McBain, advocates how the world’s efforts to transition to more environmentally sustainable and socially just systems of value creation would benefit from recognising the value that Asian cultures can bring to a sustainable future.
  • Re-perceiving Energy System Transformations: Outstanding scenario- and systemic thinker, Jeremy Bentham, co-chair at the World Energy Council, makes a compelling argument to accelerate the energy transition by creating mechanisms to generate downstream funding for upstream transformation investments and focusing more on achieving changes on the demand side of the energy system.
  • Value-focused Management of the Sustainability Transition: After in-depth study of the reporting requirements of the majority of world’s principal sustainability standards and frameworks, Philip Sugai, Director of the Value Research Center at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, concludes that the sustainability transition would benefit from more systemic focus on impact and stakeholder value created, rather than on reporting and disclosure.
  • Changing Consumer Mindsets and Behavior for Responsible Consumption: Sasin faculty Harry Jay Cavite explores how empowering consumers to take more informed food choices can drive positive system-level impact for consumers, retailers, farmers, rural communities and the planet.
  • Agri-Food Systems Transformation: A 4Ss Recipe for Sustainable Growth: One of Thailand’s most impactful agri-entrepreneurs, Aurkit Unahalekhaka, argues which key levers to activate to transform our food system to one that generates more wellbeing for farmers as well as planet.
  • Why ESG is a Must for Our Common Future: Managing Director of KPMG Sustainability Consulting (Taiwan), Dr. Niven Huang, underlines how ESG is not ‘nice-to-have’ as a certification, but must be fully integrated into the DNA of our companies to sustain Mother Nature and global stability.
  • Visibility into The Food’s First Mile – A Prerequisite for Sustainable Food Production: Anne Jorun Aas, CEO of agritech SaaS company Farmforce, shares valuable practical insights as to why first-mile visibility is a critical lever for reinvention of agricultural practices and food system power relations.
  • Tech enablement as a critical development factor for Thailand: True Corporation CEO Manat Manavutiveth shares a big vision of how digital enablement of Thailand’s education, innovation and industrial systems will help drive much-needed climate action and sustainable growth for the country and region.
  • Changing Our Systems Means Changing How We Think About Them: Rachel Jetel, Co-Director of the World Resources Institute’s Systems Change Lab, presents a comprehensive approach to transforming our critical systems. Grounded in a deep understanding of system dynamics, she identifies 5 levers to achieve the more than 70 critical shifts that will help reinvent societies’ critical systems.
  • Redefining Finance: A Vision for Positive Societal Impact: KBank CEO Kattiya Indaravijaya, argues how finance needs to reconsider and strengthen its role as a driver of positive societal change, to create a sustainable and inclusive future for all.
  • Changing Perspective: Regulation as an Innovative Tool to Help Elevate Corporate Sustainability Performance: Co-founder of the Thailand Clean Air Network and Senior Consultant to the World Bank, Weenarin Lulitanonda, demonstrates how stakeholder-informed systemic legislation can accelerate systems transformation, unlocking societal as well as corporate benefits.
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