But efficacious governance is clearly possible too, only why is it widely on decline ? There are many reasons for today’s governance failures in dealing effectively with the political, economic, financial, ecological or societal crises. Central minds of governments have been weakened, corporate governance has lost the focus on public value, foresight and alignment processes with stakeholders are falling short of needs and expectations.
How could this happen in our presumably knowledge driven world ?
We are confronted simultaneously with rising inequalities and multiple fault lines within and between countries (undermining economic growth and political trust), with deteriorating dependence ratios and slowly declining productivity, with increasing unaffordability of key state functions (such as education, healthcare, pensions, security), with a loss of economic vitality (in particular a growing backlog of possible innovations and percolating their benefits to all people), deepening gaps in social cohesion and norms, and a deterioration of long term sustainability.
We are confronted with an erosion of physical infrastructures and increasing cyber-attacks on digital ones (affecting also physical ones), with unsustainable use of resources (such as fossil fuels and others), with uncertainty and concern caused by the effects of the advances in many sciences.
We face the consequences of deep crisis in neighbouring regions and may face (natural or engineered) pandemic crisis, but also unknown consequences of disruptive technologies or cybersecurity failures. They bring serious ethical issues to the forefront, and a challenge to cherished human rights and to democracy.
The real cause underlying all these unfortunate conditions are governance organisation and methods unsuited to deal with current challenges.