Strategic partnerships: time to merge

SDG17 represents one of the most important goals, if not the most. A true axis that connects all the goals through global alliances among countries. However, it is extremely important to make a wider interpretation of this key goal and include cooperation at the international level not necessary within a global framework as a way to make sure that we get successful results in a neutral political ideology. Is for this reason that innovation and creative leadership acquire a new dimension for the SDGs than was originally conceived.

Besides, the steady trend -increased by COVID19- on inequalities is making local communities more vulnerable within a leadership role and capacity to get into the Agenda 2030 from an empowered position and direct approach. The exclusive leadership from the political sector is not only a failure but also a no results -driven strategy.

Co-leadership: communities-institutions means  a new paradigm of approaching partnerships not necessary from more financial investment, just by re-using or better said, recycling the already existing resources.

Making reforms to the current centralized power of institutions is not only about giving a voice to the citizens but a whole new approach that boosts creative relations public sector-society. Is it mainly a matter of managing human resources differently as in the past.

COVID19 is showing that local communities need to search for new partnerships to hold more than a “charity mentality” on solidarity and empathy but to build a resilient system on innovative relations. Solidarity is the value that demands a framework of equal and balanced power to endorse institutions and citizen´s efforts within a global boost coming from an holistic strategy SDGs. Currently, community efforts are not part of a collaborative partnership with the State but a vertical relationship that does not allow creativity. Overwhelmed crises as these pandemics exposed once again, that there is no success on policies that do not focus on real community needs out from political agendas within rapport from their leaders. Maybe there is not the political will to share leadership or community leaders are not strong enough to demand changes.

Lessons learned from multiple crises teach us that there is not more about “good political representation” of citizen´s will, but a whole new way of doing politics that demand a new sense of innovative partnerships and steady control of the public sector system. Technology is an ally to make citizens real actors and get immediate responses to accountability. It’s a way to implement actions: coordinated and with fast and efficient actions towards better cohesion. A way to counterbalance a process that gets too much power only from one side: the public sector, paradoxically it turns to become quicker and inefficient, precisely because of a no balanced relationship of co-leadership.

In the end, almost a direct democracy system is the only way to keep high values on transparency and accountability. Losing rapport with the community is what makes any power useless and reserved only for a political elite. An argumentation quite well structured by left-wing positions but without mentioned the real inflection point: the need for community leadership. A deep concept that includes citizens as leaders of personal freedom,  civil society represented by the different organizations, and the private sector as an engine of economic development essential for the achievement of sustainability.

Unfortunately, community leadership becomes too politicized instead of being a piece of a profitable puzzle of connected power within a transformative technology and the boost of a global framework of Sustainable Goals pushing for more local power rather than Governments action.

In ideological terms supposes also a new dimension for which open minds for citizens and innovation for political leaders represent the two aspects to shape and work closely.

Ideology is not an all-in-one solution to crises. Ideology is not equal to political campaigns, ideology is not political leadership; ideology is about philosophy and action adapted to historical processes, connected with an active and always changeable citizen´s will within transformative partnerships and capacity to lead and co-lead. A new paradigm to face challenges as the devastating impact on the very essence of the democratic system. Is time to tap on those aspects that maximize individual freedom and make the State a guarantor of human rights rather than a full actor on strategy and action without local community partners.

 A new concept of welfare State will rescue us from other crises derivate from current ones like loss of trust in the system including confidence in leaders. A State that is less powerful but more efficient is based on new strategic partnerships that suppose strategic management in which innovation on institutions, holistic relations, and diversity of actors is key.

Co-leading institutions-citizens within a powerful network of interconnected citizens, civil society, the private sector, and the ally of smart technology is part of the pieces of a puzzle that is demanding a new society´s architecture.

Towards an innovative societal architecture strong enough to build a new institutional structure that takes the best of each scenario.

Like the picture of Sant Francesc Convent: old-modern, glass-rock, traditions-revolution….accepting the challenge by designing a new sustainable building for a living –not just surviving-.

Time of crises…time to exercise the power to merge into new structures that make of the society just one, beyond the public sector.

*Church of Sant Francesc Convent by David Closes Arquitecte, Santpedor, Spain

*https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/07/increased-community-based-engagement-seen-as-critical-to-build-climate-action-and-achieve-the-sustainable-development-goals/

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