Strategic innovation in Development

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We are facing today an unprecedented crisis. What started as a sanitary crisis evolved into an economic crisis with a third of the world population in lockdown. Hospitals have difficulties coping with emergencies, unemployment is skyrocketing, disenfranchised population suffers, illiquidity leads to insolvency, the globalized economic model is questioned, social distancing becomes the norm while nature seems to flourish. This crisis will have a lasting impact. It will forge a new reality and force citizens, elected officials, civil servants, and actors of change to re-imagine tomorrow.

The objective of this panel discussion was to ensure that this crisis will not be wasted, but becomes an opportunity to build a better tomorrow, more human, green and just. This discussion builds on an inspirational seminar organized in February 2020 in Istanbul, and a NEAR/ UNDP Partnership aiming at bringing strategic innovation and complex system thinking at the heart of local economic development policies of the Eastern Partnership.

The discussion was co-hosted by UN Assistant Secretary General, Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric, and DG NEAR Deputy Director General, Ms. Katarina Mathernova. This meeting also brought together EU Heads of Cooperation and UNDP Resident Representatives from the region to hear from actors of change that a better tomorrow is worth fighting for and discuss how innovation and strands of programmatic response can help accelerate longer term recovery.