Becoming an impactful, purposeful, and agile leader for sustainable developmentPublications
In a rapidly changing world, theories and perspectives on what it means to be a ‘good’ leader have evolved. Olena Ovchynnikova has identified key leadership skills required to tackle wicked problems posed by the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
For the first time in humanity’s history, we live in a world where all countries are committed to a global action plan for people, prosperity and the planet – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Implementing sustainable development means finding solutions for what can be referred to as wicked problems – complex, non-linear, dynamic challenges in situations of insufficient resources, incomplete information, emerging risks and threats, and fast changing environments. There is no blueprint to follow in order to address the current challenges. Solutions need to be discovered, developed, invented and re-invented from scratch in most cases. This holds true for countries at all stages of development. There is no one-size-fits-all solution – there is a multiplicity of solutions.
Selecting one or combining several solutions requires a deep understanding of potential synergies and trade-offs, as well as positive and negative spill-overs. Designing these solutions requires a profound understanding of how different but interconnected systems – economic, environmental, social, political, technological – affect and change each other. It requires an understanding of leverage points and how their use within one system brings changes to a higher level of development. This is based on the ability of those around the table to ask critical questions about development pathways and see commonalities among key issues.