Building Resilient Systems Through Innovation

Posted on February 18, 2021

Even early in the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that the crisis would bring about profound challenges, reaching all corners of society. Governments, businesses, individuals and whole societies had adapt quickly in the face of unprecedented threat and uncertainty.

Facing widespread disruption to development programmes, the development sector – with its partners in Government, academia, and business – were forced to seek new ways of achieving their aims, accelerating the pivot towards innovation and creativity in the quest for solutions.

Writing in April 2020, Agi Veres, Deputy Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, explained that,

“Traditional development programmes are often founded upon overall linear thinking of cause and effect, but the uncertainty and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis challenges that.

Our region, Europe and Central Asia, like the rest of the world, is facing a combination of shocks –  disruption of value chains and trade, reduction in demand on the overall service industry, especially tourism, and a decrease in oil prices.

When you note that these shocks are coupled with ‘preconditions’ of our region, such as high degrees of economic informality, inequalities, over-reliance on remittances, rapid depopulation and brain drain, and the consequences of a systemic de-investment in the public health system and other social safety nets, it is not difficult to see the strain that the pandemic has put on the countries of the region.

It’s clear that conventional and linear thinking will not save us now. In their place we need fast iteration, accelerated learning and the dynamic management of portfolios building resilient systems for the future.”

At Istanbul Innovation Days, you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from the leaders, edge-thinkers and doers who are already forging innovative pathways to address the present challenges and to position development at the heart of the post-COVID-19 recovery.

Our Regional Conversation for Europe and Central Asia, “Urban Shifts – Transformations and its Narratives”, brings together high-level speakers and leaders from across the region in an important dialogue.

The regional dialogue is scheduled for February 22, 2021 between 1-2.15pm CET (7-8.15am EST).  The moderator for the event is Shada Islam. The provisional agenda is as follows:

1-1.05pm CET Opening and framing – Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, Regional Director for Europe and CIS (RBEC)

1.05-1.15pm CET Signals of change: New models of transformation – Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of Climate KIC

1.15-2.10pm CET Leaders’ Dialogue: The art of the possible and new urban futures

• H.E. Mr. Aureliu Ciocoi, Prime Minister, Republic of Moldova
• Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
• Ms. Fatma Sahin, Mayor of Gaziantep and President of the Union of Municipalities in Turkey
• Mr. Edin Forto, Prime Minister, Canton of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Dr. Josianne Cutajar, MEP, Member of the European Parliament

2.10pm-2.15 CET Closing, RBEC Regional Director


[Image Licensed from Envato]


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