Sustainability challenges are complex because they arise from inter-dependent relationships where one party acting alone is usually unable to solve the challenge on their own. Lasting solutions require collaboration and careful design, or redesign, of systems.

For example, you might buy an electric vehicle to eliminate contributions of CO2 from using a petrol vehicle, but unless there are sufficient charging stations and other infrastructure in place, your ability to travel freely is restricted. Similarly, a government might pursue an approach to develop biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuels. To be successful, a reliable supply of bio-based raw materials, sufficient production facilities and a reliable distribution network are all required. All of those elements require investment and support from a range of different industry players that aligns decisions and action with the overall strategy. A systems focus can help identify all the different players required to achieve success, but how can we ensure they are all working towards the same end goal?

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