How do we want to live together?
Wanted: good solutions for everyone
Intelligent solutions to societal challenges are crucial for the smooth functioning of a society. Fundamentally, it’s about these two questions:
- How does a society deal with issues of equality of opportunity and diversity?
- How can it make the most of individual and collective potential?
We can do better and, over the long term, more economically.
Although societal issues affect various aspects of our lives and are shaped by policymakers, it is important also to look at them from an economic perspective, because they generate substantial costs. Countries which recognize the potential of societal issues – and invest in sound policies – address these issues because they reduce costs in the future, in the healthcare, social and justice sectors, among others. This is particularly true when they benefit from higher educational and wage levels, and therefore higher tax revenues. A fact-based social policy contributes to the entire economy.
Reflecting a changing society
Societal issues reflect the evolution of society. Concepts of morality, and our common set of values, are constantly changing. As a result, policymakers and an active democratic society are continually challenged to modify their policies on societal issues. Debates on these issues are frequently emotional and based on partial or deficient analyses.
Yet societal issues tend to be highly complex. They often touch on several interconnected topics for which responsibility is distributed among different areas. This is why it is essential for policy makers to be able to rely on comprehensive and integrated analyses, taking into account all relevant actors, and on objective facts and neutral interpretation.
Engaging in dialogue with civil society
Societal issues shape how we live together. It is only through dialogue with civil society that satisfactory political responses and solutions can be found.