SURVEY: What are the upcoming challenges and needs in the missions space?

Written by and on 24 November 2021

Take our needs assessment survey

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Mission Action Lab, together with the Danish Design Centre, is launching an international survey on implementing missions.

The survey deadline is 13.12.21 and can be accessed here. The survey is open to all interested in missions or mission-oriented innovation approach: those who have launched or are involved in a mission, those who are still thinking about it or want to know more. The anonymised responses will be used to define the future work of the OECD’s Mission Action Lab (MAL) and Danish Design Centres work within missions, thus further development of the international community of practice.

In January, we will invite those who complete the to a workshop based on the results of the data. Do not miss out!

What are missions and what is mission-oriented innovation?

Missions are initiatives that address grand societal challenges that are cross-sectoral, ambitious, timebound and measurable. Mission-oriented innovation establishes a clear outcome towards the above challenges  and an overarching objective for achieving a specific mission (e.g., setting clear goals and roadmaps towards carbon neutrality or mental health for young people). Singular, unconnected interventions (e.g., challenges prizes, general applied research) while contributing to mission-oriented innovation portfolios aiming to achieve the mission, are not considered missions. Read more here.

Therefore, mission-oriented innovation is a new way of achieving complex policy goals – making headlines in many countries. However, not enough evidence exists on the challenges and practices of implementing mission-oriented innovation on the ground – which is why we need your help!

Implementation of missions is key!

How do you implement mission-oriented innovation?

Many countries are turning to mission-oriented innovation as a new policy approach to solving the world’s most complex challenges. But most don’t know where to start in order to turn theory into practice.

Opening up the black box

Implementing mission-oriented innovation is currently a ‘black box’ problem. We know the required inputs – including ambitious targets and inclusive partnerships – and outputs we want to achieve – successful missions. But we still need to crack the code of what happens in the middle.

To that end, the OECD established the Mission Action Lab across three directorates: Science, Technology and Innovation directorate, Governance directorate and the Development Co-operation directorate. MAL aims to address  mission implementation challenges, including  questions on governance, portfolio management and evaluation. Your help will further define our support to countries. What challenges do you face when you try new public-private or cross-sectoral ways of working together? How do you square existing political priorities with long-term mission goals? How do you bundle up and direct various financial resources towards missions?

For this purpose we, together with the Danish Design Centre, have designed this survey on the challenges of implementing mission-oriented innovation. It gathers evidence on common practices and shared challenges in the international community. We invite you to take part here.

Go to survey here: https://opsi-oecd.typeform.com/missions

We welcome insights from stakeholders who are leading, partaking or intending to increase their involvement  in missions. We value your views on the barriers you have encountered or expect to come across. Your input will help us better tailor the support and work the Lab provides.

Better data on making missions work

The success of the survey depends on collecting as many diverse responses as possible. For example, we hope the data will show whether implementation challenges are different in environmental or social missions or the extent to which funding structures impact the ability to collaborate.

The survey is open from November 24th to December 13th 2021. The results will be published a report in early 2022.

We invite you to anonymously contribute and share your experiences to enrich the existing knowledge on how to make mission-oriented innovation work. Depending on your level of involvement with mission-oriented innovation, the survey will take 5-15 minutes to complete.

Those who completed the survey will receive an invitation to participate in a workshop, planned for January 2022, on the needs and challenges connected to mission-oriented innovation, co-organised by the OECD Mission Action Lab and the Danish Design Centre. This will be an opportunity to connect the international community of practice on mission-oriented innovation.  We count on you!

In the event of questions related to the survey or our mission-oriented innovation work, please email [email protected]. Check out our work on mission-oriented innovation and the Mission Action Lab here, previous blogs on the topic and additional materials from the Danish Design Centre.

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