By Jack Kruf.
Dutch municipalities form new ways of cooperation
Most of the municipalities in The Netherlands are one way or another in a process of discovering the path of cooperation and the creation of new alliances. All kinds and forms are emerging as a result from this quest. There is no central control. At all.
They are mainly driven by budget cuttings, by the necessity for guaranteeing continuity in public services to citizens and companies and by the need of sharing knowledge to develop high-end approaches for tackling complex social problems and hereto related tasks. Quite dynamic.
It seems we are in a governance shift. Migrating from our traditional three layer model (national, provincial and municipal level) towards a more layered and cross-related network society. Smart cities stay together, keep close, be gregarious to survive. Others, who do want to stay on their own, will be less strong, less resilient, more vulnerable for the ever changing social and economic circumstances and face the risk ‘bankruptcy’. It will be the survival of the fittest. Was it not Charles Darwin in 1859 who developed this theory in his On the Origin of Species?
Survival of the most cooperative
The good news though is that there is a positive trend towards cooperation and true sharing, with new chances for renewing, improving and innovate the governance of our public domain. And it was also Darwin who already taught us the fundamentals in finding our way in the system.
Maybe all politicians, mayors, aldermen and other public leaders should be wise and read this masterpiece. It will give them maximum insight in the way nature is lining out its own governance and handling challenges we are facing today.