We aim for a better conceptualization of mission-oriented innovation policy (MIP). Our starting point is an analytical decomposition of societal problems and innovative solutions based on three dimensions of wickedness: (1) contestation; (2) complexity; and (3) uncertainty. We argue that both problems and solutions can be divergent (contested, complex, and uncertain) or convergent (uncontested, well-deﬁned, and informed). Based on the resulting problem-solution typology, we suggest a process-oriented view on MIP and discuss three alternative pathways along which convergence between problems and solutions can be achieved to come from wicked problems to legitimate solutions. We illustrate these pathways using examples for different societal problems related to health (smoking bans), security (CCTV), and energy (wind turbines). For policy makers, locating a societal challenge in this problem-solution space, and implementing policy strategies to achieve problem and solution convergence, is expected to accelerate both the legitimacy of a mission and the resulting solutions.
- Ehemaliges Research Field - Innovation Systems and Policy
- mission-oriented policy; wicked problems; mission; societal challenges; innovation policy; transition