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MISTRA Annual Report


From inception, MISTRA has striven to focus on the highlevel interrogation of issues, and that continues to be MISTRA’s core character, defining our identity, approaches and operations. Over and over again, the rationale for the MISTRA proposition is confirmed by domestic and global developments. Across the world, debate on social equity continues to rage. Geopolitics, environmental challenges and the quality of leadership all demand dispassionate reflection on humanity’s collective future. The promise of Africa Rising persists, but it is somewhat tenuous.

Within South Africa, the possibility of social compacting around the National Development Plan remains potent. On the other hand, combined with sclerotic economic growth, state capacity, integrity and legitimacy are under threat. South Africa is indeed at the crossroads between premature putrefaction of a polity and strategic renewal. It is at moments such as these that that the strategic importance of the ‘think industry’ stands out in even bolder relief.

During the year under review, MISTRA released its research report on The Great Recession and Its Implications for Human Values: Lessons for Africa. The book deals with the underlying reasons behind the global economic crisis and the lessons it presents for the continent. Further, research on the evolution of systems innovation culminated in the release of a book on The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) African: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates, in part as MISTRA’s contribution to the review of government’s White Paper on Science and Technology and the National System of Innovations.

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