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Published February 2023

MISTRA Annual Report


During 2021/22, MISTRA launched three comprehensive publications: on the agency of South African youth; on a just transition to a low-carbon future which takes into account protection of the livelihoods of the working people and just transition finance; and on ‘marriages of inconvenience’ which seem to characterise the politics of coalitions in South Africa, and how the dynamics of these can be managed going forward.

Humanity is occasionally called upon to undergo the test of operating in what is popularly referred to as a vuca (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment. some crises manifest briefly and in singular form within or across countries; while others play out as a multiplicity of tempests, a poly-crisis that shakes the very foundations of human society.

The confluence of the Covid-19 pandemic, worsening natural disasters and the war in Ukraine has unleashed challenges hardly experienced before. This calls for strategic acumen – indeed to answer the question whether the ensuing trajectory is characterised by renaissance, social upheaval or dictatorship.

The capacity of humanity to rise from a valley of despair does not happen of its own accord. Herein lies the causal relationship between capable leadership and an active citizenry on the one hand, and a strategic ‘think industry’, on the other.

It is in this perilous environment that the Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA) ventures further into the second decade of its existence. The Institute’s utility and relevance as a platform for strategic transdisciplinary research and reflection has come out in even bolder relief.

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