SYNAPS systems analytical process oriented tool for sector integration
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“Sustainable development” is mentioned in most documents concerned with society and progress. However, in today’s society there are many conflicting views concerned with what sustainable development is and specially how it may be achieved and the three sustainability dimensions balanced and finally measured. Region Skåne, responsible for the development of SYNAPSE, believes methods and tools to help illustrate and illuminate the interrelationships between the three dimensions of sustainable development are fundamentally important to both try and explain what sustainable development is but in particular in trying to facilitate the how. It is the firm belief of the people behind SYNAPSE that sustainable development is about taking responsibility for our actions and decisions and to do so by acknowledging that environmental, social and economic issues are mutually reinforcing, sometimes counteracting each other, but often dependent upon each other. One feasible way to take such responsibility is to apply methods that may allow for consequence analysis of various decisions upon society and its development. As a regional public body responsible for all developmental issues in Skåne, Sweden, Region Skåne has a responsibility towards its citizens, its 33 municipalities and the various different actors of this region to make sure that great efforts are made into reinforce means and resources that can ensure that the region develops in a sustainable way. This in turn implies the need for new ways of working with society and progress by, for instance, trying to develop methods and model as well as to measure sustainable development and to engage different interested parties in this process at a very early stage. SYNAPSE is the result of a two year process involving a range of different actors - from different sectors but also from different political levels i.e. local, regional, national and international. SYNAPSE aims to offer a concrete form of how to practically work with sustainable development at several different levels of society, weighing both objective as well subjective components together and to turn rethorics into action.