Regulation and the Intersector

Guest Post by Frank Weil, Chairman of The Intersector Project

blog_image_regulationIn the last century, regulation in this country has evolved from the first independent regulatory agency in 1905, the Interstate Commerce Commission, to the ubiquitous regulators at the local, state, and federal levels, covering almost every aspects of societal activity.

While we surely need regulation in a complex modern society, more regulation from this point forward seems to be counterproductive. While “better” regulation would seem to be in order, that too seems to be a mirage because of inherent systemic problems with the fundamentals of the modern regulatory process.

So, what does that dilemma leave us for options to improve the functioning of our modern market-based system?

The historic methods of our society have been based on the three basic sectors: private, non-profit and the public sector, which have practiced their various activities largely independently of one another.

Recently, however, in an effort to work around the regulatory mazes and break loose of stasis in innovation and progress, more and more practitioners have found ways to move forward by reaching across sector lines and engaging more than one sector. This new development may prove in time to be as significant an evolutionary development as regulation was 100 years ago.

This “intersector” collaboration can be found in many places under different banners: public-private partnerships, collaborative governance, public-private cooperation, corporate social responsibility, and simply “networking”.

One common element in virtually all of these activities and endeavors are the innovative people who are making the collaborative effort.