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How Public-Private Ecosystems Can Help Solve Societal Problems

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How Public-Private Ecosystems Can Help Solve Societal Problems

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
3 take-aways
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Society has intractable problems. Could public-private ecosystems be the answer?

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In the United States, there’s a depressing truism that if you want an inefficient service that rewards incompetence and is certain to lose money, get the government involved. But if you want an efficient, dynamic, innovative service or solution, look to the private sector. However, this pessimistic view ignores the public-private ecosystem (PPE), a model that brought the world GPS, the personal computer and the internet, among other technological advances. This Boston Consulting Group article explores how PPEs already, and will continue to, solve difficult problems around the world.


Traditionally, the government has interacted with the private sector in three ways: through specific regulation, framework legislation and public-private partnerships (PPP).

When a government creates a regulation that guides the processes behind designated tasks within a specific industry, backed by the force of law, it’s a specific regulation. Germany’s waste disposal laws provide an example of a specific regulation: It stipulates that waste disposal companies must recycle half of the waste they collect, or they’ll lose their licenses. 

When the government issues rules and regulations more generally across a wide range of companies, influencing a variety of exchanges between stakeholders, this is framework legislation. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an example of framework regulation. The GDPR provides a framework for how companies treat the data they ...

About the Authors

Françoise Candelon, Harald Rubner, Hans-Paul Bürkner, Ulrich Pidun, Balázs Zoletnik and Anna Schwarz are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group from France, Germany and Hungary.

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