BY JEF TEUGELS Introduction: Made in Belgium On November 17, 1909, the Belgium-born Dr. Leo H. Baekeland explained Bakelite at the Franklin Institute (Baekeland, 1910). PlasticsEurope, the Association of Plastics Manufacturers, describes Bakelite as the first real synthetic and mass-produced plastic (PlasticsEurope, 2020). However, plastic is a form of fossil fuel
BY GUIDO PALAZZO Why do societies collapse? Jared Diamond (2005) finds a rather simple, but frightening, explanation. When we are in a crisis and we do not know what to do, we tend to reinforce established routines. Sometimes, those routines make things worse. These might even be the driving force
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR How do you design systems so that the outcomes of these systems are just? The Design Justice Network gives us a few pointers. Let’s begin by understanding what is meant by the term “design justice.” Design justice rethinks design processes, centers people who are normally marginalized by
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR AND PHILIP KOTLER In this video – more timely today than ever – James Baldwin explains that “reality” depends on our point of view: How you view the world is largely shaped by where you are in it. The cultural narrative we believe in dictates our understanding
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER The USA is showing us how wicked problems are interlocked. How one feeds the other and the next and the next. In a society where power is corrupt, society loses its legitimacy. Not only is the social contract shredded, but so is our Constitution.
CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER One way to map a wicked problem is to begin with a process of discovery. Begin with the current, observable facts and ask “why?” – going backwards in time to create a chain of causality. Remember, each cause is also an effect. To predict what
CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER If anything, COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the startling weakness of our current economic system – both in the US and around the world. The “new normal” is simply another way of asking – what does a recovery, a return to business-as-usual look like?
CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER One of the criticisms we see for this project is that we are accused of focusing on the negative – on wicked problems that can’t be solved. John Hagel tells us that change movements will have much more impact if they shift from threat-based narratives
CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER The process of selecting seven wicked problems was not one we took lightly. In our book on Brand Activism, we asked: What are the most urgent issues facing society? How did we get here? What are the root causes? What must be done now? How