BY TRISHA SWIFT In America, sick-care is “doing business as” health care, which is precisely why our health care system is so costly, error prone and fragmented. To be healthy, we must begin to look at ourselves as a whole person and account for all the things that make us
BY CAITLIN CASPI, University of Connecticut Among the many striking images from the pandemic is an aerial photo showing cars in seemingly endless rows lined up at a food bank in San Antonio, Texas. A jarring awareness of food insecurity in the U.S. has accompanied the health and financial concerns
BY ANN PENDLETON-JULLIAN & JOHN SEELY BROWN The following is an excerpt from Design Unbound. Designing for Emergence in a White Water World. In an era of “precarious terrain,” we are increasingly confronted with complex, dynamic, problem environments. These are environments rather than isolated problems, and they are socio-technological in nature. These
BY CHRISTOPHER LOCHHEAD I fear the value of authentic dialogue is dying in America. Stanford research shows us that people are caring more about themselves and less for others. Clearly, social media plays a role. When you can swipe people away on Tinder or yell at people you will never meet
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 “designing for justice.” Design justice rethinks design processes, centers people who are normally marginalized
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
CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER Sitting in lockdown, we started making a list of questions about WHY? >> Why is it that our institutions are failing us, and the common good, precisely at the moment we need them most? Why does the economy treat its “essential workers” so badly? Why is no one talking
CHRISTIAN SARKAR & PHILIP KOTLER To begin, here’s the article which introduced the world to the concept of “wicked problems” >> Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning by Horst W.J. Rittel and Melvin M. Webber. In it, we learn about the 10 properties of a wicked problem: There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem. Wicked