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 can we find common ground?

We began by looking at the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report, with urgent issues like income and wealth disparity, changing climate, polarization of societies, cyber dependency, and aging population. We also went back to our work on the “ecosystem of wicked problems” and highlighted the most pressing ones:

Next we factored in COVID-19 with the focus on public health and the debate of lives vs. livelihoods.

This led us to the Wicked 7:

By using COVID-19 as a public health and livelihood problem, we can begin to explore the relationships between all of the remaining six problems.