Wicked ideas to tackle wicked problems
Do Not Assume…
your present knowledge can solve the problem.
When we encounter a problem and try to solve it, the most common sensical thing to do is to use our common sense. We dig into our knowledge and experience to find something we can apply to the problem at hand. Surely we have dealt with such a problem before so we have some knowledge or experience available to solve it?
The problem is that wicked problems are unique by definition and that they transcend the boundaries of any one discipline or profession. We need insights and inspiration from diverse disciplines and professions to tackle them. If the ‘old’ ideas from any one discipline or profession had worked, we would have solved the problem by now, so we need new ideas.
To actually create new ideas, you need to reframe the problem and generate new insights. Discussing the problem with individuals from different disciplines outside of your own can help in diverging and in reframing the problem. Also the arts can give inspiration to look at the problem in a completely new and undiscovered way. There are many creative thinking techniques that you can learn and that you can structurally use to generate new frames and new insights. Knowledge that inspires this phase is found in the fields of dealing with uncertainty, generative design, creativity, and cognitive science.