Are you stuck trying to address ‘wicked problems’ with your community?

A Social Scientist, Design Thinker and Science Impact Practitioner walked into a bar. The Social Scientist asks “how can we work together to solve the most complex problems with communities?”

Two hours later and here are their 5 top killer tips for inter-disciplinary approaches to solving wicked problems with communities.

@Robyn Mansfield@Anthony Boxshall@Max Hardy

1. Embrace complexity – break up the complexity of the issue and use common language to drive a “level” playing field among participants. Welcome complexity as “wicked opportunities”. #wickedopportunities #complexity #scienceimpact #reframe

2. Inter-disciplinary collaboration leads to solutions that are bigger than the sum of the parts. Welcome in all disciplines and be curious about what might be co-created.  Queen used opera to redefine rock. What is possible in your situation? #bohemianrhapsody #becurious #gocrazy

3. Look past disciplines and utilise skills – your participants are more than just their discipline or sector. When you invite people to bring all their skills, you get a richer conversation, an owned solution and potentially a transformative experience for all participants. #interdisciplinary

4. Generate a worthy question – devote time to consider the best question to collectively answer. Use participants to frame a question so that everyone can bring their expertise to co-designing the solution. It can take a while to generate a great question that will inspire the active participation of a diverse community. #codesign #problemsolving #whatisreallygoingonhere #strategicquestioning #communityengagement

5. People will rise to the occasion – community is not a problem to solve, rather they are an asset to draw upon for finding solutions. The community is part of your interdisciplinary team. They have their own expertise to bring. Set up the environment for people to bring their creativity to break through sticking points. An empowered community empowers decision-makers. #decisionmaking #empowerment #getunstuck #codesign

What’s worked for you?

Co-authored by Anthony Boxshall, Robyn Mansfield and Max Hardy

Leave a Comment