Tackling Complex Issues and Wicked Problems Together

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein

The grand challenges of our time are complex, and no universal solution exists to address these so called 'wicked problems'. Poverty, homelessness and infectious disease; failing economic, education and health systems; the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and rapidly declining biodiversity, these are all complex issues and cannot be shot down with a silver bullet or solved by any one organisation, institution or individual alone.

Real impact demands interdisciplinary collaboration, with an understanding of complexity and a whole system view. We need to bridge the gaps between government, industry, academia, the not-for-profit sector and communities. By combining their unique strengths, and working in open collaborative and networked ways we can develop innovative solutions together, and transform these systems and build the foundations for better futures.

Join our three panelists this month Dr. Eva Alisic, Tim Winton and Ian Jones to explore how a collaborative, whole systems approach can help us successfully address our most pressing social and environmental issues.

Dr. Eva Alisic is a psychologist and research fellow at Monash Injury Research Institute. She helps professionals and parents to support children after traumatic events.

With a rich background including fire fighting, ski teaching, (sports) massage and human resources, she has a keen interest in bringing together people from seemingly contrasting disciplines to develop new solutions.

Eva was selected into the Dutch National Think Tank 2010 and led a team that worked on trust in the police. It resulted in one of the most successful campaigns to ameliorate the relationship between emergency workers and citizens.

Connect with Eva on Twitter as @EvaAlisic and on the Trauma Recovery blog.

Tim Winton has worked in sustainability in various capacities for over 20 years: as a hands-on contractor within the reforestation industry, organic farmer, not-for-profit founder, company director, educator, designer and consultant. He holds a Diploma of Permaculture Design.

Tim developed Pattern Dynamics as a method of understanding natural systems and for leveraging those understandings in managing complexity. Pattern Dynamics is a language of visual Patterns–a ‘Sustainability Pattern Language’–that helps understand, communicate and design solutions at the systems level.

Tim is an independent Integral scholar-practitioner who has published articles in the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice and Integral Theory in Action. He speaks and writes regularly on sustainability topics, and posts on sustainability, systems thinking and organisational complexity at his blog thepatternguy.com.

Connect with Tim on Twitter at @patterndynamics

**Tim is offering a special two day applied version of his introductory Pattern Dynamics workshop for Collaboratory Melbourne members for only $250 on Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 November. Find out more and register here.**

Ian Jones is one of Australia's leading social entrepreneurs and a significant contributor to the ecosystem for the development of other social entrepreneurs in Australia. Ian is the Project Coordinator for RMIT's SEEDS Program for social and environmental enterprises, and he is Co-Founder for Stop.Traffick, a not-for-profit organisation that empowers individuals, organisations and survivors to combat the cause and effects of human trafficking.

Ian is also Executive Director of Agile Development Group, developing community based enterprising solutions based on locally identified social and economic needs with a focus on human rights, women and children.

Connect with Ian on Twitter at @thisisjones

*Registration includes beer, wine and light snacks. Event starts at 6pm, with panel starting from 6:30pm sharp and finishing at 8pm.

Join or login to comment.

  • April S.

    Lovely to have tangible examples and tools offered through some lovely storytelling and intelligent, succinct analysis. (Wanted to workshop a wicked problem afterwards! How do I get into the Dutch Think Tank?!!)

    October 16, 2012

  • Mike L.

    Thanks for a great evening. I was skeptical about having three speakers given the short time available, but it worked well. All three were complimentary. One theme that emerged for me was that the answers to the problems in any system can be found within the system. Eva gave a great example of people from diverse disciplines coming up with innovative answers to problems of mistrust with the Police, when they were given a chance to work together. Tim has given us a common language to talk about and understand systems (essential for coming to a common understanding of how the system works and where it's not working) and Ian gave us examples from Cambodia of empowering people there to find their own solutions, within a systemic understanding. Ian also talked about identifying the "enablers" and "disablers"

    2 · October 16, 2012

    • Mike L.

      I really appreciated Tim's answer to my question about dealing with the problems of power politics and ego. He talked about the three levels of work that needs to be done - the "first person" (working on yourself - growing awareness), the "second person" (working in interpersonal relationships) and the "third person" (working on systems and structures). All three are important, but when they are addressed together, powerful shifts happen.

      1 · October 16, 2012

  • Tony S.

    Useful exploration of the problem. Interesting people.

    October 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Rad stuff. Really enjoyed Ian's practical replies.

    October 15, 2012

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