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Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving

  • Apr 23, 2015 · 7:00 PM

About wicked problems

A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems. Poverty is linked with education, nutrition with poverty, the economy with nutrition, and so on. These problems are typically offloaded to policy makers, or are written off as being too cumbersome to handle en masse. Yet these are the problems—poverty, sustainability, equality, and health and wellness—that plague our cities and our world and that touch each and every one of us. These problems can be mitigated through the process of design, which is an intellectual approach that emphasizes empathy, abductive reasoning, and rapid prototyping.


The entire text of the book is available online for free as HTML, and provided for reuse and adaptation under a creative commons license. We hope you find this a useful resource in your practice, education, and in your day to day life.

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  • Arlete

    Hi Thomas,
    Thanks a lot for your email and organisation.
    I had hollidays the last weeks and unfortunately I coudn't see your message and let you know I coudn't come. I'm sorry for this.
    Hope see all you guys in another UX discussion soon.

    May 4, 2015

  • Bin Z.

    Great ideas and great discussions. Thank you, Thomas.

    April 24, 2015

  • Anna H.

    Thank you all for our interesting discussions!

    April 24, 2015

  • Thomas L.

    We can make a change. One step at a time.

    April 23, 2015

  • Thomas L.

    You have to enter from Inside the train station.

    April 23, 2015

  • Thomas L.

    Seems like nobody wants to talk about failure. Because of this I decided to schedule this one ;-)

    March 21, 2015

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