About wicked problems
Defining the indefinable
What's a wicked problem?
(This section is a work in progress...)
The concept of wicked problems has been around for quite a while. Horst Rittel & Melvin Webber wrote an article on the topic in 1973. Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning decried the prevailing approach to dealing with complex issues. As they put it, "The professional's job was once seen as solving an assortment of problems that appeared to be definable, understandable and consensual. He was hired to eliminate those conditions that predominant opinion judged undesirable."
That approach worked well enough with relatively straightforward challenges, but they found that "mimicking the cognitive style of science and the occupational style of engineering-have just not worked on a wide array of social problems."
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