Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wicked problems and their origin: For ESS

One of the foci for this semester's Environmental Scenarios and Solutions experience is the concept of "wicked" and "super wicked" problems.

I was looking for a reading to assign, and although there's a lot of more up to date material, I finally settled on one of the original sources for the idea of wicked problems, a paper by Rittel and Webber titled Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning, from 1973.

Students in my section are assigned to read this paper and to respond in groups by coming up with an important, relevant, interesting wicked problem in their discipline or career field. You should produce a short presentation using images and words for your class colleagues. Name and define the field and the wicked problem, and then explain it to your colleagues in an engaging way. Explain, based on the characteristics given in Rittel and Webber why this particular problem is wicked. Identify, if possible, the main avenues for solutions.

Due Friday Sept 6th in class.

You will get opportunities to workshop this in class today and tomorrow (Friday), and possibly again at our to-be-rescheduled plenary session.

Here's the groups that we chose:

Avian science: Sarah, Laura, Allison, Connor, Eve
Marine science: Kieu, Zach, Mandy
Writing: Josiah, Michelle
Law enforcement: Lisa, Dana, Joe
Veterinary medicine: Makayla, Alicia
Endangered mammals: Adam, Brian, Zach, Autumn

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