Efficiency space

Efficiency space

This space is about exchanging perspectives on solutions and concrete, feasible actions that can help to address the wicked problem. 

Aims of this space:

·        Brainstorming and creative out-of-the box thinking.

·        A critical assessment of the feasibility of approaches

·        Review of current approaches and why they are not yet working.

This is the most active part of the Wicked Problems Plaza in which participants will work on potential solutions.

Ultimately, this space should result in a creative hands-on round in which participants feel they can contribute towards resolutions for the wicked problem.

The tools below can help you to reach the aim of the session. You can select and adapt the tools to fit with the topic and sequence of the session.

Tool: existing solutions. Divide the group in 2 or 3 subgroups. Let them each explore an existing approach or solution to the problem. Give them 3x10 minutes to explore the next 3 questions:

  • What works well and what does not work in this approach?
  • Why is this approach not yet solving the entire wicked problem?
  • How could this approach be upgraded to be able to tackle more of the wickedness?

Let them pitch their answers to the rest of the group and discuss what the subgroups came up with.

Optional: Taking the best out of the three approaches, can we creatively come to one new solution?

Tool: idiotic ideas vs feasible approaches. Divide the group in two subgroups.

  • One group will start brainstorming all known existing approaches to address the problem, and are given 10 minutest to list them. What works well in these approaches? Then they will take all those best-practices together and try to form a new solution.
  • Simultaneously, the other group is brainstorming creative ideas that might help address the problem. Then they try to merge those ideas into one new approach to the wicked problem.
  • The groups then pitch their ideas and answer questions from the other sub-group.

Optional: organize a discussion in order to see similarities/differences between the two new approaches. How can we make this approach become feasible/achievable/actionable?

Tool: co-construct your idea Divide the group in subgroups that each will brainstorm about an approach to the wicked problem. Give them different sorts of creative material, like crayons, building blocks (i.e. Lego), clay, coloured papers etc. Have them build a structure that explains their solution. Ideally, let them first build together and then talk about the structure - see the upgrade section for specific tips. After 30 minutes, let them present their structures to the other groups.

Tool: brainstorming. Guided by the following questions

  •  What practical approaches have been introduced by companies and/or other organisations?
  • What splendid failures (worst practice cases) do the participants know
  • What innovative ideas can you come up with yourself?

Discussion with the whole group: Are these (new) ideas feasible? I.e. to what extent can they be considered (financially and economically) sustainable? Do they capture the whole wickedness of the problem? What is still needed in order to find a real solution?

Tips: encourage participants to think creatively and innovatively. First open up to new ideas, then think about feasibility again. A ‘contest’ element in the pitches can help to motivate the groups.