Bill Storage does a commendable job in commenting on wicked problems and initiates a discussion about whether clean energy is one of these problems. For those interested in wicked problems and going beyond the pop rhetoric of this concept, this is a perfect concise introduction.

The Multidisciplinarian

Deciding whether clean energy is a wicked problem involves two tasks. One is to define wicked problem and the other is a formulation of the clean energy objective.

Advocates of Design Thinking and Systems Thinking, among others, are fond of the term, wicked problem. Popular examples include climate change/clean energy, drug trafficking, homeland security, nuclear energy, natural hazards and healthcare. In the next few posts, I’ll argue that the characterization of clean energy as a wicked problem is, at best, not very useful and, at worst, detrimental to the stated goals of those who use it. I think the clean energy challenge is partly wicked – but only partly – and not for most of the reasons one might guess. In upcoming posts I’ll also argue that to some degree the clean energy problem is made wicked by characterizing it as wicked.  There is a Keyser Söze effect (seemingly omnipotent…

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Posted by Cameron D. Norman

I am a designer, psychologist, educator, and strategist focused on innovation in human systems. I'm curious about the world around me and use my role as Principal and President of Cense Ltd. as a means of channeling that curiosity into ideas, questions, and projects that contribute to a better world.

One Comment

  1. Re: Wicked Problems, you might like to know about this recent publication:

    “Wicked Problems – Social Messes: Decision support Modelling with Morphological Analysis”. Springer, 2011.

    You can see a description at:

    http://www.springer.com/business+%26+management/technology+management/book/978-3-642-19652-2

    Regards,

    Tom Ritchey
    SweMorph

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