Wicked Solutions for a Wicked Problem

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A creative exploration into problem solving using storytelling, technology, design thinking and collaboration.

“How do we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?” – Buckminster Fuller

In the New York edition of ‘Wicked Solutions for a Wicked Problem’ (WSWP) a core team of scientists, engineers, storytellers, hackers, anthropologists, game designers, educators and futurists will collaborate with a group of elementary school kids to create various prototypes of the future and to develop strategies that will make the world work for 100% of humanity.

The team will set off on a two day ThinkLab. The goal is to create an informed design in four steps by taking a 360 degree perspective on change and by using multiple perspectives to look at the future. By using the imagination of a child and combining that with the insights, logic and reasoning of an expert group they will develop a solution space and some prototypes that will inspire the DIY DAYS community to create some as well. ‘Learn by doing, understand by sharing,’ is the motto that’s at the heart of this ambitious endeavor.

Over the course of 72 hours the core team and the DIY DAYS community collaborate in an effort to concept, prototype and present possible “Wicked Solutions to a Wicked Problem.” The “core team” is documented via social media in order to amplify the effort, as well as to leave room for the DIY DAYS community to take part in the ideation process. We will also create a special interactive feedback loop to enable the DIY DAYS community to participate in real time throughout the process.

The goal of the “core team” is to derive a spec that can be passed to the DIY DAYS community. The DIY DAYS community then works to build prototypes that can be presented on stage in front of an audience at the close of the event.

FreedomLab Future Studies – visualizes the process of the ThinkLab at WS WP (click image for larger view)


A Wicked Problem is identified

Prior to DIY DAYS a core team is assembled

The core team and the DIY Days community have 24 hours to shape a storytelling solution and spec that addresses the needs of the identified Wicked Problem.

The spec is then put through the paces during a 24 hour hackathon where hackers work together to build a prototype that will be presented onstage at the close of DIY DAYS.

The day ends with a collective brainstorm / town hall focused on the Wicked Problem and the proposed Wicked Solutions.

In NYC WS WP is held at Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall at the New School

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th Street
2nd floor
(between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas)

In Los Angeles WS WP is held at UCLA

UCLA’s recently renovated Charles E. Young Research Library will host the event.

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