Mindfulness of Wicked Problems

Throughout this course I have been able to achieve a deeper understanding of what a wicked problem really is. Simply knowing the basics of what a wicked problem was, was not enough to spark my curiosity in learning more. As far as I understood, I just assumed it was an issue that was a little more serious than the rest. I had no idea it had the ability to make me feel something, to get my attention or to make me reflect. I have learned it is more than a problem, it has layers and elements that differentiate from a basic issue. When understanding a wicked problem it can be intellectually, emotionally, or somatically. Wicked problems are multifaceted issues that are difficult to solve. Because of this, learning about current wicked problems can cause you to connect with them or feel them in your mind, heart, and body. It is hard to hear about a problem affecting a large number of people with most times not being able to fix them. I have been able to understand the reasons that make something a wicked problem, causing it to be difficult to resolve. One of the characteristics is variable problem definition. This is where one problem cannot be agreed on. Individuals had identified there was a problem, but could not agree on what the problem might be. This opened my eyes up a bit because I realized that an issue could affect people completely differently than it affects me. It makes you realize that there are so many factors that go into what makes something a problem for you. This includes things like where you live, what you do, and what you have. I had never really processed that even though everyone knows there is a problem, they might not see it in the same way. Another characteristic is that the problem has variable solutions. Similar to the first characteristic, no one can agree on one solution that will fix it all. This is either because when a problem is multifaceted not just one thing can resolve it. As someone who is always trying to see the bright side of things and is hopeful in most situations, it was hard for me to grasp that a wicked problem could have no end solution in sight. This can make one feel hopeless because of the idea that the issue may never be fixed. It makes me wonder if the wicked problems we are experiencing today will ever come to an end. The solution having no end point is a characteristic of a wicked problem. The solution might have to constantly be adapted in hopes to solve every arising problem making it feel like the problem might never go away. To think that some problems could never truly be fixed was crazy to me. Anytime I have encountered a problem I have thought I knew a solution every time but this made me realize that is not always the case for wicked problems. Solutions to wicked problems can cause irreversible effects. This makes it feel like such a step backwards. What you think is going to be a solution could end up causing more issues. You may not know the true effectiveness of a solution until it stops fixing and starts hurting. One wicked problem could lead to the next. Another characteristic of a wicked problem is that it usually requires a unique approach. This is because it is trying to fix a unique problem. This makes things difficult because there might be multiple solutions needed at once which seems very overwhelming. Or we might not even fully understand the problem, causing people to have to come up with a solution for something we can not exactly pinpoint. What is scary about a wicked problem is if we do not act and make changes urgently things could become irreversible or fatal. These are problems that could change the world we live in like climate change and sustainability issues. That makes you really think about how putting off and ignoring problems is not only not gonna fix things but make it entirely worse. You never know how much progressively worse something could get in a short amount of time. This should invoke a sense of urgency in everyone it is affecting. Climate change is a significant topic that we discuss. Many people have various perspectives about climate change. Everyone believes there is a different way to solve the problem. It appears to be such a massive problem that there will never be a good answer. It is an overwhelming issue for those who truly desire to address this wicked problem. The problem of climate change has so many levels that you start to question if it will ever be solved. It is a problem where no solution that could drastically make a difference seems achievable. That’s what makes it so wicked. It is insane when you understand that anything happening right now has the potential to cause irreversible effects. And you consider all of the factors that contribute to this being a wicked problem, as well as how far we are from resolving it. We have talked a lot about sustainability in relation to wicked problems. It has a significant impact on the well-being of our world, and thus on climate change. Taking steps toward a more sustainable world is one way to address this problem. However, it is a difficult problem in and of itself. It, too, has multiple layers, each with its own set of challenges and answers. Knowing this makes you feel as if trying to solve things is worthless at times. It’s difficult to come to an agreement on a clear definition of a wicked problem. There have been several different approaches presented, and not everyone can agree on just one. Getting people to acknowledge the issue in the first place is sometimes tough. To be effective, these various solutions must be tailored to individual conditions. We can’t always see the end of a problem, and solutions can have unforeseen or rippling effects. To be effective, these ideas would need to be tweaked on a regular basis. Always adapting to new growing issues. Some solutions may generate irreversible changes in the environment, which may become problematic later. It can be difficult to test the efficacy of various solutions ahead of time. Some ideas may work in one location but not in another, making it impossible to execute a single solution that will work for everyone, everywhere, and in all circumstances. This is what distinguishes a wicked problem. If we do nothing, people or environmental systems may suffer severe effects. This is why, in some cases, we must proceed with a solution before we can fully comprehend the issue. We have to start trying solutions before it is too late. Learning about wicked problems and the ones that are currently relevant forces you to consider whether or not they can be solved. Learning about how terrible wicked problems can be has made me feel more mindful and aware of the issues that are not only affecting me but others. Wicked problems are always going to keep arising throughout our lifetime but will any of them be resolved in the same time?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.