What is a wicked problem?

Resource scarcity. Economic inequality. Climate change. Violent extremism.

We live in a world full of 'wicked problems'.

These are problems that seem impossible to solve, yet they are so critical that we have no choice but to confront them.

They are:

Unclassifiable: People struggle to understand and agree on what is causing them.

Inextricable: Made up of myriad other problems that cannot be neatly detached from one another.

Mutable: Constantly evolving, and so attempts to solve them are often ineffective or end up causing other problems. 

As the world we live in becomes more complex, more interconnected, more interdependent, so our problems become more and more ‘wicked’.