Since 1973, when theorists Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber provided one of the first presentations of the term “wicked problem,” there has been a clear understanding that certain issues are too complex and unique to be solved using traditional methods. As a social sector, we understand all too well the complex challenges related to things like hunger, violence, clean water, obesity, and poverty. These problems are vast, difficult, and can be overwhelming.
But with innovation, there is hope and possibility. Given the advances in technology, the increase in collaboration and partnerships, the erosion of sectoral boundaries, and the effects of globalization, it’s clear we’ve entered a time when large scale problems are at last solvable. Innovation has the potential to move us forward and create solutions we never knew were possible.
We see many organizations that laud the work of successful social entrepreneurs who build new solutions to social problems. We see the development of new nonprofit organizations and new social enterprises to combat global and local challenges. But what about existing organizations? What is their role to play in innovation?
For answers to Berzin’s questions, read the entirety of the piece on classy.org. This excerpt appears with permission.