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Tentative Stages of Progression for an Address at Geneva (Unpublished Manuscript)

S. Scott Graham

Abstract


Climate change, the obesity epidemic, plastic pollution, the opioid crisis—for the last several decades, there has been a growing awareness of the chal­lenges posed by what are sometimes called “wicked problems” (Rittel & Webber, 1973). These problems—marked by complex intersecting socioeconomic and/or biogeophysical causes—constitute real and immediate threats to humans, nonhumans, societies, and ecologies. What’s more—given their scale and multicausal nature, so-called wicked problems resist most of the options available in our standard repertoires of tech fixes and social programs. The very nature of wicked problems requires the develop­ment of mitigation strategies that integrate human and nonhuman agen­cies. Identifying effective strategies is, of course, no easy task. As a bare minimum first step, doing so requires bringing together the kinds of experts, policymakers, stakeholders, and citizens who are well-suited to address the particulars of the wicked problem at hand.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/rhm.2019.1020



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