Overcoming Wicked Problems: How can a modernized liberalism manage the wicked problems of the 21st century?
Keynote & Dialogue 1: The Wonders of Wickedness
The theory of “wicked problems” dates back to a 1969 paper written by two urban planners, Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber. The two were dealing with the crisis of public confidence in experts and planners at a time of rising affluence and inequality. As we face challenges like inequality, obesity, climate change, and nuclear energy, Rittel and Webber's description of wicked problems reads as fresh today as it did back then.
In this panel we will explore numerous questions and ideas that we will continue to revisit throughout the course of the Dialogue. How do our preconceived solutions frame the ways in which we understand problems? Is it more useful to think of climate change, financial crises, and inequality as problems to be managed rather than solved? Oxford University's Steve Rayner will deliver the opening keynote for the Dialogue with responses from Mark Sagoff, professor of philosophy at George Mason University, and Nico Stehr, cultural studies professor at Zeppelin University. The conversation is moderated by New York Times Dot Earth blogger, Andrew Revkin.