What is the most wicked problem in the world?

It’s a wicked problem that’s a hundred times bigger than the problem of global warming and many orders of magnitude greater than the problems of global health, water or population. It’s also the greatest opportunity on earth!

The problem is: human thinking.

A wicked problem is one which cannot be solved using human logic, our current and dominant way of thinking.

The rapid acceleration of global climate change, the unprecedented scale of the nuclear threat and the rising hegemony of artificial intelligence are all examples of wicked problems that cannot be solved with human logic.

At the level of human2human relationships, many causes of daily conflict are not solved but even exacerbated by binary I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong logic-style thinking.

Logic is natural to the human brain’s limbic system because it is driven by the emotion of fear. In particular, the fear of ‘mistakes’ and the fear of ‘surprise’.

In contrast, lateral thinking is not natural to the human brain. It is counter-intuitive. It requires re-wiring. Rather like driving a car, It must be acquired as a skill with at least ten hours of deliberate practise and repetition over time.

Since artificial intelligence can now do logic much faster than human intelligence, lateral thinking is a skill that we should be teaching our children … because they are going to need it!

In this recent DEAKIN University Talk Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson draws attention to “the greatest problem on Earth”.


9 thoughts on “The most wicked problem in the world …

  1. Our fears and avoidance of pain prevent us from taking the necessary steps to solve wicked problems ,
    lack of long tem vision clinging to short term fixes not solutions.

  2. A wicked problem is what it is, planet earth may not really require us (humans) for its survival.
    A conscious choice of allowing a paradigm shift to change it from “wicked” to a “challenge to learn” , cvstobvs. Maybe all that’s needed to “start” , then allowing to “let go” of achieving correct outcomes and focus on what human “fears” created the wicked problem first and celebrating the understanding of “fear”first and its human evolution. New outcome directions would naturally come forth, the more focused the journey is within.
    A wicked problem maybe decreased, then I could be wildly incorrect but happy to fail trying.
    Regards Scott

  3. A wicked problem is an unlikely and unforeseen event or problem that might happen that “cannot be solved with logic” because it is a black swan event. I belive that by using the neuroware csc2bvs we can, at lest, be prevent group thinking paralysis so as to act in a more effective and holistic way to solving or mitigating such kinds of events.

  4. I remember being told early on in life that if there is no solution to a problem, there is no problem. That simple viewpoint allowed me take a 360 view of any important problem I faced and find a solution even if it wasn’t a traditional one.

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