800157 :Wicked Problems Society, Culture and Economy


Voertaal Engels
Werkvorm: Dialogue lectures (Collegerooster)
Tentamenvorm: Written exam (60%) and MUN conference (40%) (Tentamenrooster)
Studielast:6 ECTS credits
Inschrijving:Enrollment via Blackboard before start of lectures
Blackboard informatieLink to Blackboard (Als u de melding 'Guest are not allowed in this course' krijgt, dient u nog bij Blackboard in te loggen)


dr. J.H. Valgaeren (coordinator)

Doel van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

General Goals
In this course students are firstly trained by the lecturer in recognizing wicked problems and analyzing them.

Secondly, students have to analyze wicked problems that are presented during an excursion or by a guest-lecturer. Lastly, in a MUN-conference the wicked problem Climate Change is discussed and the discussion skills of the students are boosted.

Concrete objectives

  • Having completed the course, the student is able to:

  • Have an understanding of the theoretical framework scholars have worked out in the last 30 years on wicked problems.
  • Recognize the wicked problems of Cradle to Cradle -Social Unrest by Youth of Immigrant descent - Superdiversity- Big Data and privacy Issues in Social Media - Climate Change.
  • Analyze wicked problems and discover the common characteristics of a wicked problem.
  • Critically evaluate wicked solutions which are proposed to solve wicked problems.
  • Discover the economical, moral, legal and sociological perspective of a wicked problem.
  • Work out a strategy to find the necessary information on wicked problems/solutions.
  • Formulate wicked solutions regarding a certain wicked problem.
  • Discuss wicked problems and solutions during an MUN conference.

  • Inhoud van de cursus (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

    Traditional structures are outdated and not effective anymore to tackle wicked problems. In order to solve wicked problems, this course will first make the student familiar with the theoretical framework so that in a second stage different wicked solutions to five wicked problems can be presented. By studying these solutions, the students are given the necessary tools to discover a wicked problem for themselves.

    A wicked problem is a concept used to describe a class of problems that cannot readily be resolved by conventional analytical means, particularly in the realms of public policy or design. A "wicked problem" is therefore one that cannot be definitively described or understood (since it is differently seen by differing stake-holders, has numerous causes, and is often a symptom of other problems).

    To “solve” wicked problems, one needs “wicked solutions”. Out of the box thinking may be helpful.

    Bijzonderheden (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

    This course is set up as a journey through the relative new wonderful world of wicked issues. The lecturer serves as guide and will make sure that the route to follow is clear. Participation of the student is essential and the course aims to be a much as interactive as possible.

    A first important aspect of the course are two/three excursions to concrete projects to discover how wicked solutions have already been worked out for wicked problems. Furthermore, three/two presentations will be given by creative scholars/entrepreneurs who have built concrete wicked solutions for wicked problems.

    A second important aspect of the course is that students for each of the five wicked problems that will be discussed have to present in a group presentation a project that can serve as an example of a wicked solution for that wicked problem in question. 

    A last aspect is the MUN Conference which will be organized and in which students have to debate on Wicked Problems.

    Grading: 60% written exam, 40% MUN conference.

    Please note: For non-LAS students the number of places in this course is limited. For registration, please contact Tessa Leesen (t.g.leesen@tilburguniversity.edu) at least three weeks prior to the start of the course.

    Verplichte literatuur

    1. A.Watkins & Ken Wilber, Wicked & Wise, How to Solve the World's Toughest Problems, Kent, 2015.
    2. Different articles will be made available on Blackboard for the theoretical part.
    3. For each Wicked Problem/Solution students will have to read two articles which will be published on Blackboard.

    Vereiste voorkennis


    Verplicht voor

    • Liberal Arts and Sciences ( 2015, 2016, 2017 )
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Elective major Business and Management ( 2015, 2016, 2017 )
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Elective major Cognitive Neuroscience ( 2016, 2017 )
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Elective major Humanities: European History and Culture ( 2015, 2016, 2017 )
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Elective major Law in Europe ( 2015, 2016, 2017 )
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Elective major Social Sciences ( 2015, 2016, 2017 )