Tackling Wicked Problems Collaboratively: The Multicentric IBIS
This is a December 2011 concept paper on Multicentric Issue-Based Information System (MctIBIS). MctIBIS is a web based system for tackling wicked problems collaboratively. MctIBIS is based on the Issue-Based Information System (IBIS) introduced by Horst Rittel in the 1970’s and implemented using an information relationship management engine.
In the framing of a dialogue topic, it is recommended that the Issue Map be first developed using the known issues so that the participants can be on the same wavelength. As part of the Issue Map, the main focus areas of the topic should be identified and framed. The focus areas can be expanded with the sub-issues, facts, positions and other IBIS elements added as part of the dialogue mapping process.
Reference materials may be tabled in the dialogue in the form of web links and reference documents. The system allows multiple entries to reference the common reference materials. The reference documents may be table in several dialogues.
The key entries in the dialogues and the reference materials may be tagged against a customizable subject heading lists. The subject heading list may include headings for thematic, systemic, economic sectors, cross-cutting topics and stakeholders.
The information relationship management engine allows the resources captured in the dialogue to be viewed from many perspectives such as:
a) focus areas
c) entry types
e) reference materials, and
f) subject headings.
This is to help participants make sense of the deliberations and hopefully promote deep understanding of the issues and options available for the dialogue topic. Such understandings will help the decision makers develop better solutions for the problems.