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Wicked Problems, Workable Solutions: Lessons from a Public Life

Dan Yankelovich, chairman and co-founder of Public Agenda published the book, Wicked Problems, Workable Solutions: Lessons from a Public Life in December 2014. This 202-page book presents a strategy to nurture the greater public wisdom necessary for modern society to confront its most wicked problems.

From Dan’s blog post at Public Agenda

A whole mess of wiWicked Problemscked problems such as stagnant incomes, blocked social mobility, political polarization and a dysfunctional educational system threaten to overwhelm us. (The definition of a Wicked Problem is that conventional solutions, by themselves, can’t solve it.)

Behind the mess and confusion lurks a serious philosophical issue. Unless we confront it directly the public will not be able to exercise its obligation to make our democracy function successfully. Our philosophical challenge is to recognize that our democracy can only succeed in the context of genuine community where individuals and institutions seek the common good as well as their own interests.

The philosophical issue, at its core, is an ethical one. To succeed, democratic societies have to achieve a reasonably high threshold of ethical caring for one another. The top one percent has to adopt a stewardship ethic toward the other 99%. Banks and hedge funds have to care for the larger society as well as their own interests. Big companies can’t hide behind the treacherous doctrine of ‘shareholder value’ to rationalize their lack of concern for their workers and the community. Professors at research universities have to care for their students and communities as well as for their own research.

Read more of Dan’s blog post on Public Agenda: www.publicagenda.org/blogs/taking-a-blog-pause.

Wicked Problems is available for purchase at Target, Amazon, Google Play and on iTunes.

About Public Agenda
Public AgendaPublic Agenda is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps diverse leaders and citizens navigate divisive, complex issues and work together to find solutions. Through nonpartisan research and public engagement, we provide the insights, tools and support people need to build common ground and arrive at solutions that work for them. In doing so, we are proving that it is possible to make progress on critical issues regardless of our differences. In all of our work, we seek to help build a democracy in which problem solving triumphs over gridlock and inertia, and where public policy reflects the thoughtful input and values of the nation’s citizens.

Follow on Twitter @PublicAgenda.

Resource Link: www.amazon.com/Wicked-Problems-Workable-Solutions-Lessons

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