Wicked Problem: Sinclair Broadcasting and the High Price of Innovation


In 1973, two design theorists at the University of California, Berkeley, coined the term “wicked problem” to refer to problems that had reached a level of complexity that made them impossible to define, let alone solve. Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber argued that this type of problem--poverty, crime, nuclear proliferation, and environmental degradation, to name a few--is actually made up of interconnecting sets of problems with vast numbers of variables that change so fast and unpredictably, and which blur so profoundly into other problems, that they constitute their own class of problems.

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