Today, Claudia Juech of the Rockefeller Foundation highlights a joint research effort between the Foundation and Accenture Development Partnerships to address “wicked problems”—the world’s most pressing problems that, “because of interdependencies, are understood differently by different stakeholder groups.” The new Accenture report by Nevin Vages and Jessica Long, “A Critical Scan of Four Key Topics for the Philanthropic Sector,” suggests a greater need for innovation and paradigm shifting.
Juech describes scanning, a strategy for identifying effective giving, as “a technique commonly used by corporations and governments but rarely found within the development sector”—one that represents “an on-going process.” The idea is to look for “gradual or event-triggered changes in problem spaces” that signal opportunities for innovation.
Juech invites input from organisations who use scanning to locate intervention opportunities. From the report:
The study aims to identify problem areas in the developing and developed world, as well as areas of dynamism and convergence that will, over the next five to 10 years, present opportunities to make a greater impact in the development sector. The study, which made use of a consultative process, investigates four key topics central to human wellbeing. These are: natural ecosystems, health, livelihoods, and urban environments. In each of the four identified topic areas there is a greater need to foster innovation and shift paradigms in order to expand opportunity for the vulnerable and those living in poverty, and strengthen their resilience.
In June we spoke with Gayle Peterson and Hilda Vega, who are leading a broad spectrum of collaborations that seek to address society’s “wicked problems.” See the interview here.