The German-American Conference (GAC) at Harvard is the largest transatlantic student-led conference in the United States. It provides a unique platform for leaders from academia, business, society, and politics to engage with passionate young minds.
During this session, we introduced the group to their wicked problems, how to focus on an opportunity area, and ideated around a defined problem. Design is certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach to tackling issues, let alone ones on the scale of wicked problems. However, utilizing core components of the design process can help unpack contexts, reframe problems, and approach solutions in novel ways.
Our team split participants into small groups organized around a single wicked problem (a complex, interconnected problem with no clear solution), ranging from finding justice in climate colonization to breaking our militarized nuclear world order. Moderators led participants through strategic design activities to get them to think in novel ways and expose them to as many aspects of the design process as possible. For many participants, this was their first exposure to design thinking and this unique approach to a problem. The workshop provided them with a balance between theory and time actively applying concepts.
For an audience with such different backgrounds and focuses, it was exciting to foster collaboration, nurture creativity, and provide tangible skills and tools to solve complex problems in the future. While we didn't solve any wicked problems in one day, it is good to know the leaders in the room could become agents of design processes within their organizations.
We're always interested in helping organizations approach problems differently. Drop us a line to hear more about one of our workshops.
German American Conference at Harvard
Laura Maria Cornelia Schuetz
Maria Risueño Domínguez