Wicked World : Complex Challenges and Systems Innovation book cover
1st Edition

Wicked World
Complex Challenges and Systems Innovation

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 23, 2020
ISBN 9789001296964
December 23, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
160 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The world is confusing and complex and always has been. As a result we have a compulsion to simplify, but wicked problems like global economic and health crises defy simplification. This book takes a systemic approach to offer a new paradigm for policy, strategic action, change, planning, organizing, leadership and cooperation. By helping readers understand and deal with divided and vested interests, the authors openly embrace complicated and intractable nature of complex problems to build a coherent and systemic approach to problems in a Wicked World. Leveraging systems innovation, via four key qualities - identity, sensitivity, responsitivity, and connectivity - the book conjures "smart interventions" toward policy interventions to develop new ways of thinking and acting. Offering a comprehensive sensemaking framework, this book is valuable reading for reflective practitioners, policy-makers and scholars.

Table of Contents



Wicked World

Three Worldviews

Systems intelligence and complexity theories


In conclusion

Systems Analysis

Systems analysis framework





In conclusion

Systems Innovation

Systems innovation framework

Trust, transparency and integrity

Shared awareness and perspectives

Smart systems interventions

Mobilizing allies for change

In conclusion

Policy Innovation

Traditional approaches

New approach

Wicked problems and global policy innovation

Strengthening regions

In conclusion

Who is in Charge?

Leading in complexity

Shifts in the leadership bubble

Span of control: power and influence

The playing field

Who is in charge?

Systems innovation: attitude, demeanour and behaviour

Value driven futures

In conclusion

Moving Forward




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Karel van Berkel is associated with Schouten University of Applied Sciences and Hanze University, Netherlands.

Anu Manickam works for Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, Netherlands.

Together, they are partners at We-Sense, a coaching and consulting organisation in the Netherlands.