About us

We enable change-makers to effectively address wicked problems by creating systems change. We do this by providing the knowledge, tools, and support they need to strengthen and transition solution ecosystems in their communities.

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About Us brochure

A framework and online tool to support systems change

In order to create systems change, change-makers need new knowledge and tools that enable them to tackle the interconnected and multi-causal nature of these types of problems. 

 

We are a social enterprise that provides the knowledge, tools and support needed to effectively address wicked problems by creating systems change. Our award-winning framework and tool are underpinned by complex adaptive system theory and provide change-makers with a practical way to address to multi-causal and interconnected nature of wicked problems. 

Wicked Lab does this through:

  • A range of learning programs that build participants' knowledge and skills in how to take a complexity approach to systems change using Wicked Lab's framework

  • The Tool for Systemic Change which supports the visualisation and measurement of systems change, and

  • support and mentoring to support practitioners apply their learnings and use the framework and Tool. 

​What are wicked problems?

Complex social policy problems are commonly known as "wicked problems" in the social purpose sector. Wicked problems are hard to resolve as each takes place within a unique context and has many interconnected root causes.  Examples of wicked problems include: place-based disadvantage, climate change, poverty, ageing populations and obesity.  

Wicked problems are therefore unable to be successfully tackled with traditional linear, analytical approaches, where individual initiatives focus on one or a few root cause, or by replicating initiatives that have been developed in other contexts. 

To address wicked problems, changemakers need tools that focus on: 

  • enabling communities to take coherent action; 

  • building the adaptive capacity of communities; and

  • assisting governments to create the enabling conditions required for this type of approach.

Wicked Lab's approach to addressing wicked problems

Wicked Lab's framework online Tool for Systemic Change assists changemakers to address wicked problems by bringing these elements together. 

The framework is underpinned by complexity adaptive systems theory and tackles the multi-causality and interdependencies of complex problems. It provides nine Focus Areas that change-makers can to strengthen their systems change activities. The Focus Areas support whole systems to re-combine existing organisations and resources in a manner that improves system functioning and collective effort, and it takes into account the role of government in enabling systemic community change. 

Read more about the frameworks Focus Areas and the research that underpins it.