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Systems thinking and complexity tackling mining challenges


South Australian Social Enterprise, Wicked Lab, collaborates with OZ Minerals’ Think & Act Differently™ innovation incubator to unlock opportunities for the future of mining.

[Adelaide, South Australia]: Emily Humphreys, CEO and cofounder of the social enterprise Wicked Lab, today announced a collaboration with the Think & Act Differently™ (TAD) incubator Powered by OZ Minerals, to build the capacity of their innovators to take a systems approach to addressing some of mining’s biggest opportunities.

Wicked Lab is developing a learning program that will support innovators across the globe to use complexity and systems thinking to address challenges aligned to five strategic themes in mining: Clean Products, Energy & Emissions, Waste & Water, Scalable & Adaptable Assets and Data & Technology. Emily Humphreys, said ‘We are thrilled to be strengthening the work of the TAD ecosystem of entrepreneurs, academics, established businesses, OZ Minerals workforce and partners ranging from research and member bodies to other mining companies who are developing ideas to pursue opportunities that could lead to net zero emissions and zero waste’.

The new program will launch in early 2022 and will develop incubator participants’ understanding of the interconnected nature of complex / wicked problems and how complexity and systems thinking can be used in practise to tackle the incubator’s themes and accelerate OZ Minerals’ strategic aspirations.

Jessica Doherty, OZ Minerals Transformation Portfolio Manager said ‘we know we need to think and act differently if we are going to solve the big challenges of mining. We recognise that OZ Minerals alone cannot tackle these opportunities, and that’s why supporting our innovators to take a systems aware and complexity approach to addressing these grand challenges is vital.

The Think & Act Differently™ (TAD) incubator is an ecosystem of innovators from inside and outside the mining sector brought together to take a unique lens over opportunities the broader industry is facing with the intent of finding like-minded, innovative and brave individuals and organisations to bring pace to value creation. ‘Innovators co-create solutions to address these opportunities which, once developed, can be trailed within a supported mining environment. TAD funds finalists of the challenges to participate in a targeted Acceleration program to uplift their capability, collaborate widely and test their ideas through short experiments,’ said Jessica Doherty. ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with a local South Australian social enterprise to strengthen how our ecosystem of innovators approaches these challenges.’

The relationship between OZ Minerals and Wicked Lab developed through the 40 under 40 awards in 2018. ‘I met Katie Hulmes, Head of Transformation and Think & Act Differently at OZ Minerals as we were fellow winners in 2018’ said Emily Humphreys, ‘and it is wonderful to see how the networks you develop as a 40 under 40 award winner can have real impact for your business’. ‘Sustainable business is a new market for us. We recognise the key role of copper as an Energy Transition Metal in accelerating Australia and other countries towards a decarbonised green energy economy and we are delighted to be strengthening the work of OZ Minerals TAD innovators who are developing technologies that do this in a sustainable manner’ said Emily Humphreys.

About Wicked Lab:

Wicked Lab is a South Australian social enterprise that supports organisations, governments and communities to create systems change for 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

· online Tools that support the visualisation and measurement of systems change, and

· support and mentoring

About Think & Act Differently™ (TAD) incubator Powered by OZ Minerals: The incubator is a process and ecosystem designed to facilitate novel and challenging ideas that will accelerate us in implementing OZ Minerals strategy to be a modern mine. The Incubator targets five themes: Clean Products, Energy & Emissions, Waste & Water, Scalable & Adaptable Assets and Data & Technology. The TAD process involves Framing opportunities, Diverging in our thinking to generate ideas, Converging on experiments to test the best ideas and then Accelerating these experiments by providing funding, access to sites, data and materials and support in developing ideas in an open, energised and connected environment.​​​​​​​

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