Whether it’s climate change, food security, where artificial intelligence will take us, the potential for nuclear annihilation, or the implications of genetic modification and transhumanism, as a species we face a future that could so easily go catastrophically wrong. And yet these issues are so complicated we have very little idea where to even start in tackling them. It’s this factor that lends them the name “wicked problems”.
And as institutions and organisations, we face a rate of disruption that is rendering centuries of accumulated knowledge seemingly obsolete overnight.
The one thing we do know with some degree of confidence is that our current way of doing things probably isn’t going to help us find good solutions – after all, those ways of thinking and acting are what got us into these pickles to start with.
We know, in other words, that to help us solve our wicked problems, and to continue to apply the knowledge and skills we have so carefully nurtured, we need creativity. Which simply means new ways of doing things, new ways of looking at things, most of all new ways of putting things together.
But “new ways of doing things” is as far from the rather bland, trite meme fodder as you could imagine.
“New ways of doing things” actually describes our only possible way back from a precipice of our own making. The phrase encompasses the only way out of the intellectual hock we find ourselves in to endless tinkering with local maxima like laboratory pigeons addicted to pulling levers that have long since stopped offering up a reward. In a series of catastrophic dilemmas where, to quote from the business world, “what got us here won’t get us there” it expresses our only hope of stepping away from the cliff’s edge and outside the processes and the patterns that led us there and the unseen biases and assumptions that threaten to push us over.
Rogue Interrobang is a spinout company from Oxford University, founded by two time Creative Thinking World Champion Dan Holloway to help institutions and individuals change the way they think and act in order to use creativity to solve these problems. Whether it is running a stimulating session for your away day, consulting on how to rethink how you run your organisation, or developing the most important skill for the 21st century, we can help you with techniques that range from the award-winning creativity game Mycelium to thinking approaches such as narrative analysis to changing the way you think about knowledge altogether and unlock its true potential using the “leaky mind palace”.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more
Our Dreams Make Different Shapes: how your creativity can make the world a better place and why the world will try to stop you is now available as an ebook (£2.99/$3.99) and paperback. (£7.99)
In a world that sometimes feels as though it is crumbling right in front of us, this book is a celebration of, a call to arms to, and a field guide for outsiders. At its heart is a very simple, very stark message: creativity is our only hope of making it out of this alive. Creativity means doing things in new ways so by definition, being creative makes you an outsider. That gives you the freedom to think in ways other people don’t, even can’t.
But it also comes at an incredible cost: even if you find the answer to our toughest problems, no one will believe you. It is a price creatives have been paying ever since the time of Cassandra, the Trojan princess of Greek myth who was cursed always to tell the truth and never to be believed. This book will help you not only to develop more creative ideas but will help you to communicate them so they are listened to and implemented.