Sustainability as a “super wicked” problem; opportunities and limits for engineering methodology

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Abstract

Characterising sustainability as a “super-wicked” problem alerts us to issues beyond where current thinking about problem structuring and architecting enable engineers to deal with the merely wicked. Time is running out, no-one authority is in control, we are the cause of the problem anyway, and we inherently discount the future in our every day decision-making. When added to the usual definitions of wicked and messy problems, which only now are we addressing in engineering education, what are the potential limits and opportunities for the methodology of engineering in sustainability? Some modest extrapolations are discussed, based on the results from a number of recent research projects in sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on Sustainable Development on Building and Environment (SuDBE)
PublisherSuDBE
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780993120701
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Event7th International Conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment (SuDBE 2015) - Reading, UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jul 201529 Jul 2015

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment (SuDBE 2015)
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityReading, UK
Period27/07/1529/07/15

Keywords

  • super-wicked problems
  • messy problems
  • problem structuring methods (PSMs)
  • engineering education
  • sustainability

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