Wicked Solutions: SDGs, Research Design and the “Unfinishedness” of Sustainability
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The appearance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) marked the first time a global body has attempted to manage the planet’s future in its entirety, linking together urgent, overlapping and contradictory existential threats. The goals newly treated the world as an interlinked system, where relations are as important as components, and problems and solutions evolve together, acknowledging a more entangled trajectory for sustainable Development work. Through this lens, it becomes clear that all answers to how we live are provisional and shifting. Thus, we need more than new knowledge, products or policies from our research; we need to consider how different disciplinary efforts combine, take on life of their own, and nurture new configurations in a dynamic system. This paper invites us to rethink the making of viable futures, in the context of this reframed Development discourse, using design theory and approaches to complexity. It seeks to contribute by proposing HCI tools to manage the new uncertainties this introduces into the design of experts’ research work. Using ideas of “unfinishedness” and the concept of “wicked solutions”, it addresses the incommensurability and contingency to be found in knowledge-making and problem-solving, with an agenda of socio-ecological renewal.
CitationLight, A., Kasper, E., & Hielscher, S. (2020, July 4). Wicked Solutions: SDGs, Research Design and the “Unfinishedness” of Sustainability, (Version 2) SocArXiv Papers, DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/m948c
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- IDS Research