The Partnerships Resource Centre of the Erasmus University Rotterdam is partner of Bee Collective. Their Wicked Problems Plaza (WPP) wants to provide entrepreneurial solutions to societal problems. WPP plays an important role at the event, as it is the first step in the Bee Collective chain of - Wicked Problem – Swarm – PUC – Shared Ownership -  which we aim to create. Rianne van Asperen works for the Partnerships Resource Centre. She’s extremely excited about the event on 20 November: “Tackling multiple Wicked Problems simultaneously at multiple locations was beyond my imagination.”

Where does the WPP come from?

Professor Dr. Rob van Tulder has been working on it for years. He is the academic director of the Partnerships Resource Centre and has been giving lectures about issues and wicked problems for a while now. Combining various theories about issue management, problem solving, systems thinking and Wicked Problems has led him to develop the Wicked Problems Plaza methodology.

Why Wicked Problems?

The notion of Wicked Problem was first introduced in 1973, but it wasn’t until recently that it became a booming concept. Many people who are involved with smart partnerships are writing and talking about it now. They realise that people need to start working together and combine forces to tackle the world’s problems. And now is the right time. The world is flat and we have more and more means available to partner and connect with each other.

How come you’re such an enthusiast?

When I heard about the WPP, I was hooked instantly. I’m passionate about partnerships and what they can accomplish. What I really like about it is that you need many different people and organisations to tackle a Wicked Problem. People need to actually come and sit and work together.

And then? What can these people actually accomplish?

We bring people together and we open up their minds. Often, people and organizations who are involved with the problem don’t realise that others are playing a role in the same problem or solution too. They have certain fixed notions about each other. In the WPP participants realise that everyone who is involved needs the other to start solving the Wicked Problem. This can lead to new partnerships and new concrete solutions.

Bee Collective: Swarm Solutions takes it a step further. It acts on these solutions in Pop Up Companies (PUC) with collective ownership. How do you feel about that?

I like that a lot. It’s great that the people in the Swarm can follow up on the outcome of the WPP. The WPP is still young and we ourselves haven’t come to that next step yet, but we’re a scientific institute and it’s very interesting for us to follow and observe what will happen in the PUCs. What can they accomplish? I’m very curious to find out.

When is the Bee Collective: Swarm Solutions Event a success to you?

The 20th of November is going to be so awesome. Tackling multiple Wicked Problems simultaneously at multiple locations was beyond my imagination. For us it’s a great chance to introduce the WPP to a lot of people, both offline and online. Both inside, and outside the WPP cooker. We want to truly inspire these people and be an eye-opener to them. So it will lead to new connections and partnerships. That would be a big success.

In this PDF document (opens in new window) you can read more about Wicked Problems and how the WPP works.

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