Wicked Problems

The Wicked Problems Practicum is a year-long project in which USC students from multiple schools across campus work to address an urgent public policy issue that is both multifaceted and intractable.

About Wicked Problems

In recent years, many have argued that government is in a state of crisis. There are big problems that are widely known – a crumbling infrastructure, flailing education system, environments in crisis, loss of our competitive edge on the international stage, among others – and yet there is a prevailing view that our public sector institutions are incapable of finding solutions for them. In part, this is because the problems are hard.  All of the easy problems have largely been solved. What’s left is a set of problems that are incredibly complex – “wicked problems”






2017 Wicked Problems Practicum

A USC faculty team from the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Sol Price School of Public Policy, Keck School of Medicine, and Dornsife Spatial Sciences Institute joined forces in a groundbreaking graduate practicum to address one of the USC Provost’s “Wicked Problems” facing the world’s megacities: how to achieve an optimum urban environment for lifespan health and population aging. Creative interdisciplinary teaching strategies enabled by Esri technologies engaged 21 students from four different disciplines to collaborate in devising their own investigations and resultant visualizations of Los Angeles’s urban lifespan aging problems and potential solutions. Read more here.