V1 - The problem with problems
"A problem well-put is half-solved"
If you have a problem you need to solve or a thing you need to design, this foundational course is for you <3
We often misidentify the problems we are trying to solve. We may even do a great job of solving the wrong problem. Sometimes we build things that don't solve problems at all, or make the problem worse.
Problem-definition is oftentimes overlooked or hurried. Urgency culture (along with other dominant culture forces) has created rush to solve problems by way of creating solutions, but building an effective solution starts with intimately understanding the true problem(s) at hand, and importantly, the context the problem lives within, the history that underlies it, and the people it affects.
Tbh this course is so important for a person's understanding of the world and their ability to think critically. It's valuable and transformational as a stand-alone course, and also foundational to completing a design cycle using the eXd framework.
Said more simply: learning to understand and define the problem is the first step to creating an effective solution. After all, systems-level equity-related problems are at their core people problems situated in a contact that is often neither visible not well understood. In this way, problem-definition is itself an agent of equity!
So what will we do?
W o w, in this course we have theory, we have thought experiments, we have rubrics. Dare we say, we're helping you solve the problem with your problems ;)
A personal touch, tlc, clarification, and encouragement can make all the difference. You'll have the opportunity to purchase one-on-one coaching time in order to help maximize your learning and growing and to apply the course content specifically to your situation :)!
StartThe problem with problems overview (11:45)
StartProblem Self-Assessment Rubric
StartProblem #1: The problem that you articulated is simply the absence of the thing you want to do or build or the outcome you want to be true
StartProblem #2: The problem is articulated without referencing any people - those experiencing it or those creating or perpetuating it
StartProblem #3: The problem explicitly or implicity blames those experiencing the issue for its existence, usually by by framing the problem as deficiencies or flaws in a group of people
StartProblem #4: The problem that has been identified is just a symptom, but treated as a root cause
StartProblem #5: The problem is described at the level of individuals, absent institutional, systemic or ideological factors that are also at play
StartProblem #6: The problem is described absent the history of how it came to be
StartPutting it all together!