Problem Framing Expertise in Public and Social Innovation

Paper by Mieke van derBijl-Brouwer: “Public and social sector organizations are increasingly turning to innovation as a way to address the complex problems that society is facing. Design practice has already contributed significantly to public and social innovation, but to be effective at the public and social systems level, these practices must be adapted. This study investigates how five public and social innovation agencies adapted and used the core design practice of problem framing to address complex problems in society. The frames evolved according to nonlinear patterns through the co-evolution of problem and solution spaces. Practitioners adapted their framing practices to suit the complex social contexts by applying systemic design principles, pursuing multiple solutions and problem frames, and operationalizing wider research and thinking methods that align with the complex nature of each specific challenge. I argue that such practices require high-level expertise, and that capability building in public and social innovation should consider these emerging practices and levels of expertise….(More)”.