Working with Grand Challenges (How to be a Social Innovator)

Creative Consulting & Development Works

The wicked problems facing the world today – whether it is climate change, education or health care challenges – have been researched and described in detail. Despite all our knowledge, understanding and experience in working with these problems, we just can’t seem to solve them on a systemic level. Why is that? How did we get here? What do we do now? These questions are explored in detail in this course.

Cape Town:

Date: 17 – 18 August 2017

Venue: CC&DW training room, Woodstock

Cost: R4,500 incl VAT


Date: 23 – 24 August 2017

Venue: CC&DW office, Pretoria

Cost: R4,500 incl VAT

Since the dawn of the Enlightenment, we have been taught to see the world and its workings as similar to that of a machine. We strive to work in organisations that are “well-oiled machines” and we aspire to running projects like “clock-work.” (Westley, Zimmerman, & Patton, 2009). Despite our best efforts, the real world does not always conform to our strategic plans, our protocols and success indicators.

Maybe the way that we think about problems is a fundamental part of “the problem.” For over 50 years, advances in science has begun to paint a very different picture of the world, challenging the view that people operate in the same way as machines, and that projects in the social world can be managed in the same way as a skyscraper building project.

Systems thinking and complexity theory are helping us to understand that the world is an unpredictable, evolving and complex place. We can learn much more from the tiniest of builders about making sense of the world, getting things done and solving complex problems.

At the end of this course, you will:

  • Locate the role of wicked, “messy” and complex problems in your work and personal lives and recognise its impact on self, organisation and society.
  • Distinguish and evaluate the worldviews and value-systems that influence how we make sense of complex problems.
  • Identify and analyse a pertinent complex problem they are grappling with, experimenting with different thinking-approaches to make better sense of the problem.
  • Implement systems-thinking approaches and tools to make sense of the complex problem and to evaluate and create solutions.
  • Evaluate the social processes (and biases) that influence our ability to respond to complex problems in imaginative ways.
  • Create social networks to sustain enthusiasm and momentum once the workshop is complete.
  • Develop a strong sense of self-efficacy as they challenge their own learned helplessness.

Who should do this course? 

Government and NGO managers. Donors and grants managers. Social entrepreneurs. People that are ready to question their own worldviews, to rattle the cage, to start making a difference in their organisations, communities and companies.

Click here to register.


Event Start Date: 
Thursday, 17 August, 2017
Event End Date: 
Thursday, 24 August, 2017
Event Venue: 
Event Type: 
South Africa

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