Innovation, Wicked Problems and Design Thinking

  • Steven Ney
  • Christoph Meinel
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


This chapter (as well as the subsequent  Chap. 3) sets up the conceptual framework to help us analyse the impact of DT on large organisations. This chapter explores the relationship between the challenges organisations face today, innovation and Design Thinking. People in large organisations are interested in Design Thinking because it promises innovation. But how do innovations emerge from Design Thinking? We argue that Design Thinking supports innovation because it helps tackle complex and uncertain challenges, also called ‘wicked problems’. These types of challenges have an uncanny way of evading resolutions. In an increasingly complex and uncertain world, this chapter argues, responses to wicked problems emerge from the interplay of different professional and disciplinary perspectives. We suggest, then, to think of innovations as those solutions that successfully and creatively bring together the different insights from a range of disciplines, perspectives and professions. This, we contend, is exactly what Design Thinking enables teams to do: it provides an effective method for mobilising a wide range of disciplines, professions and perspectives for solving wicked problems.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Ney
    • 1
  • Christoph Meinel
    • 2
  1. 1.T-Systems InternationalBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Hasso Plattner InstituteUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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