Design Thinking
“Design thinking is essentially a human-centered innovation process that emphasizes observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualization of ideas, rapid concept prototyping, and concurrent business analysis, which ultimately influences innovation and business strategy…. It is a tool to imagine future states and to bring products, services, and experiences to market… not to mention transforming businesses through solving ‘wicked’ problems.” (Lockwood, 2010) (pp.xi,84)
Social Mess
A set of interrelated problems in a complex social system that are resistant to analysis and resolution. More…
“A set of elements or parts that is coherently organized and inter-connected in a pattern or structure that produces a characteristic set of behaviours.” (Meadows, 2008) (p188)
Systems Thinking
“An epistemology which, when applied to human activity is based upon the four basic ideas: emergence, hierarchy, communication, and control as characteristics of systems. When applied to natural or designed systems the crucial characteristic is the emergent properties of the whole.” (Checkland, 1999) (p318)
Wicked Problem
An ill-defined problem that can’t be fully defined until a solution is found, and it may not be possible to determine when it is solved, if it can be solved at all. More…


Checkland, P. 1999. Systems Thinking, Systems Practice. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Lockwood, T. (ed.) 2010. Design Thinking. New York: Allworth Press.

Meadows, D.H. 2008. Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Edited by D. Wright. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green.