Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 800157-B-6
Wicked Problems Society, Culture and Economy
Course info
Course module800157-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Liberal Arts and Sciences;
Is part of
B Liberal Arts and Sciences
Dr E. Freddi
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.H. Valgaeren
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 20/08/2018 09:00 up to and including 31/07/2019
Please Mind: the complete information for this course is not provided yet, this page will be finalized in the upcoming weeks

General Goals

In this course students are firstly trained by the lecturer in recognizing wicked problems and analyzing them.

Secondly, students have to analyze wicked problems that are presented during an excursion or by a guest-lecturer. Lastly, in a MUN-conference the wicked problem Climate Change is discussed and the discussion skills of the students are boosted.

Concrete objectives

Having completed the course, the student is able to:
  • Have an understanding of the theoretical framework scholars have worked out in the last 30 years on wicked problems.
  • Recognize the wicked problems of Cradle to Cradle -Social Unrest by Youth of Immigrant descent - Superdiversity- Big Data and privacy Issues in Social Media - Climate Change.
  • Analyze wicked problems and discover the common characteristics of a wicked problem.
  • Critically evaluate wicked solutions which are proposed to solve wicked problems.
  • Discover the economical, moral, legal and sociological perspective of a wicked problem.
  • Work out a strategy to find the necessary information on wicked problems/solutions.
  • Formulate wicked solutions regarding a certain wicked problem.
  • Discuss wicked problems and solutions during an MUN conference.


This course is set up as a journey through the relative new wonderful world of wicked issues. The lecturer serves as guide and will make sure that the route to follow is clear. Participation of the student is essential and the course aims to be a much as interactive as possible.

A first important aspect of the course are two/three excursions to concrete projects to discover how wicked solutions have already been worked out for wicked problems. Furthermore, three/two presentations will be given by creative scholars/entrepreneurs who have built concrete wicked solutions for wicked problems.

A second important aspect of the course is that students for each of the five wicked problems that will be discussed have to present in a group presentation a project that can serve as an example of a wicked solution for that wicked problem in question. 

A last aspect is the MUN Conference which will be organized and in which students have to debate on Wicked Problems.
For non-LAS students the number of places in this course is limited. For registration, please contact Gerwin van der Laan ( at least three weeks prior to the start of the course.
Traditional structures are outdated and not effective anymore to tackle wicked problems. In order to solve wicked problems, this course will first make the student familiar with the theoretical framework so that in a second stage different wicked solutions to five wicked problems can be presented. By studying these solutions, the students are given the necessary tools to discover a wicked problem for themselves.

A wicked problem is a concept used to describe a class of problems that cannot readily be resolved by conventional analytical means, particularly in the realms of public policy or design. A "wicked problem" is therefore one that cannot be definitively described or understood (since it is differently seen by differing stake-holders, has numerous causes, and is often a symptom of other problems).

To “solve” wicked problems, one needs “wicked solutions”. Out of the box thinking may be helpful.
Timetable information
800157-B-6|Wicked Problems Society,Culture,Economy
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk 60% / Written 60%EXAM_01SM 1113-12-2018
Schriftelijk 60% / Written 60%EXAM_01SM 1217-01-2019
Required materials
Recommended materials
Written 60%

Paper 40%

Kies de Nederlandse taal