Wicked Problem

Wicked Problem’

Bishopsteignton Outdoor Art Group (BOAG)

We have attempted to illustrate a Wicked Problem. A Wicked Problem is one which is impossible to solve on its own without taking into account associated issues. Wicked Problems inextricably interact with other wicked problems. The Pandemic is a Wicked Problem. Some of the issues which interlink to this problem are:

Animal Welfare – ‘Wildlife trade and consumption represent one of the main risks for future pandemics’ UN report 2020

Argentina used to breed free-ranging cows on open grasslands, but its ranchers have shifted to industrial meat production in fattening corrals. This change has increased problems like deforestation and carbon emissions” Development & Co-operation 2015.

Inequality – ‘The richest 1% of the global population control 46% of the worlds wealth’ Oxfam

Real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics.” David Attenborough 2021

Conservation – ‘An area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is lost to deforestation every 6 seconds’ Global Forest Watch 2019

“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book? It’s extraordinary how self-obsessed human beings are. There is so much more out there than what connects to us.” David Attenborough 2021

Climate Change – ‘Climate change is going to amplify the already existing divide between those who have resources and those who do not’ Eliot Levine, Mercy Corps 2020

In March, 3 radio programmes called ‘The Jump’ by Chris van Tulleken talked about the human behaviours that make viruses jump from animals to people. He asked whether we are paying the price for getting too close to animals by degrading their territory? His end point was that to solve future pandemics we need to also look at the associated problems.

In June a video message from Sir David Attenborough was played to G7 world leaders in Cornwall as they set out their plans for meeting emissions targets. He said: The natural world today is greatly diminished… Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly plain to see. But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet…….the decisions facing the world’s richest countries are the most important in human history”.


The frame is made from redundant greenhouse metal struts, second hand wire, fishing wire and preloved glass beads. The spheres are made from old hanging baskets and embellished with discarded toys and models, crocheted figures, swimming pool vinyl offcuts, methotrexate injection caps, recycled odds and sods.