This article really resonated with me: Solve for X: radical ‘moonshot’ technology ideas for solving global problems.


I want to solve for x!

That is where the exciting and meaningful work is.

As the world becomes smaller, its problems seem to inflate to previously unimaginable proportions. I am sure as a global society we are becoming increasingly short-termed focused. (Or perhaps the majority of the short-term-focused is now more vocal and visible given the globalised media and communications?)

No one can deny we are facing huge problems as a planet. So where are the commensurate big imagination and grand visions?

Politicians seem primarily concerned with winning the next election and securing lucrative post-service jobs in the private sector. Business is still mainly about making short term profits at the expense of everything beyond the next reporting cycle. And we as consumers are firmly entrenched on the rabid hamster wheel that is consumerism. Instead of landing humans on Mars or eradicating cancer, we fuss over the pink bits of reality TV “celebrities.”

Optimism. That is another thing the world really needs now. Stevie Modern touched on this in his post about the optimism behind the work of Ray and Charles Eames. There is still talk that design will save the world. So how do we capture that essential part of the soul of design work? (And I mean design in the wider sense of creative, structured problem solving.) How do we get more designers who desire and work beyond just creating more stuff to sell?

And so I am putting it out there: I am looking for my huge problem. Something to sink my teeth into for the next phase of my working life. Something to really get out of bed for. It doesn’t have to be fixed during my lifetime. But it would provide a meaningful and fulfilling life’s work.

Any suggestions?

(Huge Problems are also known as Wicked Problems and Grand Challenges.)