In today’s complex world, government agencies are grappling with enormous social challenges. These are what we call “wicked,” or “sticky” problems—and include the opioid epidemic, suicide prevention, human trafficking, and sexual assault in the military. There’s no easy answer. And with so many intricacies and moving parts at the heart of these issues, it’s hard to get your arms around them.
Design thinking can help solve these complex challenges. A tool box of techniques born from the designer’s mindset, design thinking is a human-centered innovation methodology that discovers people’s unmet needs, reframes problems, and inspires new ideas to improve the human experience. Instead of starting with technology or business positioning, the people that the problem affects most—patients, warfighters, customers, or employees—are the focus of the design process.