Designing for Health Promotion, Social Innovation, and Complexity: The CoNEKTR Model for Wicked Problems

  • Cameron D. NormanEmail author
  • Andrea L. Yip


Global health care and promotion in the twenty-first century faces challenges posed by aging populations, mass migration, environmental threats, and the rise of new types of infectious diseases; issues that are interconnected, dynamic in nature, and without precedent. These are commonly calledwicked problems: ones that are complex, ill formulated, “joined-up”, confusing, and require multi-party collaboration to address [1]. Wicked or complex problems are resistant to the linear and simple solutions sets that are often employed in health systems that typically come with a push towards models of best practice and evidence-based medicine [2, 3]. While these solution sets demonstrate utility in certain areas pertaining to healthcare, they typically fail when applied to health promotion and population health [4] which commonly deal with multi-causal, contextually bound, and dynamic problems. It is for this type of problem space that complexity science and systems thinking are most appropriate [5]. In terms of action, it is often the place frequented by designers [6].


Knowledge Translation System Thinking Complex Adaptive System Service Leader Complexity Science 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.CENSE Research + DesignTorontoCanada

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