NNSI Editorial Team


Real-World Wicked Problems

Wicked problems are much like board games. Board games can look wildly different, but their inherent underlying premise–the nature of what it means to be a ‘board game’–stays largely the same. Wicked problems are classified by their multi-dimensionality, complexity, and inherent lack of solution. Like board games, wicked problems come in all shapes and sizes, but the inherent complexity of their nature–the nature of what it means to be a


Wicked Problem and Design Thinking

Every day, we are confronted with problems–small and large scale. Design thinking provides a systematic approach to solving these problems. Formally, design thinking refers to the diverse and interrelated approaches, techniques, and tricks to scientifically addressing the problems we face individually and collectively.  This blog is dedicated to understanding the connection between design thinking and wicked problems. Wicked problems are problems without a singular cause or an immediate solution. They


Wicked Problems: The Social Determinants of Health

We all care about our health, and when things go wrong, we typically blame some combination of bad genetics, risky lifestyle choices, and limited access to medical care or medical resources. Our social environment is a major factor in the relative outcome of our health.  Environmental factors and social factors that influence health outcomes are called the social determinants of health. The link between the state of our social environment

Tips & Tools for Network Instigators

​​Tips & Tools for Network Instigators: Managing Change (3/3)

From technology to fashion to social-issue intervention, nothing stays stagnant. As COVID highlighted, organizations need to be ready to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. How can organizations, especially those in social impact networks, prepare for a changing landscape? One strategy that social impact organizations can use to prepare for change is to enhance their organization’s absorptive capacity. As our previous two blogs have shown, a network’s ability to manage change—both

Tips & Tools for Network Instigators

Tips & Tools for Network Instigators: Managing Change (2/3)

Networks are similar to suspension bridges. They are held together and supported by the organizations that compose them. Our previous blog covered changes in the whole network, but impactful change can happen among organizational members. Change within a member organization can upset the balance of the network, impacting one or many organizations in the network.  Consider a scenario where a critical participating organization undergoes a management change. A new manager

People sitting at the table
Tips & Tools for Network Instigators

Tips & Tools for Network Instigators: Managing Change (1/3)

In 2018, the Westside Infant-Family Network (WIN) received $16 million to aid their efforts to increase trauma resilience across west-central and south Los Angeles. WIN is a nonprofit network comprised of eight agency partners established in 2006 to provide mental health resources to families with generational mental health challenges. At first glance, an unknowing onlooker might never know that WIN came from humble beginnings. But, when they started, WIN faced