The Wicked Problems Class

The Department of Philosophy developed the first Wicked Problems class on campus. PHIL 115 engages students across a semester on the solution of a particular wicked problem like climate, inequality, or healthcare access. The class participates in the Wicked Festival and is a starting point for the Wicked Problems minor, below.

The Wicked Problems Minor

Wicked Problems Graphic Logo

The Wicked Problems minor is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy & Religious Studies that focuses on problems that are persistent and complex, or “wicked,” and of a public nature, such as climate change, inequality, poverty and world hunger. 

The minor puts students in the position of authority as growing experts on social and political problems, particularly through the co-curricular campus-based  Wicked Festival. Finally, it tasks students with finding solutions to the problems they identify.

Wicked Problems ToolKit

Dr. Tay Keong Tan and a team of Radford students are curating a collection of online resources to teach and solve wicked problems. These resources are being developed for the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) faculty working group and will benefit faculty and students all over the world. Dr. Tan and his team, along with Dr. Paul Hanstedt, author of the book Creating Wicked Students, are traveling to Lisbon, Portugal in September 2023 to present their work to the UN PRME group.

Contact Dr. Tay Keong Tan, Professor, Political Science, for more information.

Wicked Student Society at Radford University

Under the guidance of advisor Dr. Tay Keong Tan, students interested in wicked problems have formed a Wicked Student Society, a student club focused on wicked problems. 

Pathfinders, Undergraduate Journal on Wicked Problems

Working with Dr. Tay Keong Tan, students are establishing a journal to publish undergraduate research on wicked problems and solutions. Watch this space for further news and research.

Wicked Problems Faculty Research

Heather and Paige, two faculty members, standing beside their poster presentation.
Wicked Fest winners.

Radford faculty are studying wicked problems in their own research and learning about how teaching wicked problems impacts student learning.  

Dr. Heather Keither, Dr. Meg Konkel, and Dr. Paige Tan presented on "Students to Solutions: Wicked Problems and Beyond in Interdisciplinary Classrooms" at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, February 9, 2024.

In September 2023, Dr. Tay Keong Tan was recognized with an "Innovator's Award" at the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education Conference in Lisbon, Portugal for his leading a session on wicked problems teaching with Dr. Paul Hanstedt, author of Creating Wicked Students, along with students whom Dr. Tan was mentoring in wicked problems research.

Earlier in 2023, Dr. Keith and Dr. Tan presented a poster on the Radford Wicked Initiative at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy at Virginia Tech.