White and brown concrete spiral stairs (Dan Freeman)

Wicked Problem

A wicked problem is a scientific term for a socially complex problem in which not only the consensus is lacking on how to exactly resolve the problem, but where there is also disagreement on shared principles and ambiguity regarding the facts. Finally, these are issues where there is not a single authority in place with the leverage to take the lead in finding a solution. Examples of wicked problems are: the corona crisis, environmental issues, the pension debate, the generation-gap discussion, the conflicting roles within the accountancy sector, the refugee problem, counterterrorism, a range of scandals on the financial markets (variable interest-rate issues, investment insurance, interest-rate derivatives, et cetera), how to deal with open standards (such as duties of due care), and class actions in general.