An ode to systems engineers—whose invisible work undergirds our life—and an exploration of the wicked problems they tackle
Our world is filled with pernicious problems: how, for example, did novice pilots learn to fly without taking to the air and risking their lives? We have generated solutions over time but challenges like these—wicked problems that tangle personal, public and environmental factors—are not going away any time soon.
In Wicked Problems, engineer Guru Madhavan examines historic tragedies and lesser-known tales, from the efficient design of battleships to a volcano eruption that curtailed global commerce. Braided throughout is the uplifting tale of Edwin Link, who revolutionised aviation with his flight trainer. In Link’s story, Madhavan uncovers a model mindset to engage with wickedness. An homage to society’s innovators and maintainers, Wicked Problems offers a refreshing vision for readers of all backgrounds to build a better future.