Course: It's a Wicked World credits: 15

Course code
It's a Wicked World
Study year
ECTS credits
Dutch, with parts in English
M. Huizing
Modes of delivery
  • Assignment
  • - Assignment
  • - Performance assessment
  • - Professional product

Learning outcomes

1. The student recognizes the unstructuredness and uniqueness of a wicked problem and develops a reasoned judgment about this complex issue from the perspective of Public Health.
2. The student recognizes several perspectives to look at a complex issue within care and welfare and outlines the mutual influences and coherence.
3. The student bridges differences in internal and external collaborations when investigating the wicked problem.
4. The student makes a creative and out-of-the-box contribution to the further development of mindsets and solutions for the wicked problem.
5. The student makes an active contribution to handling acute and less acute situations surrounding the wicked problem, whereby the actions are congruent with their own vision of care and well-being.
6. The student develops a rationale for the steps to be taken by an organization in dealing with the wicked problem and recognizes that there are no right or wrong solutions.
7. The student is responsible for the consequences of the steps proposed by him in dealing with the wicked problem to the organization, the cooperation partners and society.


Wikipedia describes a wicked problem as “a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize.” A complex problem comes closest in Dutch. A wicked problem often has a social reason, has an apparently simple solution, but that solution in turn has major and far-reaching consequences for the various stakeholders. Consider, for example, the decision to transfer decision-making for the care of a citizen from central governments to local authorities. Logical if you look at the principle of bringing healthcare closer to the citizen, but it is a very complex task for local authorities. Local authorities deal with it differently in order to find solutions to the problems that have arisen. There is also no single solution to a wicked problem. Multiple solution directions may be possible, depending on various factors.
Because several wicked problems play a role simultaneously in the world of care and welfare, the name of this module has been chosen as 'a Wicked World'.
We thus focus emphatically on themes that transcend the organisation; wicked problems within care and well-being are  central.

The student first follows a tour with weekly meetings with various guest lecturers. In this way, the student receives a state-of-the-art program that is then used as input for the subsequent management game called 'It's a Wicked World'. Finally, the module is concluded with a retrospective and reflection on both components.


Included in programme(s)


  • School of Health Care Studies