Thought leaders from leading universities in Australia and overseas came together to tackle wicked problems using a consumer research perspective in a symposium at RMIT.
The School of Economics Finance and Marketing (EFM) recently hosted the inaugural Symposium for Wicked Problems in Consumer Research.
Wicked problems are issues in society that are particularly difficult to solve due to the problems being based on contradictory, incomplete or changing information – for example, climate change.
The symposium was sponsored by Association for Consumer Research (USA) and supported by the Journal of Social Marketing, offering six doctoral student travel stipends.
In his opening address, Professor Ian Palmer, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, College of Business, said: “Wicked problems confront us every day.
“The design of the symposium is fabulous, I was really taken by the creativeness of the way this symposium has been put together.
“No papers, but skill-sets that bring together people from around the world, collaboration around sharing of ideas on focusing on six different tracks, and each track will then produce a paper to be published in a special issue - this is a very innovative approach.”
The keynote speech, delivered by Professor Julie Ozanne from the University of Melbourne, made the point that the groups brought together by the symposium had the potential to come up with something that did not exist two days ago.
A plenary talk was delivered by Professor Jerome Williams, Provost, Rutgers University, on secrets of research collaboration.
Several experienced panellists spoke of how being prepared and listening to everyone else in their group in a dialogue leads to creating new knowledge.
Symposium co-chair Dr Kaleel Rahman said: “The dialogical symposium style offers greater flexibility in its delivery and also has been shown to be more successful in creating new research streams and research collaborations when compared to a standard presentation-based conference.”