University of Earth
Projects Overview (Explanations)
World Problems Project (Explanations)

Method: Conceptual processes summarized

World Problems Project


Figure 1: Problem entries: conceptual processes
1.a Detecting/Finding/Scanning 
  • accumulating variants 
  • symptoms/pre-problems 
1.b Eliminating/Rejecting/Filtering 
  •  nonproblems (cases, solutions, theories, events, projects)
2.a Clustering/Grouping 
  • combining synonyms, aspects, duplicates
  • tidying-up variants
2.b Splitting/Distinguishing 
  • combining synonyms, aspects, duplicates
  • tidying-up variants
3.a Responding to sources 
  • sensitivity to where people are 
  • what people identify with 
  • accept unforeseen categories
3.b Detachment from fashionable 
  • reservations concerning solution/value hype
  • articulating value dimension
  • clarifying value qualifiers as ordering principle
4.a Sharpening names/keywords 
  • renaming / negativizing 
  • de-hyping/de-solutionizing 
  • what is the problem the solution is designed to remedy
  • alternative names to facilitate location
4.b Broadening / Balancing 
  • inserting anthropocentric terms where implicity
  • opening possibility of non-anthropocentric equivalent.
  • opening up sets /series
  • is there a complementary problem
5.a Naming more general problems 
  • naming clusters 
  • creating intermediary problems to group/label sub-clusters 
5.b Determining level of specificity 
  • appropriate cut-off points at bottom of hierarchies
  • what should only be covered at a more general level
6.a Elaborating description 
  • sharp, not waffly 
  • appropriate amount 
  • transfer aspects of mega-problem texts to sub-problems
6.b Caring for poorly articulated and inadequately documented problems
 Figure 2. Problem relationships: conceptual processes
1.a Detecting/Finding/Scanning 
  • recognized relationships
1.b Eliminating/Rejecting/Filtering 
  • misconceived relationships 
  • too vague, too specific
2.a Forming hierarchy 
  • tidying up 
2.b Distinguishing hierarchies 
  • splitting off branches
3.a Shifting level to more general relationships  3.b Shifting level to more specific relationships
4.a Inserting implicit relationships 4.b Eliminating erroneous relationships
5.a Responding to necessity of ordering clusters 
  • appropriate cut-off points 
  • adjusting from minimal to optimal ordering
5.b Avoiding excessive imposition of simplistic ordering
6.a Cross-referencing responsible organizations  6.b Cross-referencing bibliographic sources

From Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential