Posts By: Tim Tompson

Visual prototyping to understand wicked problems

We’ve previously discussed the concept of wicked problems – a problem so complex it seems insoluble. But as part of our latest research, we’ve taken considerations around wicked problems further, into an exploration of how visual mock-ups of concepts in stakeholder conversations can help us understand the wicked problem of public transport. The Encircle team… Read more

Unpacking the bus stop as a system

Donella Meadows was an important systems thinker of the 20th century. She was one of the authors of the 1979 report The Limits to Growth – which stated the world couldn’t continue the way it was – with the rates of population growth and economic and environment consumption it had. 40 years later, that’s something… Read more

Building the case for new technologies

New technologies are heralded every day as the saviour of the large or small challenges faced by humankind. But though these technological advances may be exciting, and the benefits clear, there’s often a disconnection between the case for improving or updating the status quo from a technological perspective, and the business case for doing so…. Read more

Visualising perspectives with rich pictures

In dealing with a wicked problem like transport, it is sometimes difficult to have all parties involved seeing eye-to-eye and having a common understanding about the issues involved. The ‘Rich Picture’ methodology goes some way to attempting to make some of the perspectival differences clearer to those involved in the process. A ‘rich picture’ is… Read more

How ‘wicked’ are your public transport operations?

Transport planning is a wicked problem. A wicked problem is a problem so complex it seems insoluble. Take the health issue of smoking in Australia – stakeholders include government, consumers, the tobacco industry, the health sector, and the rights and freedoms of the public. Different political parties don’t see eye to eye, people hold different… Read more