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The role of creative facilitation in the ‘wicked problem’: the aging society
Hilary Jane Collins
The Open University, UK
This paper discusses a series of creative workshops designed to provide insight into one of our major health and social care challenges of the 21st century – the complexities of an ageing society. Public and third sector organisations are faced with multiple challenges linked to ageing at a population level, trying to manage and resolve complex problems, meeting individual needs in the context of diminishing public sector resources. We need to develop an enriched suite of solutions to enable people to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Additionally, within an increasingly uncertain third sector we need to develop a rich and diverse skill set amongst employees and importantly stakeholders, to enable them to engage with the challenges, and to create positive opportunities, and outcomes for older people. The challenges in this area are well documented, but the solutions less so. Our creative facilitation project, in partnership with a key charity, aims to offer some new thinking in how we can adopt a different, and more creative approach to explore knotty problems. We discuss how this project had to be adapted due to the Covid 19 pandemic and evaluate to what extent; our adapted approach will offer additional armoury to organisations through the development of a practical online creative toolkit that third sector organisations can use to co-create solutions with users.