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Collaboratively Solving Complex Problems

Collaboratively Solving Complex Problems

Written by Michael Gizicki-Neundlinger | Reviewed by Simon Ladinik

Created on: 04 Aug 2020 | Updated on: 04 Aug 2020

News category: "News on Living Innovation"

Katrin Muff on co-creating solutions to tackle societal challenges

Our guest in this week's Responsible Innovation Story is Katrin Muff, leadership expert, senior advisor and co-creation facilitator in the areas of sustainability and other megatrends that require stakeholder collaboration. In addition, she is author of “Five Superpowers for Co-Creators: How change makers and business can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”. For Katrin Muff, businesses have an extremely important role to play when it comes to solving wicked problems.


“We have to clarify upfront that solving a societal challenge is a strategic question for businesses.”

How can we design a process that creates enough traction for all the stakeholders involved? For Katrin Muff, co-creation has to go beyond a silver bullet approach.


“We cannot adapt an existing process to a new challenge that brings new actors to the table. We have to establish a common purpose.”

Our most important insights from this interview with Katrin Muff:

  • If we want to solve wicked problems, we need to have processes that bring together multiple stakeholders from the public and the private sector.
  • Even though there is no silver-bullet approach to these processes, there are certain building blocks of successful co-creation: a common purpose, clarity of roles and mutual trust.
  • Only if we establish these three elements, can we create innovations that are fit to fight the grand societal challenges we face today.

Enjoy watching the full interview at!

Click on the time stamps to watch the respective topics

00:00 Superpowers for Co-Creators

04:22 Building Blocks of Successful Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration

07:29 Co-Creation and Disruptive Innovation

11:40 Iterative Processes are Key Ingredients

13:43 Co-creation and Systems Design

16:51 How to Built Trust in a Multi-Stakeholder Setting

19:33 Critical Issues of Co-Creation

22:58 The Collaboratory Method

24:27 The Global Picture

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