Identifying Potential Solutions / Deciding on Best Solution

In generating your 10 plausible solutions for your Fundamental Problem (FP), be sure that:

(1) Every potential solution must address the direct purpose as well as eventual aim of your FP. For example, if your FP asks "how might we reduce teenagers' reliance on technology so that teenagers in the years 2050 and beyond will suffer less from stress related to over-use of technology", then the direct purpose of your FP is to "reduce teenagers' reliance of technology", and the eventual aim is for teenqagers to "suffer less from stress related to over-use of technology".

(2) Every potential solution should as far as possible be humane. What is humane to one might be inhumane to another, so err on the side of caution. For example, intrusive procedures like planting a chip in the wrist may still be treated as humane by some (although others might cry out at such a potential), but worse form of procedures like lodging a chip in the brain that could control the mind will invariably be treated as inhumane and unacceptable by many.

(3) Your potential solution is supported by future trends research. If your potential solution is not supported by future trends research, then you may still pursue it if there is a similar form of technology that seems feasible. For example, while scientists at this point in time may not be able to clone human beings wholesale and expect clones to have a high life expectancy, but this is something that in all likelihood can happen in 2050 due to current cloning technology (note however that cloning humans for, say, organs is something that is inhumane).

(4) You write complete sentences

(5) You sound definite by using "will", and not "may".

(6) You use perfectly grammatical English

(7) Your solutions should state what you will do to address the direct purpose, consequently how this will address the eventual aim, and the time period during which these solutions will be implemented.

Deciding which is your best solution

In deciding which is your best solution, you may draw up criteria and score them in a decision matrix.

Have at least 5 criteria, and for each criteria, write in 1 single dimension. E.g. "Which solution will have the most durable effect?" and not "Which solution will have the most durable effect and will be the cheapest to implement?" (2 dimensions).

Use words of the superlative degree. E.g. "most durable effect" as opposed to "a durable effect"

Have criteria to relate to the scenario. E.g. "which solution will have the most durable effect on the stressed out teens?"

Next, rank the criteria in a decision matrix. You have learnt about this in your FPSP workshops.

Using criteria and a decision matrix provides you with an objective and quantitative (and of course relatively quick) way to decide which is your best solution. If you so decide that you would like to do this qualitatively by analysing all your potential solutions based on your criteria by reasoning and not by scoring, you may do this comprehensively through risk analysis or thinking models such as Six Thinking Hats. It must be stressed that your analysis must be comprehensive, and if in doubt, it is highly recommended that you use the decision matrix.