Book Review of Wisdom, Analytics and Wicked Problems

Wisdom, Analytics and Wicked Problems: Integral Decision Making for the Data Age by Ali Intezari and David Pauleen, 2019. Routledge.

I’m not sure what prompted me in 1994 to suggest we needed to go beyond teaching about computers and information systems and be teaching wisdom (Farrell, 2019). There wasn’t much support for the idea and, except for one colleague, no one I knew at the time expressed any interest. Things have changed over the last twenty-five years and now calls are common for wisdom to be included in management education. The latest resource exploring this area is this excellent book on practical wisdom for today’s managers and leaders by Ali Intezari and David Pauleen.

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My Journey to Can-Do Wisdom

On Friday June 10, 1994 I woke up around 3am with a sudden thought, “We should be teaching students about wisdom, not just about computers.” This point in my life would be the start of a long journey to explore the concept of wisdom.

Adrian Farrell – Researcher, Blogger, WriterAdrian Farrell — Researcher, Blogger, Writer
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Florence Nightingale – Infographics Pioneer

Florence Nightingale was one of the pioneers in the use of statistics and infographics in achieving social reform. Florence Nightingale – Infographics Pioneer is Part 3 of The Can-Do Wisdom of Florence Nightingale series and covers the period of her life after the end of the Crimean War up to her death in 1910. It was during this period that she left the legacy for generations to come by using her knowledge and influence to affect lasting change in army health, medical health in India, hospitals, medical statistics and nurse education.

Florence-Nightingale-Photograph-by-MillbournFlorence Nightingale – c.1890 [1]
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Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War

The Can-Do Wisdom of Florence Nightingale – Part 2 examines the brief period of Florence Nightingale’s public life covering her first nursing experience and then as Superintendent of female nurses at the Scutari Military Hospital in Constantinople during the Crimean War. This is where her knowledge and organizational skills, her observations, her leadership, her network of contacts, and her communications abilities were used to ‘get things done’ when others said it ‘couldn’t be done’.

Florence Nightingale Receiving the Wounded at ScutariFlorence Nightingale Receiving the Wounded at Scutari[1]
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Anthony Foster – The tenacious advocate for victims of child sexual abuse

The first inkling that Anthony and Christine Foster’s daughter, Emma, might have been a victim of child sexual abuse came after years of Emma’s unexplained psychological issues and self-destructive behaviour had been occurring. It was in February 1996 that Emma’s psychiatrist said to Chrissie, “She’s displaying all the symptoms of someone who has been sexually abused.”

Vale Anthony Foster - advocate for child sexual abuse victims
Vale Anthony Foster
1953 –2017

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Copthorne Macdonald – A Journey from Emotional Immaturity to Wisdom

In many ways Copthorne “Cop” Macdonald was ahead of his time and not just in wisdom. As a social experimenter, as an inventor, as an engineer, as an ecologist, as an independent scholar and as a philosopher he was out in the front row leading the way with the best of them. But his immature decisions at a young age could have easily resulted in a very different outcome.


Wisdom of Copthorne Macdonald
Copthorne Macdonald
12 Mar 1936 – 20 Dec 2011

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