Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been
defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control
of more routine or fundamental skills.
What are the basic ingredients needed for problem solving?
- A sound systems approach.
- Reliable knowledge about the problem.
- An intelligent, analytical and critical, but also creative mind.
- Time and resources.
Systems thinking as an approach to solving problems
Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things influence one another
within a whole. Systems thinking provides a way to view problems with a more holistic
A system to a large extent causes its own behaviour. Once we see the relationship
between structure and behaviour, we can begin to understand how systems work, what
makes them produce poor results, and how to shift them into better behaviour patterns.
System structure is the source of system behaviour. System behaviour reveals itself
as a series of events over time.
Meadows D. Thinking in systems: A primer. White River, VT, Sustainability Institute,
For young people learning systems thinking we can recommend Habits of a Systems Thinker by the Waters Foundation.
What kind of tasks does problem solving involve?
- Modeling and graphing
- Predicting, forcasting and asking questions
- Data collection, research and investigation. Using multiple points of view.
- True, deep and systemic analysis.
- Project management.
- Structuring and systematization.
- Accepting, rejecting, or modifying hypotheses.
- Designing and doing experiments.
- Reviewing and critiquing.
- Evolving, combining, changing, or reapplying existing ideas.
- Identifying low and high leverage points for solutions.
- Evaluating alternative solutions.
- Examining each element of the problem separately, systematically, and sufficiently,
ensuring that all alternatives are considered.
- Implementing and monitoring solutions.
- Iterating through the process.
- Continuously improving the process.
Humans and problem solving
Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection,
and problem solving.
However, the human brain has its limitations. We have a limited long term and short
term memory. A single individual has limited capacity for reasoning. Communication
between humans is slow and humans tend to be biased, often making irrational decisions
based on instinct or emotions.
This is where Koios comes into place. Koios seeks to augment human capabilities
and boost our ability for problem solving.
How does Koios augment human problem solving capabilities?
- Problem solving process to keep the problem solver on track, not wandering off course.
Most people get easily distracted.
- Online social networking features augments human to human networking. This increases
visibility of knowledge and can lead to new and fruitful cooperation's.
- Help bring people together on a problem. The analytic power of a group is greater
than that of any of its single members.
- Keep track of what has been said and done. Human short term memory is limited.
- Extend our associative thinking with an object oriented system model that enable
links between topics and corpus of relevant data.
- Semantic technologies to improve findability, avoid miscommunication and make sense
- Built in policies, checklists and workflows helps to think objectively, to avoid
unsound judgement. Human cognition is inherently
- Voting content up and down, helps to garden content and reduce cognitive load.
- Help people keep organized when working on multiple problems.