This year’s Wicked Problems Institute reconvenes in person for the first time since 2019. In another first, the event will focus on addressing the root causes that overload families to prevent involvement with the child welfare system. The theme, Prevention in Action: Building Equitable Pathways for Child and Family Well-Being, offers a framework for participants to explore the impacts of financial insecurity and poverty, trauma, systemic oppression, substance use disorders and mental health issues.

More than ever, the 11th annual Wicked serves as a container for not just shared learning, but also for working together to generate solutions that can be advanced following the event. All participants will be invited to stay connected following the in-person event, which will be held at The Duke Endowment in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sept. 28-29.

During the two-day convening, participants will co-design a Learning & Action Community, which will continue meeting virtually for the collective pursuit of advocacy, research and innovation projects to implement new solutions and further fuel promising practices. The CHSA network anticipates incorporating solutions that emerge from Wicked into its policy and innovation agendas going forward.

The Wicked planning committee is taking a new approach to developing the container by asking all invitees to be full participants in the meeting. For example, all speakers will be drawn from the community of esteemed, invited participants, to deepen the experience by applying knowledge and insights together. Family and youth with lived experiences will join with CHSA members and leaders from federal and state public agencies, universities, national partner organizations, national and local philanthropies, to weave multiple perspectives into the work.

CHSA members and our planning partners are trying a number of new things for this year’s Wicked that incorporate takeaways from the first 10 years of this signature convening and further strengthens Wicked as a vehicle for change.