Bridget Malcolm & Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer
Regulatory agencies are an important stakeholder in addressing complex societal problems and are beginning to recognise that these kinds of problems cannot be managed using traditional regulatory tools. In this paper we examine existing regulatory problem-solving theories and identify their limitations in addressing complex problems that are dynamic, unordered and exist within social systems. We build on these findings by describing the outcomes of a case study examining the problem-solving practice of an Australian Government regulatory agency. We propose numerous opportunities for the development of a systemic design practice within a regulatory context. The development of a systemic design practice would support regulators to navigate disjointed governance systems and establish a shared fra(Jonge, 2012)me of reference to problems, disrupt traditional thinking patterns, enable solutions to be co-designed and encourage practices to incorporate active reflection and iteration.