Wicked Problem Case Competition


All the easy problems have been solved, leaving us with what Professor John Kao calls “Wicked Problems”, those highly complex problems whose potential solutions require creative, interdisciplinary thinking. The Dean of the School of Public Health will sponsor the Wicked Problem Case Competition to bring together some of the best teams of thinkers from UAB and in our community to provide solutions to a particular problem. The winners of the competition will be recognized during National Public Health week on April 6th at The Edge of Chaos (4th floor of Lister Hill Library).


Students can register as individuals, in which case they will be assigned to a multidisciplinary team with students from various schools. Each team can have up to three students from the same school (there is a place on the registration form to add names of those students that you want on your team). The rest of the team will inlcude students from other schools. The deadline to register is Monday, March 21st at noon.  Please click here to register or go to http://www.soph.uab.edu/wicked-problem-case-competition-individual-registration

Kickoff Luncheon

On Monday, March 28, 2016, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at a location to be announced, the competition will be launched with a luncheon and panel discussion.  Teams will receive the case, logistics packet and meet their team mentor. Teams will be assigned a faculty or professional mentor with whom they will be able to meet for up to 1 hour on or before Friday, April 1st to get feedback on their ideas. Strategies on preparing and participating in the competition will be shared at the kickoff event.  Please note that it is not mandatory for all team members to be present at the kickoff event.

Team Workday Breakfast

On Friday, April 1, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. at The Edge of Chaos, the competitive case teams will be invited to a breakfast and informal panel discussion comprised of subject matter experts. They will offer their unique perspectives and clarify any questions that teams may have encountered since the kickoff meeting.  The rest of the day will be set aside for working on the case, with classrooms reserved for the use of the teams.  Lunch will be provided for teams to pick up from the School of Public Health Dean’s Office.

Final Team Presentations/Judging

On Saturday, April 2nd at 8:00 a.m., teams will begin presenting their case solutions in the Ryals Public Health Building.  A panel of judges with public health expertise will select the winning team based on creativity, presentation, analysis of the problem, recommendations, content, and response to questions. Teams will have 10 minutes to present with 5 minutes of questions from the judging panel.  The final round will be held across the street at the Edge of Chaos with the winners announced at the conclusion of the event. 


Prizes will be distributed equally among team members and paid directly to each participant.

  • First place- $1,500
  • Second place- $1,000
  • Third place- $500


For more information, please contact Max Michael, MD, Dean, UAB School of Public Health at (205) 975-7742 or maxm@uab.edu.