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Rethinking the Moonshot: Are You Working on the Right Problems?


In 1903, the Wright brothers invented a system that made powered and controlled flight possible; 66 years later, humans first set foot on the moon.

The Wright brothers' solution to the problem of human inability to fly changed the world, and we are still benefiting from their ingenuity. However, only 6 crewed missions have landed on the moon, and we haven't been back since 1972.

The moon landings inspired generations, but was setting foot on the moon an important problem to solve? Why did we need to step on the moon? Before heading to the moon did anyone identify a concrete problem that needed to be solved?

Not every solution is as world-changing as the Wright brothers' flight-control invention, but we all have a role to play in focusing on important problems that we can identify and influence. Join Larry Smith, Director of the University of Waterloo's Problem Lab, for a conversation about how public servants can get better at identifying and then solving the right problem before we go all the way to the moon.


Larry Smith, Director of the Problem Lab and Adjunct Associate Professor of Economics, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, University of Waterloo


Kaili Levesque, Executive Director, Strategic Policy, Priorities and Planning, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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