Problem Finding/example unowned problems

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This is a list of example problems you may encounter that have no clear owner. What, if any, responsibility do you have to address these problems and seek a solution? If you do not address these problems, who, if anyone, will? How do you determine whether or not to take action in each case?

Completing household chores

You see litter on the ground.

You see a wallet on the sidewalk.

There are not enough parking spaces.

Traffic congestion.

Ensuring public safety.

Ensuring public health.

You suspect your neighbor of spouse abuse.

You suspect your neighbor of child abuse.

During a meeting you are attending in a crowded conference room, one of the meeting participants lights a cigar and begins smoking. The organization has a clear no smoking policy.

A co-worker confides in you that he has cheated:

  • on his taxes,
  • on his expense account, or
  • on his wife

You see your co-worker taking a bribe.

You become aware of corruption.

You become aware of bullying, or sexual misconduct.

Neighborhood crime.

Bigotry, racism, sexism

You and others on the project team know the work is running about a year late, yet the CEO is about to announce the imminent launch of that product.

Tragedies of the commons, including:

  • Air pollution,
  • Water pollution,
  • Deforestation,
  • Overfishing,

You determine that a product manufactured by the company you work for are hazardous and pose a risk to public safety.

You know that children are starving in a distant developing country.

Grand challenges, including drought, famine, poverty, homelessness, preventable diseases, mental illness, violence, crime, pollution, global warming, and war.