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For most people, a “ticker” has to do with clocks, hearts or bombs. But for anyone familiar with stock market capitalism, the term suggests the unique code assigned to each security traded on a given stock market — for example, AAPL for Apple Inc., BAC for Bank of America, F for the Ford Motor Company.
My modest proposal is for a secondary ticker to be applied by governments and stock exchanges to all companies vulnerable to risks associated with so-called “wicked” problems. And the obvious ticker symbol, whether on the Wall Street, London or Shanghai stock exchanges, would be WCKD.
Wicked problems are those that are difficult, or even impossible, to solve because of incomplete, contradictory or changing requirements that are difficult to recognize and understand. In other words, the term denotes resistance to resolution, not evil.
Another way to think of it is “a problem whose social complexity means that it has no determinable stopping point.” Worse, because of complex interdependencies, efforts to solve a wicked problem may reveal or even create other problems.
Imagine for a moment a future where WCKD is added to existing tickers, and where the direction of travel is indicated as pointed up or down based on the company’s perceived value based on how it is (or isn’t) addressing wicked problems, essentially solving for (or undermining) the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).