Extra: From distant fields

What can be learnt from outside your field of social change that will drastically improve the experience for your service users?

On March 24th, 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef releasing 11 million US gallons of crude oil into the water. The damage to the environment was unprecedented.

Over the next 20 years, a number of clean up attempts were made but the experts in the industry were unable to clean up the oil spill. The problem was that the oil, combined with the cold temperatures, had become too thick, like treacle.

In the end the problem was solved by opening up the question to the public for a $20,000 prize. The solution came not from an oil industry expert but from John Davis who had some experience in the construction industry, pouring concrete. To keep concrete liquid a vibrating tool is used and he thought that a modified version of the tool may help to keep the treacle like oil, fluid. His solution worked.

Can you use your knowledge from a completely different area to fill in the gaps where your insider knowledge isn't solving the problem?

Further reading

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