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Grand challenges, complex problems, socio-economic, socio-technical, innovation, decisionmaking, adoption, implementation, scaling, development challenges, problem framing, problem structuring


Innovating to achieve impact at scale in ill-structured environments is a complex challenge, with numerous socio-techno-economic dimensions. Whether tailoring a product or service offering to meet the needs of a global customer base, forecasting the socio-economic implications of a new technology, or working to address a societal challenge in a low-to-middle income country, problems that encompass social, technical and/or economic uncertainty, significant variations in involved stakeholder characteristics, and even subtle differences across the focal environment, inevitably benefit from a holistic analysis that spans multiple levels of abstraction, encompasses a plurality of perspectives, and can be tailored to include contextual nuances. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, these types of problems require an accurate definition of the problem to be solved. To foster effective progress in this class of challenges, we herein introduce a novel problem analysis method, termed Comprehensive Success Factor Analysis (CSFA), that provides a rigorous and structured approach to attain holistic problem frames across an array of challenge types to inform decision making, innovation, and capacity building with the goal of achieving impact at scale.