“There will be more and more people in the world impacted by these challenges. What should they be doing? Working on coming up with responses to these challenges. How do we genuinely put power into the hands of the people who are being impacted. We have to learn to partner and genuinely work with each other to tackle these problems. Our dominant systems absolutely do not know how to do that.” ~ Zaid Hassan



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About this interview:

How can we radically shift our approach to working with complex challenges?


In this episode, Amisha sits down with strategist, writer, and facilitator Zaid Hassan. Zaid has twenty years of experience working with complex challenges, and is the co-founder of 10-in-10 – an initiative to tackle ten global challenges in ten years.

Zaid explains the insufficiency of our current understanding of how to work with complex challenges. He unpacks his long experience of the consultancy model and expertise- with its lack of honest appraisals about how much we know preventing the maturation of the field.

He highlights the importance of more reflective practice, a move beyond the silos and narrow standards that define our familiar structures and embracing risk to allow innovation to flourish.

Together Amisha and Zaid discuss race and privilege – sharing stories of exclusion, and exploring what it will take to create more inclusive civilisations and organisations. They talk about humanity’s natural aversion to risk, and how we might overcome this. They consider what it means to be more comfortable with the unknown in order to find new solutions to the challenges we face.

Zaid speaks about putting power into the hands of the people who are being impacted by the complex challenges we face so that they can help design responses to them – turning their adverse experiences into a valuable resource. He shares the story of 10-in-10 and their approach to tackling ten global challenges in ten years – working beyond silos and outside of what we already know.

“It is not a case of doing something that we know is going to work – because we don’t have that. There’s a pretense that we know what to do, but we do not know what will work. That’s the fundamental nature of complexity – you cannot predict in advance what will work. You can try things out and see what happens – that’s it.” ~ Zaid Hassan



Zaid Hassan is a strategist, writer and facilitator. He has twenty years of experience working on complex social challenges such as: agriculture, climate change, education, energy, financial systems, malnutrition, public healthcare, racism, security, sustainable development, unemployment and youth issues.

Zaid has frequently worked on issues relating to the Muslim community. He has worked with a diverse range of clients including various governments, organisations like the World Bank and the UN, a number of foundations and philanthropists.

Zaid has worked all over the world in countries ranging from the US to Zimbabwe. Prior to 10 in 10 Zaid was CEO of Roller Strategies, a professional services firm focused on next-gen solutions to the world’s most complex challenges. Zaid is author of “The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving Our Most Complex Challenges.” (Berrett-Koehler 2014).

Each of the organisations Zaid worked for and founded has served as a vehicle for evolving the practice of tackling complex challenges. He has spent twenty years building this approach. 10 in 10 brings to bear the current state of the art from this track record.


To find out more about 10-in-10, visit xinx.co

To connect or work with Amisha, visit amisha.co.uk

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