About Us

The Big Problem Perspectives Working Group of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies stimulates, guides, and informs multi-disciplinary dialogue on assessing and addressing major and seemingly intractable global problems, underlying and disruptive forces and trends, and issues associated with mitigating solutions in an increasingly complex and volatile world.

The group considers problems in their full context. We are a broadly cross-disciplinary community spanning the university—including vital perspectives of social sciences, business, law and engineering—and engaging other institutions, industry, and government. The Group was formerly the Center for Technology and Innovation Management which, in turn, was launched in 2001 as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Center.

Programming in the working group includes a series of ongoing and emerging forums. We focus on a small set of selected problems on an individual basis, but also look across problems to assess and refine approaches geared to this class of problems, and encourage regular interaction between problem-focused initiatives. 

While we aim to enhance and stimulate research, we have a practical orientation and intent to drive real solutions. Work includes the application of a variety of industry-derived corporate and policy planning and analytic tools and models as well as the development of progress metrics, teaching materials, simulations and modules. A particular focus reflected in this site is on the development and management of underlying standards in the context of such domains as smart grid digital economy/IoT, cybersecurity, and globally distributed networks and supply chains.