Professor Noveck’s New Book Proposes Powerful Solutions to Contemporary Public Problems


10.01.21 —The challenges societies face today, from inequality to climate change to systemic racism, cannot be solved with yesterday’s toolkit. In Solving Public Problems: A Practical Guide to Fix Our Government and Change Our World (Yale University Press, 2021), Professor Beth Simone Noveck demonstrates how readers can take advantage of digital technology, data and the collective wisdom of our communities to design and deliver solutions to complex and confusing contemporary problems.

Offering a radical rethinking of the role of the public servant and the skills of the public workforce, “this book is about the vast gap between failing public institutions and the huge number of public entrepreneurs doing extraordinary things — and how to close that gap,” said Noveck.

Drawing on lessons learned from decades of advising global leaders and from original interviews and surveys of thousands of public problem solvers, Noveck provides a practical guide for public servants, community leaders, students and activists to become more effective, equitable and inclusive leaders and repair our troubled 21st-century world. The book has a free accompanying course available at

Noveck’s previous books include Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing (Harvard University Press, 2015); Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful (Brookings, 2009); and The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds (NYU Press, 2005) (co-editor).

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

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