FIRE21 is a four-year project that investigates problem solving in the Fire and Rescue service in the 21st century. The fourth work package in FIRE21 concerns the problem-solving networks of tomorrow.
During 2022, WP4 focused on interviewing university researchers and teachers who are knowledgeable of problem-solving in different domains. Included are psychologists, pedagogical researchers, and case study experts.
The interviews point to some common themes that seem to be important when it comes to individual capabilities needed to operate in problem-solving networks. These are capabilities to identify and define problems (to also see the "whole picture"), to redefine and rethink problems (so as not to get stuck in the "wrong" problem), to handle change (to "think out of the box", withstand stress or not to be afraid to make mistakes).
To be able to facilitate group work in problem-solving networks, individuals' capabilities to coordinate, communicate and function in teams, appear to be useful. I.e., a set of "soft skills" when it comes to interpersonal relationships are mentioned as key to problem-solving in groups.
In 2023, interviews with researchers will continue to add to the possible individual qualities for problem-solving networks in the fire and rescue services. In addition, interviews with professionals and results from WP2 and WP3 will complement this picture.
Last, qualities that appear to be most important will be tested in experiments, to contribute to the normative picture of what works in problem-solving networks - or not!