Seas of energy: Using a systems research approach for a wicked problem

Patricia McHugh, Christine Domegan, Marzia Mazzonetto, Sinead Duane, John Joyce, Michelle Devaney, Michael Hogan, Benjamin Broome, Joanna Piwowarczyk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Planet Earth and all mankind depend on the ocean and its marine resources for their survival. The health of the human race and the sea are inextricably intertwined: around half of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants and phytoplankton; the seas account for 71% of our planet’s surface and contain 97% of our planet’s water. According to the European Commission’s EU Blue Growth programme (2012), the ‘blue’ economy represents 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year, with further growth possible. In Europe, the fishing industry employed 141,110 full-time equivalent jobs in 2011, had a fishing fleet of 84,909 vessels with a total gross tonnage of 1.8 million tonnes, and had an overall production value of around €23 billion (Joyce 2012). Furthermore, the ocean provides a whole range of services that are important for human safety and health. 330In the words of the European Marine Board (2013: 4), “the marine environment contributes significantly to human health through the provision and quality of the air that we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and in offering health-enhancing economic and recreational opportunities”. These are critical components contributing to and accelerating Europe’s wicked marine problem. This case study - Sea for Society - uses Interactive Management (IM), a group methodology, to uncover the barriers contributing to a wicked problem, and it also identifies and prioritises solutions that can assist in the design of future social marketing interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Marketing
Subtitle of host publicationRebels with a Cause, Third Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781317301486
ISBN (Print)9781138123823
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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