When problem solving, we often only think of solutions that we have used before instead of reconceptualizing the question entirely. La Paz, Bolivia can provide a good example of what happens when you think creatively.
Late night host John Oliver shared the story about the Mama Zebra Project in Bolivia where the solution to gridlock and pedestrian safety was resolved through the use of “traffic zebras” who inject levity while addressing a very serious issue. It’s worth your 5 minutes to watch here.
The Zebra Project addresses several issues at once – lightening the mood of drivers, ensuring the safe passage of pedestrians and giving work to a hard-to-employ population. It’s a win-win for everyone.
As Oliver says, I’m sure that “traffic zebra” didn’t jump in your mind as the first solution to this problem but keep it in mind the next time you’re faced with a vexing issue. Maybe the best solution is one that is the most out of the ordinary.