"Who benefits by this definition" and who benefits from us buying into it. I would have once believed this to be a way of encouraging critical thinking. However, I then see how conspiracy theorists and far-right thinkers (the overlap of these two is significant), they also contend with the question "who benefits from this" "Who’s interests are served when we all see and define the problem in the same way?" but frame their answers with theories of the deep state and poorly edited videos of world domination. Whether world domination or corporate greed or downright xenophobia, the problem still exists. I wonder if our inability to solve these issues is in part because we cant first and foremost face this part of ourselves that carry an inexplicable and unjustifiable fear/hate/distrust of others that we find educated justifications for them, to preserve the idea that the problem is everything but ourselves.

However, in the end, I myself would rather ask the questions as you have posed them, they are much easier to deal with and may bring about some change for the better. Because this world has shown the violence ppl carry when ones exposes something about them they never wanted exposed, especially when it flies in the face of who they thought they were or tried to present they were. The same for ourselves. Except in some cases, this ignorance causes death.

Lol now see if we were discussing this over a whiskey neat it wouldn't sound so far-fetched

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If discussions about policy or public program development began with “what problem are we trying to solve” we would create very different solutions that we do/have.

More often, it begins with “this is what we are being asked to do by X person” and X person is typically the person who holds the most power. They have already jumped to solutioning without asking questions about who’s implicated, who’s left out, what data we have to understand the issue/support the solution.

Then comes the game of telephone where the request is actioned down through the chain of command, details are filtered out, interpretations are applied and, by the time it comes down to the advisor meant to develop the solution, the message is unrecognizable.

There are number of discretionary moments in that game of telephone - where the discussion could shift, the ‘problem’ question could be asked, the request clarified, different people could be included in the discussion to hear the request first-hand. Acting in those discretionary moments requires foresight, intentionality, and courage to go against the status quo.

Working in the public service, there is a swell of support for digital** approaches to public policy and programs. Too often, the cresting wave hits a breakwater called Political Will. As we have people in office who better understand and better reflect the needs/wants/challenges of folks outside the historically dominant groups, we will see a serious shift.

**I use ‘digital’ here in a broad, culture sense to mean ‘against status quo, using technology/tools/information to improve outcomes and products**

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