A crash course in changing the world.
It's impossible to find a good solution to a problem you don't understand. I think that the first place to start when looking for a solution is understanding the problem by listening to the people it impacts the most. The knowledge one gains creates a foundation for a solution to be built on.
Listening to the right people also leads to understanding the circ**stances of the problem: what other social, cultural or political elements contribute to this problem? What has already been tried? Who does this problem impact the most? Who does it impact the least and how can we get them involved? Sometimes the people that live a problem everyday are too engulfed in the issue to think of a new solution. On the other hand, someone with a fresh pair of eyes might inspire innovation.