You can't find the solutions to real world problems in the back of a book. There are no formulas. But there are thought and research processes that can lead to sound decisions. Part of the task is to identify and properly frame a situation as a problem before seeking and testing possible solutions. No expert exists to solve these problems, even if others have seen and successfully dealt with a similar situation, your situation is your situation. You have to become the expert. You have to convince relevant others that there is a problem and that you have what it takes to solve it.
This workflow is the essence of being an effective member of a community, and it is the means by which you can obtain an invitation to new communities: This is the kind of thinking and writing that gets you paid.
EG: You work for the library. You are a student. You hear students complaining about having nowhere to work. You observe kids camped out on the floor next to outlets intended for linoleum polishing. Through interviews you discover that the rooms provided for study seem always to be booked. you conduct a survey to discover if a digital signup system for scheduling the rooms would help students. You discover that it would enable the library to better prove effective allocation of resources (so you know they will pay for the development), but you also discover that students tend to want the spaces at the same times of day, making scheduling only a bit helpful than first come first served. Should you pitch the app solution or look for alternatives? Consider thinking outside the library?
EG: You work for a company that runs several taverns in Atlanta. Data indicates that one store goes through more liquor than the others, but shows only slightly more profit for liquor sales. Since you are known to the employees, you enlist an informant to go to several of the bars and make notes. How do you pick the informant (what traits do you want)? What do you ask the informant to do, what questions do they need to answer? Imagine you discover the source of the difference. Say what it is and what you think should be done about it. Remember that the problem is a mixed bag, increased profit but decreased efficiency.
EG: You work for a large realtor. You discover this article about rising sea levels. What do you do and why? What don't you do and why?
You've read a rumor that the earphone jack will be eliminated in next generation phones. What do you do? What do you recommend? To whom?
EG: Some problems are hard to resolve because the people who have the power and resources to implement the solution don't have the problem. Worse yet, the solution might seem to create a problem for them. In those cases you need to figure out how to re-frame the situation to answer the what's-in-it-for-them question. You have to figure out how to see the world from their perspective.