My Sustainability Journey

Previously I believed that sustainability was just coming up with practices that are sustainable to whatever it is you are doing and also sustaining the environment. I guess my theory still holds some relevance and is true, but only partly. As I previously stated, sustainability is creating smarter practices that have a more positive effect of our Earth, but it also strongly encouraged because practicing a sustainable lifestyle will positively impact future generations. Paul Gilding starts off by stating four words that shape the whole context of his TED Talk. He states that “The Earth is full”. Gilding believes we have created too much stuff, economy is larger than the planet, we live beyond our means. He believes that we are doing too many negative things on Earth currently and that eventually the Earth will shut down because of our unjust practices. After doing some research, I have to agree with him. If we keep going down the road we are, and destroying the Earth through wasteful practices, we will eventually pass the point of no return. Once we pass that point we as humans will not be able to go back and fix it and must live or die with the consequences of killing our Earth.

I really was touched by the Native American practice of picking every sixth berry. I believe that this is a very cool practice because it is an easy and down to Earth example of how one culture has been able to remain living in a sustainable culture. I think if we practiced less wasteful methods like this, we would have a much longer and less stressful life on Earth. One story that relates closer to that of us on Earth is the story of Easter Island. It relates to the current situation of the Earth in present because like the people of Easter Island, current humans are not wisely using the resources that Earth has given them. We as humans waste our natural resources and put their byproducts towards unneeded objects to fill our selfish needs. If we do not begin coming up with more sustainable practices, our life on Earth will come to an end.

A wicked problem to me is a problem that has been in existence for a good amount of time, and us as humans have not found a foolproof way to solve said problem. Though we have not found for sure ways to overcome many wicked problems, some humans are actively participating in the taming of these wicked problems. They are doing this by getting together and coming up with creative ideas that will in turn help eradicate the wicked problem; making the world a better place for our generation, and future generations to live. Wicked problems are summed up in six points, the problems contain vague definitions, they have variable solutions, those solutions have no end point in sight. The solutions also pose irreplaceable effects, and also require unique approaches to solving the problem. Most importantly though, all of these problems are extremely urgent to find a solution to. If we do not create solutions soon we will eventually meet a not so good end. Andrew Dent discusses the idea of thrift to help put an end to wasteful practices. The idea of thrift centers around using what you need but not purchasing anything, so you actually save money and the environment.

A wicked problem that I am interested in exploring how workers who create our clothing garments over-seas are manipulated and often times abused. I have always heard rumors about how over-seas worker are not subjected to fair wages, working conditions, and many other factors. I personally believe that this is an acceptable because a person should be treated and seen as a person, and not just a faceless worker in an apparel company’s factory. I cannot wait to learn more about this pressing issue, and also educate my peers about it through my blog posts.

I believe that I am already starting to change my view on sustainability after only one week in this class. I have begun to recycle more than I did in the past and I am also looking into ways that I can lessen my environmental impact on the Earth.

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Saving the world through sustainability

The idea of sustainability has been created to save our planet. Without it, the world will be polluted, and we will run out of resources like food and fresh water. Sustainability is creating an avoidance of depleting natural resources. Sustainability is also a way of beginning to solve the problems in the world. There are two types of problems: wicked and tamed. A wicked problem is a complex problem that withstands traditional ways of solving the issue. A tamed problem is a sequential problem with more simple solutions.

There are six characteristics of a wicked problem. The first characteristic is that it’s a vague problem. Meaning that there isn’t a way to exactly pinpoint the problem because the issue might be viewed in different ways by different social groups or cultures. The second one is that there are various solutions, which makes it difficult to make a solution that works for everyone, everywhere. It’s also almost impossible to identify an endpoint to the problem because of how big it is. A solution poses an irreversible effect because a wicked problem is considered irreversible considering its size.  Solutions require unique approaches because there is not one solution that is suitable for everyone, everywhere. Wicked problems are urgent because if we don’t act on them it can out humankind in major danger, which is also relevant in the act of sustainability.

Andrew Dent and Paul Gildings Ted Talks on sustainability hit many key points that most people miss. Dent discussed the idea of thrifting which means – reduce, reuse, recycle. When we make something, we need to think about what it could become in its second or third life. We should be more aware of the things we can reuse, like cardboard boxes and yarn. Gilding touches on the fact that the earth is full – of us, our stuff, our products, our waste etc. We as humans are living beyond our means and we think we can bend the earth’s limits to what we need. We simply cannot overload planet earth and we need to change our perspective on how we are going to save it instead of overfill it. He states that the end of growth is a social issue that we need to get ready for and we need to change the way we live our lives.

The story of Easter Island was a perfect example of how important sustainability is, and how we need to save and reuse our recourses. The people of Easter Island faced major geographic and civilization issues. Because of their use of tree’s for shelter and food, the created deforestation When they ran out of trees they had to look for other resources to live off of. They no longer had wood for shelter, good soil, and they no longer could created resources like fishing nets to get food. This made their main source of nutrition chicken and potatoes. They also had to start using stones for their shelter, which created another issue for them. They no longer had stones to create statues, which had become a large part of their belief system and created major social issues. After their food started to run out many of them became cannibals. This is all a huge reflection of how important sustainability truly is.

Native Americans spoke about their way of living and how it fully depends on sustainability as a key way of living. They embodied the idea of thinking about how the actions they take today can impact their future. They explain that when they search for food like berries, they don’t pick every berry on the bush to ensure that they don’t destroy it. When picking flowers that they use for dyes, they pic every seventh flower to make sure they don’t kill off all the flowers in that area. They do these things to make sure they are present in the moment and have an understanding of what they are doing to the planet because they understand that everything is connected.

One thing humans can do to become more sustainable is to realize their carbon footprint they are leaving on the planet. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide we release into the earth from the way we live, such as the pollution from gas or factories. Simple ways we can maintain our carbon footprint is by turning lights off, driving less, carpooling, eating more organic foods, and reducing waste. If everyone was more aware of their carbon footprint it would make a huge difference on the planet and it would create a more sustainable way of living. I believe that this is one of the easiest ways to help save our planet.

We need to shift our self-narrative of how we live our day to day lives to something more sustainable. Our values, beliefs, and assumptions need to shift into saving our planet instead of doing things just for ourselves, without realizing the impact it can have on earth. If we all have a self-narrative shift, we can create a paradigm shift, which is collective reimagining goals, structures, rules etc. If we all have a simple understanding that there are many easy ways to achieve sustainability then we can save the planet much faster than we could any other way.

One wicked problem that I want to explore is poverty and how we might be able to help the people in third world countries by being more sustainable. As Americans, we waste about 54 lbs of clothing each year, that we could be donating to people who are living in poverty. That alone could make a big change in the planet and we could be saving other people while saving the planet. I think we should try to kill two birds with one stone, and try to save others while saving ourselves from the world we live in.

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Wicked Problems-Blog 1

This has been our first week in Wicked Problems and to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect and what all we will learn in the span of four weeks.  Well now I can tell you this class is something which is very important in our economy and is making us become aware of the issues of sustainability in our economy.  I have already became aware of so much within this last week of what destroys our environment and how these are wicked problems that are nearly impossible to fix.

            For me personally, sustainability refers to the term reduce, reuse, and recycle.  It’s an act of maintaining what we already have in our environment by coming up with ways to reuse things without harming the economy and producing more waste and pollution than we already have.  By practicing sustainability, we will act as one with our Earth and become whole again as we once were.  Our society today has completely forgotten the meaning of sustainable practices and has produced the largest waste and landfills our Earth has ever seen.  A normal person doesn’t naturally think of how they could reuse something before they were to throw it away.  The meaning of sustainability in todays times is providing us ideas of how to make things new again and provide many different purposes other than just throwing it away when we think we are done using it up.  It won’t start right away and it will take a lot of time for our society to get this idea in their head, to use things as they never have before. 

            The name of this course is “Wicked Problems”, therefore, its only fitting to begin to understand the meaning behind what a wicked problem truly is.  In my opinion, this would be a close to impossible problem, a problem in which we as individuals in this environment have not been able to solve just yet.  Some of you may ask, “Does solving a wicked problem require sustainability practices in our environment?”, and the answer would be yes indeed.  Any problem with this complexity will need to involve some type of sustainability.  The only terrible thing about a wicked problem is that when we think we have came up with a solution to one aspect of it, this is when it poses issues to other aspects of the problem.  I found some readings from the lecture to be very intriguing, which is for a wicked problem, “any resolution generates further issues” and “such problems are not morally wicked, but diabolical in that they resist all the usual attempts to resolve them.”  There is something we’re not understanding and that is our environment is letting this happen for a reason, there is even a reasoning behind why wicked problems are actually taking place.  Yes, we may have been building up waste for a long time and it gradually kept making our environment worse and worse, which is in fact true.  Although, what we’re not taking away from this is that this process is all part of the end times.  I truly believe this is why wicked problems exist.  We as humans have to remember that no matter how much we try to solve these kinds of issues, it will never change God’s plan for the way He plans for things to happen here on Earth.  I’m not proposing we should keep producing waste and stop the recycling process altogether, all I’m saying is that no matter how much we analyze and try to fix the impossible problems, it won’t stop His plan for what is going to happen. 

            Briefly reflecting on the Ted Talks given by Andrew Dent and Paul Gilding, I found them to be both very important in different ways.  Dent discussed how we should incorporate thrifting into our everyday lives as a means of recycling.  On the other hand, what Gilding discussed had more to do with understanding exactly what we have done to our environment and the fear it gives our society.  Both speakers have great minds and an intuition on what exactly a wicked problem is and how our economy is able to handle such an impossible issue.  They’ve used their minds in out of the box ways almost begin again and change what we believe to be the norm here on planet Earth. 

            The video I watched concerning Native American perspective on sustainability was unique and helped me to understand other cultures viewpoints on the issues our environment is facing daily.  The Native American culture’s perspective on this is very eye opening and flows natural with the make up of humans and our intuition and alignment on how our environment acts.  Their culture doesn’t actually have a direct definition of sustainability, because they live it in everyday life.  I found it so amazing just how connected they believe we feel to our environment and how, by constantly being aware, we will never get out of alignment with our Earth.

            The reading we did early in the week on Easter Island also taught me so much about society and how it affects the environment all together.  The people in this society had to make due with what they had and nothing else.  They survived on almost nothing at all, but due to their climate and the environmental needs required to sustain their economy, their society died off in the end and couldn’t last forever in those specific conditions.  I believe this is where our society is headed in terms of how our economy is holding up.  The sad thing is, the society we live in today is nothing compared to the society in Easter Island and how well they were able to maintain the few materials they had to work with. 

            Thinking back to our self-narratives relating to the Paradigm shift, the Paradigm shift is the lens through which we view the world.  In our lives, we will have self-narrative shifts which is where our values, beliefs, assumptions, etc. will change in a specific way.  Throughout each persons development, their self-narratives will change as they mature and grow as people.  How has this changed for you in particular throughout your life by learning new things each day about the environment we live in.

            To be quite honest, I wasn’t exactly sure of what carbon footprint actually meant.  I now have learned its true meaning and understand how it’s the main contributor to climate disruption.  Its overwhelming to know exactly how much carbon compounds are emitted and what harm it can cause to an environment as our own.  Just as this relates to a wicked problem, or even is a wicked problem at that, I wish there could be a solution without causing climate disruption.  I wish I could say I knew some amazing way to get rid of the harm it causes in our economy, but I do not.

            After my journey thus far on learning about wicked problems and sustainability, I’ve decided to explore the issue with waste produced through the fashion industry.  I learned last semester the fashion industry is the second largest industry that produces waste, so ever since hearing this, I’ve wanted to keep discovering it deeper and deeper.  I cannot wait to see just what I can discover about this topic through the help of this classes teachings!

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Thinking Generations Ahead

Before starting this class, I had somewhat of an idea of what sustainability was, but I was also prepared for my knowledge on the subject to change pretty quickly once the class started. I was right. While I did know that sustainability involved sustaining what we have, I was informed of how it also means to maintain what we have without hurting the environment, as well as involving our environment, economic systems, and society. Along with sustainability, I was also introduced to a new term that I did not understand before this class, which is wicked problems. While I did understand the concept of a wicked problem, I was unaware of the exact definition and the multiple characteristics involved with one. Unlike a tame problem, a wicked problem is one that is seemingly “unsolvable,” because finding a solution almost seems impossible. It is one that is urgent, seems to have no end point, and usually the effects of the problem cannot be undone. I am so excited to be apart of this class because issues such as climate change and global warming, which classify as a wicked problem,  have always been so interesting to me.

To make sense of a wicked problem, I decided to focus on a problem that I see in the news frequently, which is climate change. Climate change is a topic that almost no one has a solution for, the problem is hard to pinpoint and finding a way to solve it seems impossible. On top of that, it is an urgent problem that needs to be solved, but many believe that it’s already too late to fix the issue. This is a prime example of the characteristics that make a problem a wicked one. Just like Easter Island, we as a society are dependent on our environment and its resources. We are nothing without our natural resources, yet our demand for them is high and we are selfish with our usage of them. If we cannot find a solution to this wicked problem, all of Earth could one day follow in the footsteps of Easter Island.

Another large problem that we are faced with is ways to become more sustainable in our everyday lives. Growing up, this was never taught to me in elementary school or never seemed like it was a problem. However, today I am reminded almost everyday about how we as a society need to become less wasteful. Why have we not been told this our entire lives? Just like Paul Gilding brought up in his talk, we have been warned of this for over fifty years, and we have the science to prove it, so why have we not been taking action? Our Earth is full, and most of our approaches to this problem is unsustainable and most of our plans to fix it are not possible. This is where my self-narrative needs to shift. Many have the mindset of “ if others around me aren’t taking any steps to help out why would mine make any difference?” This is the opposite of what everyone, including me should be thinking. Every bit we recycle or reuse is helping in some way. For example, many have begun to thrift for clothes, which means that products have a second or third life. This is also something that Andrew Dent talked about in his TedTalk. We need to use only what we need and change the way we think, and thrifting is just one step in the right direction. However, some people have been living sustainable for generations, like the Native Americans. I was so inspired to learn about how they have learned how to sustain themselves and truly embody the idea. One point that I believe was SO important was that they “think generations ahead.” After hearing this, it really made me think of my own carbon footprint that I alone will leave on Earth. Everyday I hope I can strive to become a more sustainable, eco-friendly person so that I can leave the planet for generations and generations behind me to live on. Each one of us should do the smallest steps, like not using a straw or picking up trash when we see it outside. However, I hope that throughout the remainder of this course I will be able to go more in depth of these wicked problems that we are faced with and hopefully gain insight on how we as a society can reverse the effects. While I only take small steps to solve the problem, I hope we as a class can learn new and inventive ways to get us and others motivated to help solve these wicked problems that matter the most.

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Red Flags

For nearly two decades, I was oblivious to the concept of sustainability. It was an unfamiliar and foreign word, and therefore, I felt it didn’t affect me. I thought the word simply referred to recycling or other “green” activities. It wasn’t until arriving at Oklahoma State University that I really gave the idea any attention. In a broad sense, sustainability is finding processes that allow one to maintain a certain lifestyle or way of doing something. Specifically, in the industry of Design, Housing, and Merchandising, we can think of sustainability as a means to battle the existence of what we know as “wicked problems”. These issues are essentially solution-less, and have a negative impact on large amounts of people. They typically have six distinct attributes: 1) vague problem definitions, 2) variable solutions, 3) solutions have no endpoint, 4) solutions pose irreversible effects, 5) solutions require unique approaches, 6) urgency. These characteristics are what causes wicked problems to stand out among other issues. Wicked problems can include widespread hunger, sweatshops, or pollution.
In the 1700’s, when Europeans stumbled upon what became known as “Easter Island”, it was practically uncivilized and barren. Oddly enough, and in stark contrast to the squalor of the island, they found hundreds of immense stone statues had been erected on the island. It is shocking to think that a civilization that was once so technologically inclined to construct these statues was eventually demolished due to a lack of resources. It poses an interesting concept that remains relevant to this day: humanity is and has been, and likely always will be, dependent on their natural, earthly surroundings. When that environment struggled to sustain the lives of the original Easter Islanders, the people group stopped succeeding. In retrospect, this historic warning should be a red flag to us. Unfortunately, for generations people on the earth, most obviously those in developed countries, have taken advantage of their resources, and lacked any consciousness to the consequences of our decisions. Wastefulness and gluttony have become commonplace, and the truths of the disposal of our waste is the last thing on our minds. Convenience, ease, and price are our priorities. This is no simple task to reverse this mindset, to say the least. For decades, even centuries, the vast majority of the earth’s populations has lived without concerns or guilt, and still today, many are unaware of the waste and pollution their existence can cause. The paradigm will never have a chance to change if each person opts not to make a personal, conscious decision to change their self-narrative, and ultimately alter the way in which they utilize their resources. Each person has what is known as a “carbon footprint”. This term is used to describe the damage a single individual can inflict on the environment, simply by existing. Until people are enlightened about their impact, it’s hard to imagine anything changing.
As a Design, Housing, and Merchandising Student, I am particularly interested in researching the effects of wicked problems in regard to the practices of apparel production. I would like to explore the concept of sweatshops, and why is it so difficult to find a solution to the evils involved. With so many American companies offshoring their production, it is easy for Americans to overlook the idea that somewhere, our clothes are being made by underpaid, neglected, and possibly abused individuals who have little else to turn to, except a miserable job that allows them to live another day and hopefully clothe and feed themselves and their children.

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Something Wicked Comes This Way

One person can start a revolution. One person can knock down the first of thousands of dominos. All it takes is for one person to introduce a new idea or a new concept, and people will follow. Paradigms, or the collective mindset of society, can be changed by movements started by one person. It is possible! Think about straws; as a society, we never used to put any thought into using straws and where they end up. But one person, Milo Cress, started a campaign in 2011 to ban plastic straws. Milo’s campaign got so far, that thousands of people have switched to using metal straws instead of plastic ones. Even Washington, D.C. banned the use of plastic straws in restaurants. Milo was nine years old when he started his campaign. Nine! If a nine-year-old can make that big of a difference, anyone can.

            Straws are small objects that make a huge difference; but what about whole industries? What about automotive industries? Andrew Dent, during his TED Talk, stated that the automotive industry recycles 95% of their cars. When you think about how large that number really is, you can see how big of a difference they are making. Of course, they don’t recycle 100% of every car, instead that percentage is closer to 75. Still, that is a great deal of waste that they are preventing from going to landfills.

            We have already created ourselves a wicked problem, if not many. These complex and interconnected problems have no end in sight, and if we don’t act quickly, there will be permanent harm not only to nature, but to the human race as well. These urgent problems, such as pollution and energy consumption, have vague definitions to people all across the world. Geographical features, government systems, and cultures all play a part in the definitions of these issues; the same goes for solutions. Not everyone is going to agree when the problem has been solved, we will have to settle for good enough or not good enough. And all of these solutions will have to be unique to everyone; because of geographical or governmental or cultural boundaries, solutions will have to be adapted to meet different needs. However, we must not suffer from “paralysis by analysis,” even though solutions will have irreversible effects on our economy and environment, we must act quickly and urgently to alleviate these wicked problems.

            If we do not act urgently, we will end up like the ancient inhabitants of Easter Island. Having limited resources, restricted diets, and nowhere to escape to, are some of the things we have in common with the people of Easter Island. These people became so competitive with each other, much like how we are today, that they ended up using all of their resources and cutting down all of their trees. And for what? They only dug themselves a hole that they could not get out of. They ran out of food and had to resort to cannibalism. And they could not leave the island because they had no trees to make rafts. Today, all countries are going head-to-head in trying to have the largest economy, the highest quality of life possible. If we continue, just like Paul Gilding stated in his TED talk, we are going to have to fight for civilization. But of course, we can do it, we’ll get out of the problem, but “it takes a good crisis to get us going.” We may think that we can escape to Mars and start over, but we need to be realistic. By the time we actually find out a way to leave, most of the people that are currently living, will probably be long gone. Instead of trying to leave, we need to try and solve.

            Everyone has a different perspective on sustainability. Me? I used to think that sustainability was just a fancy word for recycling. After reading and watching people talk about what they think, my definition has evolved. Now, I view sustainability as thinking generations ahead of my decisions and how they will come back to bite me in the butt. Hopefully, my decisions will give a good pat on the back in a few decades, but the key is to think before you act. Native Americans have somewhat of the same view as I do. They ask themselves how they can maintain their current lifestyle without depleting that which sustains the future. By thinking generations ahead and what their actions will have on the future, they embody the idea of intergenerational responsibility. I looked at my own carbon footprint, and I was pleasantly surprised. At 24 tons of carbon dioxide per year, I am 50% better than average. Of course, this probably is not exactly right since I don’t know how much the water or electricity bill is. I simply guessed by the fact that I hardly ever have the lights on, and I take pretty quick showers. I am hoping to better my footprint by reducing the amount of goods that I purchase. If I cut down on the online shopping that I do, then that could possibly create a chain effect and reduce my footprint.

            Tame problems are nowhere near the severity of wicked problems. While wicked problems are complex, non-linear, and withstand traditional problem solving means, tame problems are linear, sequential, and have a common enemy. Their solutions are simpler to find, such as medical vaccines. Wicked problems require many people to be on board, and while this is hard to accomplish, we can each do our part. The wicked problem that I am looking to research, is energy consumption in buildings. With rising temperatures, and increasing standards of living, energy consumption is soaring through the roof. The increasing levels of consumption is leading to the depletion of the ozone layer, and major changes in climate change and global warming. 

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Blog 1

Before the beginning of Wicked Problems, I thought that I had a pretty strong grasp on the concept of environmentalism and sustainability as a whole. As an environmentally-conscious person, I have always had an awareness of the declining state of the Earth and how important it is for us to make a change now, before it’s too late. However, I have already gained a more refined understanding of sustainability, especially in the context of the wicked problems of our world. Before, I saw sustainability as an essentially interchangeable term for reducing, reusing, and recycling the things available to us. While this is also true, I have learned that it is also about making the most of what is left on earth as our resources continue to dwindle. This ties into wicked problems because, although these worldly issues are near-impossible to solve, the work towards solution can be drawn from sustainable practices. However, it is extremely difficult to reach a resolution due to social complexities preventing a simple solution. Because people have countless different ideas, opinions, cultures, and other backgrounds, it is very difficult to reach an agreement.

The six characteristics that define wicked problems include vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no endpoint, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgency. Vague problem definitions and variable solutions refers to the difficulty in pinpointing an issue because it is defined differently by stakeholders. This causes problems in universal agreement over a solution. Solutions do not have a set endpoint because other problems are created along the way to finding a resolution, therefore solutions must adapt. Solutions posing irreversible effect refers to the effectiveness of a solution cannot be verified prior to implementation, which relies on trial and error testing. Urgency is due to the fact that if we do not act now, further damage will be caused. Finally, because each situation is distinct and based on individual circumstances, the same solution will not be equally effective for everyone.

There are various perspectives from which to view sustainability. For instance, in his TED talk, Andrew Dent discusses the value of thrift and how useful this tool and mindset can be in the current state of the world. This idea includes things such as recycling car parts to make new cars, using demolition waste to create new buildings, and more. Essentially, if we continue to implement this concept of giving products a second life, we will be able to slow the damage being done to the planet. Similarly, Native Americans also have a unique take on sustainability. Many believe that, because everything in nature is connected, a single action has implications on all other things. This means that we must be deeply aware of each and every one of our actions in an effort to prevent as much damage as possible.

In an alarming yet eye-opening reading, I learned that many unfortunate parallels can be drawn between Easter Island and our current society and environment. The whole of their existence was entirely dependent on their limited resources, although they were not able to create a system that effectively balanced their lifestyle with the environment. This is highly relevant to our society today in the way that we so carelessly deplete our resources on account of our lifestyles without minding the inevitable repercussions. However, if we start making changes to our daily lives by adding sustainable practices, our outcome will be much more successful than that of Easter Island.

In light of the topic of change, it is important to keep in mind the value to making self-narrative shifts on an individual basis. Far too many people believe that they cannot personally change the state of the world, however with every purchase, use of a resource, or wasteful habit, that one person is shifting the landscape of the environment. If that concept is carried out by the vast majority of people, then that is where large-scale change can be seen, whether positive or negative. On the other hand, paradigm shifts stem from a collective mentality derived from values, beliefs, assumptions, and more. This mindset is the lens through which we view the world, allowing us to set goals, develop structures, parameters, and rules, build barriers, and influence patterns of practice. These are the large-scale waves of change that can ensue if people put their differences aside and consciously try to find a common solution. An example of a self-narrative can be observed through my personal carbon footprint. After calculating my various activities, household information, and environmental impacts, I was provided with very eye-opening information about how my habits truly affect the Earth. This inspired me to be even more attentive to the impact that I am making, as I begin to make small changes in my daily life.

Finally, after researching the various wicked problems in our society today, I have chosen to focus on the topic of labor conditions in the manufacturing industry. There are entirely too many people, often in developing countries, who are being forced to work under the most hazardous conditions and exploitation simply so they can make a living. I plan to further research specific countries, companies, and safety concerns involved with working conditions and fast fashion.

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