Lastly, before we go our separate ways…

As we in continue in time, it gives us time to reflect and think. With the goal of this course is to take time to reflect on wicked problems with a compassionate curiosity mindset. There has been a lot to it. Intellectually, I think that it has created another mindset. It makes me think and reflect on it. It also makes your brain create another for your thoughts to collect. It creates a road to where your academic mindset that may have a few roads of thinking, generates many more roads that you had no idea that was possible. Mind wise, I think it ties to all of them. Intellectually, emotionally, heart, somatically, and body). I think the mind plays a major role in all of these. TO me, the mind is the most powerful thing about us. I truly do believe that some of these exercises that we did at the beginning of class helped. I think it helps us improve everything about ourselves and everything around us. It has my mind cleared I definitely feel a difference in how I feel and how I think about everything. I do think these exercises can become extremely useful if I were to perform them consistently every day. Just by doing some of these exercises during class, my mind was calmed and my head felt so much clearer than usual. I will definitely be using these exercises/ mediation from now on. The ways these have helped me with wicked problems are by giving me a clearer mind and a better mindset on how I think about a wicked problem. This course has made wicked problems easier to understand and take upon what you and I can do to solve them.

Emotionally, I would say I have become more aware of how I feel about a certain situation and how I can change my attitude towards it. I may have strong feelings and emotions towards a problem that I see and feel one way. However, this course has taken my emotions about these situations and has given me a broader understanding that my way isn’t right 100% of the time and it takes two sides or even sides to solve a wicked problem or just a problem in general. Wicked Problems through this course has not changed my heart though. I think this class definitely has pushed my way of thinking, though, it is hard to change your heart/ even mine through a small class. I will say that it has made me think that my heart’s desires and thinking have had a small course of small change in some areas of emotion and intellectual. Though, my heart through most wicked problems has stayed mostly the same. Overall, this course has brought me to think through a compassionate curiosity in the multiple ways I do come to think about wicked problems.

I will say overall that this course has developed a humble and compassionate response to Wicked problems for me. I think this class has also pushed me in that sense, they have challenged me yet, have given me more of a compassionate response to wicked problems. I think for example when talking about waste and pollution, I think it is easy to come up with solutions it says this will work and everyone in your mind will agree on it. However, it is more than that It definitely has made me realize that not everyone will agree on it. Not because it won’t work, it just won’t a pliable to every country or area. That may be due to just the country’s beliefs and or just the way the government is run. Another problem would be that not every country has the expenses to do to the economy to do it. I would say another example would be how we come up with solutions to political issues. From race, economy, personal freedoms, and many more forms of political ideologies. This class has taught me that we may all have our separate viewpoints in that even though we all think our way of thinking is the correct solution and ideology for these political agendas and problems, it is not that easy in that there will always be conflict even if you think everyone is on board after you oil laid out your plans and acted on them. This class has definitely taught me that it takes many thoughts and many conflicts, well, it takes many things to come up with a solution that is classified as a wicked problem. This is the part where I would say it has humbled me the most it has brought attention to how I felt. With being humbled I definitely would say it has brought more compassion out of me to these wicked problems and as maybe understand it bought a range of responses that are not just what I think is the correct way of doing things. 

Given my experience in this course, I would say it has created a positive change in my circle of influence. This course is very different from a lot of courses and you can argue that it is a waste of time and who really needs to learn this and take this course as an important to the degree and whatnot. I know it’s not math or really any activity in class that pushes you in any way. However, I think just definitely gives a better understanding of everything in general in your life and I think it does create a positive momentum of change in my circle of influence. The way it has created a positive influence is it brings up real situations that you may not think about every day. A lot of these situations I have completely forgotten about and don’t even think about much, to be honest. A lot of topics and subjects learned through this course have made me reconsider what I do think about and what is important to think about. Has it completely changed my thoughts throughout the day? No, but instead it has added things for me to think about here and there. It challenges me, not all the time, but just enough to make me realize that solutions that I may have for anything, in particular, may not be the best. I know that already I just think it’s like the cherry on top you know? It definitely brings out your mindsets. I think this class carries an influence on our academics and our personal lives too. It has definitely pushed a positive mindset where I think about things in a more open matter than I used to have. I definitely appreciate the meditation exercises. Surprisingly, they did change my mindset in a more positive direction than what it was going in during that day. It also has changed sometimes a more positive direction of my mindset during the week as well. I will take this course to create a positive change in my circle of influence by using the tools I have learned from the sources I have gained from this course to create that positive change in my circle. This has definitely been a class I will remember and use throughout my time here at OSU and outside of my academic career as well.

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The reality

From the start of the class I have realized there are more wicked problems than we know of. We as students are taught about pollution and waste throughout our school years. However, we do not realize there is so much more to it than just pollution and waste. Rather than understanding what is causing climate change. As well as why we have not done anything in years to prevent it from damaging the Earth’s climate. We should focus on what is causing global warming and ways to prevent it from happening more. Not only did I learn about sustainability and the difficulties we face on our planet in class, but I also learned that we need to take some time for ourselves. Personally, I never saw myself meditating or taking it seriously. My teacher would ensure that we spent 10 minutes of our class time mediating in this course. To get rid of tension and anything else in your thoughts. So we may just unwind and assist ourselves in this approach.

Meditation can help a person relax, sleep better, and enhance their physical, mental, and emotional health, just to name a few. Meditation allows you to concentrate solely on the current moment. It also teaches a person how to be more patient and gives them a new skill. A skill on learning how to manage their stress and stressful situations. Meditating everyday will help them improve their ability to multitask and increase their concentration and attention. One will know when meditating is working when one feels more motivated to do more things and less stressed. I learned in class that simply just those ten minutes everyday can make a huge difference. Clearing your mind every once in awhile throughout your day will make a change in your life and your body. 

One does not realize there is so much that is affecting our environment and the entire rest of the earth. We only see what is surrounding us. We do not see or realize what is going on in other countries or states. We may have heard that some countries live in poverty and automatically think the living situation is terrible. And waste is surrounding them. In our everyday lives, we have a lot of things going on. Such as making sure we go to work to provide food for their families and pay bills. Or maybe to make sure we are keeping our body in good health. We keep ourselves busy so that we do not notice what is really happening to our climate. Mostly everyone knows already that climate change has been happening for years, but we do not do much to stop it. Some would recycle or find greener ways to live. While companies or manufacturers use a lot of products coming from our environment and affecting it everyday. For example, the use of trees is used alot in the products we use. Such as, chewing gum, rubber, medication, supplies, furniture and so much more. Not only does wood give you products but it also gives you shelter. A place to live and be safe. However we take advantage of it and that is affecting our earth. Deforestation is happening and removing habitats that species were calling home. Trees help us breathe, provide food and so much more. Environmental disasters and global warming are affecting our health and not just our planet.  

We use non-renewable sources everyday that take years and years to have again. Within those non-renewable sources are gasses that are being released into our atmosphere. Once it is released into our atmosphere it causes our climate to change and get hotter. Which could be the reason why in arctic places the ice is melting more and more. Which is destroying all the animals’ habitat living there and affecting how they live. I have learned in class that there’s an infinite amount of causes that could be causing climate change. Some would say that poverty has to do a part of it or humans in general are the reason. Or maybe the sun in general could be the reason why. Since the sun provides us heat, the temperature of all layers of the Earth’s atmosphere would rise as a result of solar warming.Which could be the reason why our planet is experiencing climate change and not necessarily the fault of humans. There isn’t a single solution to solve all of the wicked problems all together. We would have or need to take it step by step to try and help out. Even though that will lead to another problem, at least trying to help our earth where we live. 

The fashion industry has played a significant role on Earth’s environment. The industry itself has a lot of negative impacts on the environment people live in. It increases the consumption so it increases the material waste in the long run. Since a lot of the industry is fast fashion, that means a lot of the material is cheap so people who can not afford expensive clothes are more likely to buy it. And the reason people buy more clothes than they actually need is because they feel pressured to stay up to date for the seasonal trends. The industry also usages toxic dyes and chemicals when making clothes. Which later ends up in the soil people plant. The chemicals can also contaminate the water people drink.

Society needs to be more considerate of the issue with the fashion industry. Otherwise people will keep on consuming the food and water that is contaminated from the different dyes and chemicals. This will eventually cause damage to the lungs and enter the bloodstream. To solve the issue of the wastefulness of the fashion industry, people can buy used clothes. Or even buy high quality clothes so they will not be required to buy as much clothes. These little things can have a huge impact on the environment if everyone contributes. 

I try to contribute as much as I can to be greener and help out, but there is so much that I can do to help out. On the bright side I am at least trying, but it still requires others to help out. Having others contribute would help so much and them knowing the cause. Which would spread the word and make a change. 

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Sustainable Evolution: The Diversified Solution

At the beginning of this course, my horizons were drastically broadened on the wicked problems of our world. I was able to gain multiple new perspectives that compel me to act on the knowledge I have about creating a more sustainable future. I have always been concerned with the environmental impact we are having on our world, but after learning about how to approach wicked problems, I have an optimism that small change can be promoted now. It can be daunting to discuss the rapid consumption of natural resources, harsh negative effects from greenhouse gases, etc. But when we can evaluate a wicked problem, the variable solutions to the variable problem become more tangible. The optimism I began to see grow through my learning of mindfulness practices ahs built a firm foundation that has allowed me to critically evaluate the roots of our world’s most wicked problems.

              A goal I have constructed for myself after first changing my paradigm was a “two-week rule:” if I see a product I want, I consider how much of a necessity the material is to me for two weeks before I increase my consumption and purchase the material. I have employed this new goal and it has highly changed my consumption habits. With Spring/Summer approaching, I have noticed that it is particularly easy to increase consumption of fashion items. Increased consumerism around this time is encouraging us to purchase excess materials that are not necessities. Mindfulness practices have further helped me to realize what goods are needed and what items will end up being waste. I also have been able to expand my creative sustainable solutions, as I am learning to become more resourceful with the materials I already have. Gratitude has also grown and strengthened through mindfulness practices, which have further let me evaluate what is a necessity. I now find more value in materials I have or materials that are recycled and environmentally friendly. I think that mindfulness practices paired with the knowledge of how to create variable solutions for wicked problems are what can drastically switch our cultural thinking to become more sustainable.

              Exploring wicked problems has enlightened me to dive deep into the roots and reasonings of environmental impacts. Investigating why a wicked problem is a variable problem highlights the diversity of solutions that are needed to combat the problem. Wicked problems are wicked because of their multi-faceted issues, meaning that solutions must be uniquely created to sustain other issues that can arise from one solution. I have learned that I enjoy looking into the environmental wicked problems and how they are attributing to the unsustainably based cultural thinking today.

              A crucial takeaway I have learned through my continued mindfulness practices that the knowledge about how wicked problems is affecting us followed by learning the tools to uniquely solve is a privilege. Because these issues are essentially affecting such a wide range of people, they are claimed as wicked. Further adding to the notion of wickedness, some people that these issues are affecting the most are in underdeveloped areas, which have issues of under education and ill-health. Area-based setbacks are some of the main problems that require variable solutions. I think that having the ability to understand the background to wicked issues open the solutions and makes them more tangible. I have come to realize that sustainability issues are widely discussed in developed countries, but merely spreading awareness amongst other developed countries is not going to make the change needed to create a more sustainable environment. I think that to truly generate diverse solutions that can be effectively implemented, it is crucial to incorporate distinct solutions that can work for people in all areas. Considering the different perspectives of development within areas has also opened my mind to employing true understanding when developing solutions.

              I have also grown my understanding of urgency of employing unique solutions. In more developed countries where more consumption and consumerism is accelerated, there is more urgency required to slow down the already massively increased greenhouse gas emissions, consumption, and waste being produced. Yet in countries that are underdeveloped or developing, the people are left vulnerable to ill-health, undereducation, and excessive use of natural resources. Therefore, different sustainable solutions need to be provided for different areas, making them multi-faceted to include numerous ranges of people. For example, developed countries can focus on drastically slowing down their consumption, while also providing the help that developing countries need to build their country sustainably, in hopes of creating new environmentally friendly countries. I have always been intrigued with Singapore’s prioritization of sustainable development in their city. The city choses clean energy and has nearly 50 percent green cover, allowing for animals and humans to live harmoniously within the city. This is a working example that sustainable solutions can effectively be incorporated into bigger cities that are the main contributors to waste and greenhouse gas emissions. As I mentioned before, the knowledge of wicked problems and sustainable issues is a privilege to learn about. Thus, I believe developed countries must prioritize sustainability and lower consumption while also prioritizing the spreading of sustainable, unique solutions to developing countries. This will allow for developing countries to obtain the greener technology that they may not have been able to get without first developing separately. The collaboration of developing countries and developed countries can also help towards building a more sustainable future with clean air and energy. Countries working together can further promote a shift in cultural thinking pertaining to sustainability.

              The biggest picture take away I have gained from starting my learning journey about wicked problems, is that the smallest changes and cause a revolution. I believe in my circle of influence I want to promote and build change by spreading awareness of the small changes with big impacts. I believe that mindfulness practices are the most effective way to begin to curate these changes. Through my own mindfulness, I have gained strength in the ability to understand and critically evaluate my own sustainable/unsustainable habits as well as the variable solutions for wicked problems. I will be spreading the knowledge that I have had the privilege of learning to spread the urgency of the issues. I also plan on encouraging my friends and family to create small sustainable habits of their own that can lead to more sustainably based thinking. I believe that once people are able to slow down their thinking, they will also be able to slow down their consumption habits, because vital needs can be better distinguished from wasteful habits that are encouraged through our culture. I have an abundance of hope and belief that mindful habits can lead to an impact and needed shift in our culture’s thinking. From growing up in an accelerating country, I have already seen the expansion of a sustainable movement. I think that equipping people with the tools to combat these wicked problems is just the perfect catalyst for a sustainable revolution that will take over and offer a more environmentally friendly way of thinking. I am excited to be able to create this change that will one day lead to the sustainable revolution. I am grateful for the perspective change and expansion I have gained from this course, and I am excited to be the beginning change of a new sustainable culture.

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Have Compassion and be aware

So far in this course discussion of wicked problems I come to understand  that aspect of how life has a huge impact on the environment. Our environment affects our economy and our livelihoods some more than others. The manufacturing of  a lot of the things we use in our daily life sometimes takes a lot out of the earth,in addition to the excess chemicals that are released into the atmosphere while making such products,and the waste that is tossed after the completion of the manufacturing of the products. A lot of times it seem that in the industrial industry there is more taking from the earth than given back,and us as consumers need to be more mindful of that,whether we start a organization discussing matter such as global warming,or making more sustainably products,and how in some area the manufacturing these products are being do in harsh conditions jeopardizing the livelihood of their employees. By being consumers who might be purchasing some of these products unknowingly and others knowingly about such aspects of the production process, we need to make ourselves more knowledgeable of what,how we consume. 

Given the present time and how there is simpler admittance to data we ought to be more inquisitive of how the things we wear and use in our day to day routine are made,and assuming we find that specific parts of how things are made alongside the amount we are consuming is adversely affecting the supportability of our current circumstance. This is the point at which we really want to set aside a few minutes and examine answers for these matters. Not only would it be advisable for us to talk about arrangements, we ought to examine these arrangements with those that are in a higher situation to get the answer for these issues. By utilizing social affairs to examine the issues of our current circumstance and making it mindful to the public that a few of us see these issues in our reality and need to make change. Ideally assuming that enough of us meet up about the question of our maintainability on the planet, those in control and those ready to push upon change for our sake there will really be incredible change. Change as by the way we live both actually and mentally,and over the long haul every age will actually want to foster a superior method for bettering maintainability and different ages will have thoughts and foster ways on the most proficient method to keep up with supportability.

Staying alert and more merciful about your relationship with the climate whether it be individuals, a specific spot and things is a significant characteristic to have. While staying alert and concerned we witness a portion of the impacts of not being aware of supportability on the planet. Seeing the impact of absence of maintainability, some would believe that they should know about their own manageability and need to forestall such adverse results of absence of supportability. For instance unfortunate water supplies as a result of contamination from waste;waste that comes from assembling organizations and the absence of regulation or regulations authorized to ensure the legitimate move is being made to appropriately discard squander. More care should be made in the modern business with regards to making rules and guidelines. For example, more eco-accommodating assets ought to be utilized to make products,or the loss from the items created should be utilized in some structure or style that is eco-accommodating, and is helping towards better manageability. I figure it would be extremely gainful towards the economy also. Having such a caring outlook concerning those and things around you causes you to consider their prosperity and needing to make change and be proactive to forestall the compromising of our current circumstance to a place where the issue can as of now not be settled. Alongside that in the event that our prosperity isn’t on favorable terms we are in no situation to make or aid better welling of thoses and things around us, you probably won’t know about underhanded issues we face or are being examined by everyone around you.

 Keeping up with our own supportability is a tremendous component that is essential to ensure we move ourselves informed about the issues around us. Since, supposing that we can’t keep up with or have some manageability in our own life it’ll be a continuous pattern of impracticality in our current circumstance. Your general prosperity is useful in light of the fact that it improves your values,empathy,compassion while being careful which makes a feasible way of behaving which then, at that point, can be gainful out on the planet. Such care will help better psychological wellness as such investigations have shown.

Those that socially affect us as purchasers would truly help us assuming they were the larger part that made such a move since it’ll be a more straightforward way for the message to spread that changes should be made. For Example in the attire business there is a local area of those that are worried about what those of higher social standing wear and don’t wear,and for a few that directs what is being consumed and what is being created. Patterns colossally affect the manageability of our current circumstance. Since what is famous at the time could be something that takes a ton of assets to make and a lot of different assets to make the provisions required for the creation of that article of clothing or another item. Monitoring the way that each item has a lapse date. The worth of the item will change in the long run.

 Those that socially affect us as purchasers would truly help us assuming they were the larger part that made such a move since it’ll be a simpler way for the message to spread that changes should be made. For Example in the clothing business there is a local area of those that are worried about what those of higher social standing wear and don’t wear,and for a few that directs what is being consumed and what is being delivered. Patterns massively affect the manageability of our current circumstance. Since what is famous at the time could be something that takes a great deal of assets to make and a lot of different assets to make the provisions required for the creation of that piece of clothing or another item. Monitoring the way that each item has a lapse date. The worth of the item will change in the end.

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Mindfulness of Wicked Problems

Throughout this course I have been able to achieve a deeper understanding of what a wicked problem really is. Simply knowing the basics of what a wicked problem was, was not enough to spark my curiosity in learning more. As far as I understood, I just assumed it was an issue that was a little more serious than the rest. I had no idea it had the ability to make me feel something, to get my attention or to make me reflect. I have learned it is more than a problem, it has layers and elements that differentiate from a basic issue. When understanding a wicked problem it can be intellectually, emotionally, or somatically. Wicked problems are multifaceted issues that are difficult to solve. Because of this, learning about current wicked problems can cause you to connect with them or feel them in your mind, heart, and body. It is hard to hear about a problem affecting a large number of people with most times not being able to fix them. I have been able to understand the reasons that make something a wicked problem, causing it to be difficult to resolve. One of the characteristics is variable problem definition. This is where one problem cannot be agreed on. Individuals had identified there was a problem, but could not agree on what the problem might be. This opened my eyes up a bit because I realized that an issue could affect people completely differently than it affects me. It makes you realize that there are so many factors that go into what makes something a problem for you. This includes things like where you live, what you do, and what you have. I had never really processed that even though everyone knows there is a problem, they might not see it in the same way. Another characteristic is that the problem has variable solutions. Similar to the first characteristic, no one can agree on one solution that will fix it all. This is either because when a problem is multifaceted not just one thing can resolve it. As someone who is always trying to see the bright side of things and is hopeful in most situations, it was hard for me to grasp that a wicked problem could have no end solution in sight. This can make one feel hopeless because of the idea that the issue may never be fixed. It makes me wonder if the wicked problems we are experiencing today will ever come to an end. The solution having no end point is a characteristic of a wicked problem. The solution might have to constantly be adapted in hopes to solve every arising problem making it feel like the problem might never go away. To think that some problems could never truly be fixed was crazy to me. Anytime I have encountered a problem I have thought I knew a solution every time but this made me realize that is not always the case for wicked problems. Solutions to wicked problems can cause irreversible effects. This makes it feel like such a step backwards. What you think is going to be a solution could end up causing more issues. You may not know the true effectiveness of a solution until it stops fixing and starts hurting. One wicked problem could lead to the next. Another characteristic of a wicked problem is that it usually requires a unique approach. This is because it is trying to fix a unique problem. This makes things difficult because there might be multiple solutions needed at once which seems very overwhelming. Or we might not even fully understand the problem, causing people to have to come up with a solution for something we can not exactly pinpoint. What is scary about a wicked problem is if we do not act and make changes urgently things could become irreversible or fatal. These are problems that could change the world we live in like climate change and sustainability issues. That makes you really think about how putting off and ignoring problems is not only not gonna fix things but make it entirely worse. You never know how much progressively worse something could get in a short amount of time. This should invoke a sense of urgency in everyone it is affecting. Climate change is a significant topic that we discuss. Many people have various perspectives about climate change. Everyone believes there is a different way to solve the problem. It appears to be such a massive problem that there will never be a good answer. It is an overwhelming issue for those who truly desire to address this wicked problem. The problem of climate change has so many levels that you start to question if it will ever be solved. It is a problem where no solution that could drastically make a difference seems achievable. That’s what makes it so wicked. It is insane when you understand that anything happening right now has the potential to cause irreversible effects. And you consider all of the factors that contribute to this being a wicked problem, as well as how far we are from resolving it. We have talked a lot about sustainability in relation to wicked problems. It has a significant impact on the well-being of our world, and thus on climate change. Taking steps toward a more sustainable world is one way to address this problem. However, it is a difficult problem in and of itself. It, too, has multiple layers, each with its own set of challenges and answers. Knowing this makes you feel as if trying to solve things is worthless at times. It’s difficult to come to an agreement on a clear definition of a wicked problem. There have been several different approaches presented, and not everyone can agree on just one. Getting people to acknowledge the issue in the first place is sometimes tough. To be effective, these various solutions must be tailored to individual conditions. We can’t always see the end of a problem, and solutions can have unforeseen or rippling effects. To be effective, these ideas would need to be tweaked on a regular basis. Always adapting to new growing issues. Some solutions may generate irreversible changes in the environment, which may become problematic later. It can be difficult to test the efficacy of various solutions ahead of time. Some ideas may work in one location but not in another, making it impossible to execute a single solution that will work for everyone, everywhere, and in all circumstances. This is what distinguishes a wicked problem. If we do nothing, people or environmental systems may suffer severe effects. This is why, in some cases, we must proceed with a solution before we can fully comprehend the issue. We have to start trying solutions before it is too late. Learning about wicked problems and the ones that are currently relevant forces you to consider whether or not they can be solved. Learning about how terrible wicked problems can be has made me feel more mindful and aware of the issues that are not only affecting me but others. Wicked problems are always going to keep arising throughout our lifetime but will any of them be resolved in the same time?

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Time for Change

My sustainability journey started the day I stepped into the Wicked Problems course. Problems in our society that are wicked problems are things we are unable to find a solution to or implicate these solutions onto an entire population. Some wicked problems we see you today are global warming, floods, changes in weather patterns, overpopulation, deforestation, air pollution, and deadly diseases. These problems are unable to be solved because some solutions lead to massive change and humans do not respond well to change, there is also cultural and material barriers, population barriers, political barriers, and the biggest barrier money. Before entering this course, I had no idea the impact humans have on the planet or how when we might benefit from our technical advances, we are hurting the environment. This generation must be the change if we want to continue to live with an abundant number of resources.

Humans because of our intellectual capability, we have started to destroy our planet. This is unfair to the nature and life that surrounds us. It is also unfair to those who want to change our future. It is time for humans to come together for the good of our planet and the things on it. The fashion industry and other manufacturing industries are one of the biggest wicked problems, which is why I believe this course is required for fashion majors. Manufactures care about one thing, money. Industrial factories although making our lives easier are very harmful. The movement of industrial practices is a crisis because of many reasons. Chemicals found in factory machines can be harmful to the environment, the amount of power the machines need to work is unstable, and the deforestation of our trees is killing the lungs of our planet. These factories fill waste lands. We are caught in a vicious cycle. Both consumers and producers. The cycle we are caught in is companies manufacture things for consumer needs or wants, there are more options or designs of this item produced, and there is more producing than demand, so we lead to wasting. These factories although producing many jobs can also be hurtful to their employees. For example we learned about Sweatshop factories in Wicked Problems. Sweatshops are a wicked problem and are an ongoing issue in the US, but mainly in third world countries that underpay, overwork, and keep these workers in horrid conditions. The reason these factories are called sweatshops is because they violate 2 or more labor laws. They are factories or workshops usually in the fashion industry that produce things at a faster and cheaper rate than a regular factory. They can do this because they pay their workers as low as 3 cents an hour, buy cheaper materials to create their items, and can have their manual workers work more than 17 hour days. Sweatshops are not only a problem because they are harmful to the environment, by releasing greenhouse gasses into the air and using other things that pollute the environment because they have no regulation, but sweatshops are also harmful towards their employers. Workers have been found to get sick, hurt, or even die because of the conditions they are working in. Sweatshops should be taken down and have regulations placed on them because they hurt the environment, people that work in the factories, and cause more harm than good. We are in denial of these problems all because of how selfish we are with our wealth. It is time to change the way we think and realize we are not the only species on the earth.

Humans need to learn to be more mindful. Mindfulness is import when talking about sustainability because being mindful of how many resources we have, the damage the item might cause, or how to produce this item without hurting the environment are all essential to making sure we are being kind to the things around us. Being mindful is realizing your actions do affect the things around you. Being mindful is also realizing that human needs are not more important than the environments needs, or other animal’s needs. If animals and plants were only occupying the earth, we would not have this problem, but we also we do not have all the life around us. Life is irreplaceable, once it is gone, it is gone forever. We must learn to sustain what we have and use only what we need as for the earth is made to take care of our needs but not our wants. Things that are contributing the end of time can range from factories, cars, planes, grills, and more. We must be more conscious when consuming.

Because most humans do not react well to change, we must take small steps towards a better and more sustainable environment. As a fashion merchandising major, I can take steps towards a better future by making sure I spread what I have learned and help others understand how damaging their actions can be. Instead of just talking about acting, we need to control the regulation of harmful greenhouse gasses. We should use our free-market economy to come up with the best solution and regulate these businesses. We need to be able to talk with other countries as well because Sweatshops are not only a problem in the US but a huge problem in other countries like China and new developing countries. We as consumers need to be more careful on where we buy our products and what is in them. We also need to get rid of the “fast fashion” trend we have going on. We buy our garments only to wear them once or twice and this is very wasteful for the environment. We must understand that if we do not take action against these sweatshops, we are killing our planet, and we might not know how long we have until it is too late. No one really knows when our last day will be or how much time we actually have. We can change the way our future is headed.

My feelings towards waste and being wasteful has changed dramatically since being in this class. I have learned so much about how our footsteps effect our future. I have also learned that these problems are not a quick and easy fix. I learned these are wicked for a reason. It is hard to find a solution for an entire population to take action to. I will use my voice and my actions to better my planet and to have others do the same. Together we will spread the news and come together to find a solution to these insane problems. I hope together we will fix the damage we have already placed on the planet and stop the implication of future damage. I hope others understand how urgent and problematic our actions have cost us. But a single person can start a chain reaction, and I believe one has already been started and we are on our way to a more sustainable future. This class was a very informative and important class for my major and my career. Realizing how much we impact the earth negatively shows us how much we can really do that’s positive for the environment.

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Sustainability is a Paradox

When I first chose to take this class, I had no idea what the course was going to be. I had heard from people who had taken it in the first semester that it was different but not difficult. They as well did not go into details about what I would be taking for 8 weeks. Before this class, I was of course, interested in the terrible things that haunt our world and are ultimately killing it but I never went into such details such as the 6 characteristics. Variable problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgent action is needed. I never knew the detail that went into the problems that we have generated today.  

Something that has helped me emotionally understand a problem is that solutions have no end point. That even if we try and find a solution for something, a problem will arise from this solution. Making it a never-ending cycle that cannot be truly tackled. I understand it more emotionally as well when i think about variable problem definitions, that even if something may be an issue for one party, the other party greatly benefits from it. Now these reasons are not going to be morally good reasons but financially will help benefit someone else. Overfishing is causing the ocean to have less of its own habitat, decreasing the marine life apparent. But on the other hand, fishers that are doing this benefit financially by selling these fish to sellers. 

With developing humble responses, I have tried to use the characteristics. See what exactly is affordable and see what can financially be possible. There have been situations I have been in as of late, with people that try and bring up how so much can be done to help save the ocean, but I bring up how even if this may be true, manufacturers are still going on and are not looking to end their business any time soon. It may be harsh, but this is the way that the world works. I guess that means that there is no progress in my thoughts, other than people have to do what they have to do in order to survive, in those terms I feel as if my compassionate responses have improved. 

In this course, I was taught the benefits of meditation. Even if I knew some benefits, I never really went into the details as to how this would affect me even after stopping it. The benefits include mindfulness, better sleep, less depression, helps overstimulation, and so much more. Meditation has always been something I have been interested in, but this course definitely motivated me to keep on meditating and try to keep a consistent schedule with it. Consistency is everything in meditation, real benefits are more apparent when people consistently meditate. There is a level of calm in doing meditation that nothing else in my life can bring. It is a great tool to have during college and this class has definitely helped me. This has helped me to become more mindful in my circle of influence, think before I speak, make sure if I do not have anything nice to say then I shouldn’t be saying it at all.  

Meditation before bed helps my insomnia as well, with guided meditation it helps me to stray away from thinking about my personal problems excessively. I, since starting this course, have recommended meditation to those in my circle of influence. I tell them the benefits of it and how it can help them personally.  

The wicked problems that are being faced by this earth are terrible. From pollution, to overproduction, to deforestation, to oil spills. What I understand now is that none of these issues are irreversible or an easy fix. The amount of damage that has been done to this earth is so insanely ridiculous that there is no way we can save anything. Even if someone tries, their idea of helping could be damaging and financially difficult. Such as recycling, recycling has its benefits but that is if everything works out perfectly. If all that is being recycled can be used. There is a large percentage of what gets recycled that just gets thrown away. Not everything that is recycled can be or will be recycled. Which then turns out to be financially heavy.  

Even if this damage is irreversible, that does not mean I want to contribute to this. Small things that can be done is recycling, biodegradable items, such as clothing and food items, helping pick up trash in public places, plant trees, give money to those that are in need, use contraceptives, find a ethically correct group of friends or job. There are so many other ways that people can help, all they must do is look it up. The gift of the internet has been a gift to society but as well a burden.  

This class has also helped me realize how terrible and dark people can truly be. That there are some terribly greedy people out here who are not leaving anytime soon. Who plans on destroying the world to get money? Money turns people into monsters, and this has been time and time again in our own government. Even in Mexico, where nowhere is safe, where you cannot call the cops if your child is kidnapped because they don’t help, where politicians are just images by drug cartels to get them what they want, money and power. I have no faith in humanity, and this may be pessimistic, but the US is getting to that point, we are presented as a first world country but, there is so little help for people that genuinely need it here. What kind of first world country denies helping its own people? Wicked problems are here as well, in the government, where no one can really be trusted, where those people who make the rules that we must stand by are being bought up constantly and have only their own interests in mind.  

A flaw that is seen in today’s world is that people do not think about the characteristics. How one solution can be completely flawed and instead of helping, can hurt the earth. It’s a great thing, optimism, but in these cases, what is truly needed is realism. Being a realist in wicked problems is a necessity, it helps one to think about the consequences or the reality of a situation. People love to give ideas as to how the earth can be saved but often do not think about the costs. But I do believe that saving this earth for at least more years than 2050 is possible. The US has more than enough money to help the earth but rather wastes money on unnecessary items that in reality only benefit the 1%. The fact of the matter is that not enough resources are given by the government, and this means that we are alone. We are alone in the fight to save the earth, with the government signing an environmentally friendly treaty every now and then, but this is not enough. They do this every few years to look good but after the government cut us off the Paris Environment Agreement/Treaty, the level of methane is destroying our earth. NASA scientists believe we have about 10 years left, and I truly believe this. This may be extremely conspiratorial of me, but this may be the end.  

Even if this may be the reality, I am glad I was able to take this class. Meditation is a large influence of my life and has helped improve my mindfulness.  

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A New Learning Opportunity, Wicked Problems

When first enrolling in this class I really had no idea what wicked problems were and I have never heard of it before this year. Since enrolling in this class I have learned so much about one’s well being, sustainability, and how to have a different outlook on many different issues. Granted that I did miss the first two classes because of some timing issues, but I began to come more frequently and enjoyed the class. I had the pleasure of working with a great partner and had an amazing professor that furthered my knowledge about new subjects, including meditation. At first I thought it was random to start the class off with a meditation session, but I took it as a new learning experience. This goes hand in hand with what was taught in the class about being mindful. 

After taking this class my outlook has certainly changed for the better. I am now more aware of what I can do personally to help with being sustainable and what I can do to help other people become more sustainable as well. The first thing that comes to mind that I have learned from this course is to be mindful. This will certainly come up everytime someone mentions the class or even if I think about the class myself. By being mindful of your own surroundings and actions you begin to take accountability for what you put into your body and what you put out as well. If one is not happy or stable in their own lives it can impact their surroundings and the people around them as well. From experience when you are too busy or not feeling your best you tend to not care what your living environment is and how it looks until you take a step back and look. Once you stop what you are doing and actually look at your surroundings you will see how messy or unorganized it is. This can be the same for the outside environment as well. If we as a collective don’t take a step back and think about what we are doing to the environment then it will get worse as the years go on. Then when it gets to a point where there are no ways to reverse the effects of what we have done, we would’ve wished we had realized sooner that what we are putting out into the world can have serious effects on the environment. 

Being mindful is more than realizing that your actions have consequences, but also taking care of yourself. Your body is impacted by what you feed it whether it be what you are actually eating or what you are watching and consuming with your eyes. This can have a positive or negative impact on your metal health. You take care of yourself first before anything else. During my time in this class this has become even more important to me. Once you are fulfilled by what you have and with yourself then you can begin to figure out other problems that you could possibly help with. You basically reflect on what you have and what you can do to better yourself even more. Once you do that then you start to expand outwards to figure out what more you can do. I’ve learned this before and I guess I kind of lost my way a bit throughout the year and since I’ve taken this class it has reminded me that I need to take care of myself and be more mindful about what I’m consuming myself. 

I have heard many different perspectives from taking this class and I can honestly say that I enjoyed listening to every single one of them. It gives you a new perspective and it even expands your mind and thought process as well. That’s how you learn and once you open yourself up to new thoughts and ideas it can also help you be more compassionate and really reflect on how you treat other people as well. Once you step into this new thought process you begin to find new ways to help people. This also goes hand in hand with helping the environment. 

Being sustainable is one of the other things that you learn how to do in this class as well. You take a subject, do some research, and article reading to figure out how to help out the environment and what you can do to help influence other people to do so. You learn many ways to be sustainable. This class is kind of, in my opinion, a building block on how to become more sustainable and how to react to it. First you learn about many different scenarios and then you read about different solutions that people have or have tried. You read about the different opinions on how to deal with the situation. This is where listening or being open to new ideas and thoughts come into play. Being open to new thoughts and sustainability to go hand in hand. You need one to help the other and it does have an impact if one is not open to new ideas. 

Adding onto the sustainability subject, I have learned more ways to help with being sustainable and even furthered my knowledge about sustainability. I knew on my own that you can be more sustainable by recycling old clothes and you can do this by donating them or even upcycling them. If you do not know what upcycling is, it is a technique that someone does to turn old clothes into something new. For example you can turn an old skirt or pants into a purse or I know you have seen the blankets made out of old t-shirts. That is upcycling and I think that is a pretty good skill to know. Since I am a fashion design major I have to think about what the waste from my garments does to the environment. 

Sustainability plays an important role in everyday life no matter what your major is or what you do on a daily basis. Textile waste is among the most types of waste found in landfills all over the world. When making a garment you need to be aware of what type of material you use and who is making it as well. Most big companies that use factories to produce their clothing can have major impacts on the environment around them. If the factories are not careful they can cause a spill in chemicals that can be harmful to the people, animals, and plants around them. As a consumer one needs to be mindful and aware of what they are buying and who they are buying from. Some fast fashion companies do use sweatshops and do not pay their workers as much as they need to be. By being a conscious consumer you are helping the environment far more than someone who just buys things on the whim and does not care where the products are sourced. There are little things you can do to minimize the footprint you are leaving by doing a little bit of research to further understand that sustainability is very much needed. By doing your part and researching ways to be sustainable you are helping the environment immensely. You are being mindful and aware of what you put out into the world. Again to reiterate my words, mindfulness and sustainability to go hand in hand. 

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Problems in the Environment

When I was younger, I always thought to myself where all our trash ends up in and when I figured out that they end up in landfills, I was left still wondering. I always thought it was strange that society would just dump all their trash in one specific area and expect it to just sit there and I knew that it wasn’t just the end of it. As I grew older, I understood certain parts of this problem, but the Wicked Problems course has taught me more in depth than I already knew. When I first learned that I had to take this course, I was confused on what I would be learning about because I did not understand what the course meant or what I would be learning. Because of this course, I learned what Wicked Problems meant. The definition for Wicked Problems is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. Because of the entire world contributing to environmental damage by continuing living the way that they live or operate, such as using plastic waste, supporting fast fashion companies, trashing everything that they have, deforestation, erosion, etc., it has worsened our environment and is making climate change come faster.  

In this course we talked about ways to live more sustainably. When it comes to our current generation now, we think that what we do to our planet will not affect us in the future but that is not what will occur because it will affect our future families and we would still be alive during the time if it happened. With every little action that we do, we leave an effect on our ecological footprint and we cause even more damage to the environment. There will be fewer resources available to survive, horrible living conditions such as deforestation and drought everywhere, animals going extinct and oceans becoming lands of plastic waste and trash. Our world is run by huge corporations that run on money, and they use that money to create more money, or waste it on stuff that will worsen our planet, such as creating more warehouses or manufacturing buildings that constantly use up a lot of water and chemicals, along with fossil fuels and other harmful gasses and chemicals. It is scary to think about especially since we all may have contributed to waste because it has become our culture to buy products and dispose of them when we are done, because we all have been taught the same but without the knowledge of the repercussions that we would soon face. Something that I started to notice is that people are more willing to feed off on their own needs such as materialistic purchases and would rather do that than help fix what society has caused. For instance, we have all been so comfortable with the way that we are living that we completely disregard what happens in the background of where our clothing is from and how unsustainable most of the clothing stores are. Examples of that can be labor intensive, unsustainable resources, and are made from material that is not good for the environment.  

Is there a way to solve these problems that we are facing? It is possible to prevent everything from happening, but it would take a lot to convince people to change their ways and to stop using stuff that people are so used to using. Not to mention that every problem does have somewhat of a solution, but more solutions can lead to more problems because if you were able to solve a problem there may be consequences of those solutions as we learned in this class. It is also incredibly challenging to pinpoint what the actual problem was contributing to environmental damage, because there are so many factors that are affecting the environment. Problems have multifaceted and are seen in different perspectives whether it be from people’s sides, or companies that have continued to use harmful materials and unsustainable ones as well. Even if we were to solve the problem, it could not only be harmful in certain scenarios, but it could also cause irreversible effects. When I mention irreversible effects, I mean that climate change is difficult to delay or change in any way because society has changed the Earth in so many detrimental ways and it would be irreversible from that point. No one can stop climate change, and the best thing that we could do together is to slow it down and the entire world needs to take premature action to prevent that. However, if we were all to act it could benefit us all and the environment if we were able to incorporate more sustainable ways of living such as controlling the human population which may sound strange, but we are dealing with a huge overpopulation crisis, use more solar power, hydro, etc., and to stop wasting water, energy, and food for survival.  

What I plan to do in the future to help lessen the damage on the environment, is to continue to support businesses who have been focusing on using sustainable and ethical material to incorporate in their businesses, and I will lessen the use of plastics and items that are not biodegradable. Even though I changed my major from Fashion Merchandising to Graphic Design, it is still important to me to make sure that the fashion industry does not continue the way that they are going. Fashion would still be a huge part of me because I still love it, but I would love to see the industry grow more into the sustainable portion of it. I plan to also reduce waste whether it relates to my career field or not, I will make sure to not do damage to the environment because I know that there will still be people who would be continuing to be on the bad path of that. I hope to see change in the world and different views of thinking so that our environment heals from all the damage that it has incurred.  
Now that I have finished the course, it has taught me about what was going on in our world and what terrible things were occurring even now. It made me appreciate the earth even more than I already have and I would not wish harm to our environment even though it is a wicked problem. I have started to be more careful on what I throw away and reducing plastic bags in grocery stores so I could bring my own bag, as well as I have been investing in sustainable products such as metal straws, more reusable cups, filtered water, etc. This class helped me to understand what I could do differently to help prevent climate change and the environment from being harmed. It makes me eagerly want people to educate themselves on the situation that we are all currently facing and learn that we need to stop what we are doing now to save our planet.  

Overall, I am grateful that I was able to learn so much from this course and it really has changed my views on everything in a positive manner. I have not learned a lot from most of my other classes so this really interested me because it not only affects others, but it affected me and my future as well.  

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Compassion Towards Sustainability

I entered this class having little to no idea what I was going to be learning. I was unsure about the course’s curriculum and what I was going to have to do well in the class. I was under the impression that this class was going to be more based on numbers and mathematical problems due to the class title of Wicked problems. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I figured out what the meaning of this class was. This class captures your attention to the problem but brings in the underlying components of symptoms, knowledge, and overall concern. I always knew that sustainability was a very large issue within the fashion industry. However, I had no idea how a potential solution could cause further issues for either the people, the economy, or the environment. I never knew how much waste was contributed by the apparel industry and how it affected so many different aspects of our environment. The fashion industry and its methods of production, distribution, and management have major tolls on the environment in vast ways and will directly affect the human population. Knowing that climate change experts are predicting we will hurt our planet beyond repair within the next few years, and the consequences will we face such as lack of resources, extreme weather, loss of biodiversity, rising ocean levels, disease, and more. With this, it affects the mind portion of understanding a wicked problem. Our emotional understanding was talked about more after the completion of our first blog post. The infographic project was very vital in regards to my overall understanding of key facts regarding fashion and its toll on the environment. My group designated its topic of concern on the waste that is from both the production and end-use of apparel. The Infographics were very important as they showed the environmental crisis that is caused by textile waste. It was very scary to read that 14 million tons of clothing are thrown away every year… and that is only in America. Another statistic that shows the horrific effect of apparel waste is that it takes 200+ years to decompose. This immediately raised several questions of concern. How do we fix a problem that is universal in its contribution and has no solution? The effects of fashion waste are not limited to what ends up in landfills; often, that waste has chemicals that are deposited into the soil and make their way into waterways and bodies of water that are vital to the environment’s ecosystems. Another key issue is the micro-plastic waste that is broken down and is distributed into the ocean and ends up entangled or ingested by marine life or circulated into giant trash pools that destroy our ocean. Now knowing how much is affected by textile and apparel waste, I have a growing passion for making conscious effects in not only reducing my contribution but also integrating ideas and potential solutions to minimize my individual contribution to this lethal muddle. I have a large amount of emotional guilt as I have practiced unsustainable methods when getting rid of clothing, but thankfully I have grown to adapt to healthy, sustainable implementations. I think that bodily understanding comes in the details.

Since learning about overconsumption I began to reflect on my own life, I’ve made a conscious effort to buy only what clothing I need and not buy cheap items that will only last me a year of wear. I’ve learned about what is put into the air, water, and ground and how it eventually enters my own body and affects my health. I am a pescatarian. Therefore, I only eat fish as regarded as animal meat. This is due to a concern about what I put into my body. Meat harvesting is very environmentally lethal and contributes greatly to climate change factors. The use of growth stimulation and medicine in order to pass regulations is very scary and can have detrimental effects on the human body. I learned about feeding practices and what goes into animals that we end up eating. Plastics and pollution end up in the pig that we eat, and it can seriously hurt our health.  Such health issues can also come from pollution put into the air and water from chemicals being released. From a bodily health perspective, I care too much about my health to let unsustainable practices take their toll on me and those I love. My new practice of mindfulness has helped me understand wicked problems in all areas. Not only do I feel like my stress from school and life has become more manageable since practicing mindfulness, but it’s allowed me to clear excessive thoughts. With these extra thoughts gone, I have the mind space and energy to think more deeply about sustainability in relation to my personal lifestyle. I have always been one to go on a journey of mindfulness incorporating meditation into my daily schedule is one that I hope to continue to do throughout the summer. It truly makes a difference in my personal life and has helped my anxiety tremendously. I hope that with my consistent practice, I will get off my anxiety and depression medicine. After I complete my studies, I plan on taking a year to travel to a Buddhist temple and build on my spiritual journey and incorporate it fully into my life practices.

After completing this course, I believe that I have truly been able to learn and establish the ways of practicing sustainability. My feelings of comprehending everyone’s role in sustainability have changed drastically. I never thought of all the different ways that not only people affect the environment but also how those methods affect the people. The debates within the class have given me knowledge on the factors of poverty being one that is uncontrollable to the individual but has a whole system in which they contribute to unsustainable practices in the environment. It gave me the ability to be sympathetic to others and their circumstances in regard to their contribution to climate change. Sometimes the situations of the country are not feasible to work with sustainable practices. I have learned to be less judgmental of those countries and hope that with further research and teachings, we will be able to come full circle. Sustainability is a matter of the utmost urgency, yes, but I believe we still need to put people first and be sympathetic to their situations. Putting people first, being sympathetic, and being sustainable really go hand in hand. Taking care of those who can’t yet be very sustainable because of their low resources is extremely important to remaining human, but by being sustainable, we’re taking care of anyone who lives on our planet or ever will. The best way, I think to grow globally towards sustainability is to be compassionate and encourage others to do the same. A single act of kindness will grow and spread universally. Being cautious of your own actions and how that plays a role in the environment is very vital. I hope to take what I have learned and teach others. I think that when I am home this summer, I will integrate these viable practices into my family in hopes of a domino effect taking place.

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