The wicked world we live in

              The wicked problems of today’s world are more then we will ever be able to talk about. In class this week we talk about the wicked problems in this world and how there is never a true answer to fixing one. The world has so many different wicked problems that it is not even funny. We will always study and try to learn what we can do to try and fix the problems but if we are being honest there will never be a true answer on how to fix them. Getting to learn about all the wicked problems and how they affect us and what’s going on in the world with activity’s we did was so fun to learn from.

              The 11th hr. made me really open my eyes to what is going on with the world. The fires burning down forest and the pollution that is destroying the air we are breathing. The wicked problems we discuss by them self’s compared to how they were in the 11th hr. they were not the same. The movie puts them more into concept with what is going on in this world. The number one thing that stood out to me was the tornados and how there is know way to stop them from happing and destroying our lives. They just are big wrecking balls that you can’t stop and make them go away.

              Sustainability makes ways to keep a wicked problem from getting bigger or making it to ere you can try to fix them. The world is so full of problems that trying to figure out a way to slow them down is very interesting to learn. I want to learn more on how these things happen and what makes them so wicked. Facing these problems is always going to be a hard thing to face straight on. So many people  have tried to approach them in different ways which is why you will never know which is a wright or wrong way to do it.

              The generation growing up now is going to have to deal with the problems that are happening in this world. We are trying to make it where they don’t have to deal with them at all but there is know true way of trying to make it were they don’t have to. Trying to make everything perfect for the world is never going to be an easy task but we will try and figure out a way to do this and make the world a better place.

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My Perception of Sustainability

Previously, I just viewed sustainability as preserving, but now I understand it is more than that. Sustainability is the effort to exist forever by protecting future generations. The 11th Hour documentary helped me to realize that we all need to make an effort to protect nature because we have already used many resources from nature and some of these resources are nonrenewable. Similarly, Wicked problems are complex problems that cannot fully be solved. Tame problems have solutions that will solve the problem fully, whereas solutions for wicked problems may only help solve the problem for some. Some characteristics of wicked problems would be vague definitions to the problem, many solutions, no endpoint, unique, solutions have irreversible effects, and problems require immediate action. It really stands out to me that the solutions have irreversible effects. The solutions could ultimately create negative effects if one is not careful. The Rittel-Webber reading helped me to see how important it is that planners are careful with their solutions and really understand the problem to prevent negative effects.
I think it is extremely important for us to all consider our effects on nature. I believe intergenerational responsibility is important to allow future generations to succeed. We all need to do our part to help. My carbon footprint is not very good, but I am working to make it better. I decided to become vegetarian again, so I believe this is one small way to help. Another thing I want to change is the destruction of clothing. So much clothing gets thrown away in landfills, which is horrible for the environment. I personally buy the majority of my clothing second hand because I cannot afford many sustainable clothing brands, but I do not want to buy fast fashion. Buying clothing secondhand is important because it helps to keep that clothing out of landfills and to be reused. This is such a simple thing to do that has a large impact.

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Facing Wicked Problems Within the Fashion industry

Sustainability is a complex concept. Sustainability is about the good of the planet, and social equity and equality. With practicing habits that are morally good and for the better of the world. Sustainability focuses on the needs of present and future generations, it is looking at more of the long-term effect. To me, sustainability is about using problem-solving skills in order to solve a wicked problem. A wicked problem is a problem that seems near impossible to solve because it is difficult to get to the root of the problem due to outside factors. Certain problems become wicked because of the vast differences in opinions. There is no definite answer or formula to solve a wicked problem. Wicked problems are not seen as true or false, instead, there are good and bad. There is no to know that the solution to the problem has been finalized. There is no immediate test for a solution for a wicked problem because they’re unique problems. There always seems to be more than one explanation for the reasoning or cause of a wicked problem. A characteristic that has stood out to me is that “wicked problems are not seen as true or false, instead there is good and bad.” I have never thought about it that way. Sometimes the answer to a problem that our society struggles with, can seem so bluntly obvious to me. I am not saying that it is not the most important characteristic of a wicked problem but it defiantly made me think differently about it. 

Although the 11th-hour documentary felt a little outdated, scientists and activists are still saying the same thing, regarding climate change. A takeaway that I took away for me, was a scientist addressing the fact that people treat climate change as a belief. When in reality this purely scientific fact, and if we don’t act now aggressively it could be too late for us and for future generations. To be honest I know won’t even consider having children in my future due to the lack of legislation and action to save our planet. It almost seems unfair to bring someone into the world with a damaged parent because we were too selfish to do something about it. That is something people of older generations could understand, especially ones that deny climate change. I think we have a responsibility to do something about this, and I mean all of it. But I think it’s important to hold those accountable that are doing the most damage. Such as the fossil fuel industry and fashion industry. 

My carbon footprint is 7.6, if everyone lived like me we would need 4.4 Earths. My carbon footprint could be better, there’s definitely room for a lot of improvement to put it nicely. I drive a non-electric car, instead of riding a bike. Although I have switched to using things with multiple uses I use too many one-use things, instead of using things that will last multiple uses. My values regarding the environment and sustainability for this huge wicked problem is that we have to act and we have to act aggressively. In a perfect world, there are lots of things that I would like to change regarding my field. Such as, changing the attitude of wearing something once and then getting rid of it. But instead buying something of higher quality that can live through multiple generations and uses. I would also love if designers wouldn’t put out as many collections as they do in a year. Typically designers release collections every month and for fast fashion, it’s every week. If designers put out as many collections as they do, then they would have the time to make better sustainable choices. Also, trends would change as fast therefore people wouldn’t be throwing out their clothes as fast as they do.

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It’s the Little Things…

This past week in class has made me realize that sustainability is so much more than incorporating eco-friendly products and practices into daily life. When I was in 6th grade, we were assigned to read “Pay it Forward” written by Catherin Ryan Hyde. The message of the book stuck with me ever since. The story follows the main character Trevor who is assigned an extra credit assignment that asks students to go out and make a change in the world. Trevor comes up with a system he calls “pay it forward”. Basically, he will help three people to change their lives and the only thing he asks in return, is that they each do the same for three more people until thy movement grows so big it changes the world. Eventually, his dream actually becomes a reality. Trevor’s small act of kindness made a huge impact on so many people’s lives. It started a movement of positivity, kindness, and compassion. Similarly, when it comes to sustainability, I’ve learned that it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. For example, remembering to turn off lights when you aren’t using them, carpooling to work, or even using public transportation. If each person decided to take that extra step, keeping in mind how their choices affect others and the environment, then we could make a huge change. Of course, it’s always easier said than done. Or is it? 

The Rittel-Webber reading was challenging. It was difficult for me to understand what they were saying, and frankly, I’m not sure if I completely grasped what the publication was addressing. However, something that stuck with me was when he said,“…the aim is to not find the truth, but to improve the characteristics of the world” (Rittel-Webber, 167). In other words, whether we know if the solution will be successful, or we are just wasting our time, what is the harm in trying? What is the harm in taking a few steps that could potentially better people’s lives and  protect not only ourselves, but future generations? Our modern-day society is ruled by reality TV show politics, technology, and a mentality that we are invincible. We think that just because it’s not happening to us, or right in front of us, that it doesn’t exist. Though technology has improved our lives in so many ways, I believe it has also caused a division between the self and the real world. It allows us to exist in our own little world and thus separate from reality. Altering an entire social paradigm is a wicked problem in and of itself. Honestly, I believe our biggest hope for changing the social paradigm is through education and the youth. It’s important that we teach kids from an early age to love and care for the environment while also encouraging them to do tasks that would benefit the environment. For example, we could make it a requirement for elementary school students to learn how to recycle properly as well as what can and can’t be recycled. Not to mention, if we don’t find a way to change this social paradigm, it could single-handedly destroy the human race. 

This week, I also learned the difference between a wicked problem and a tame problem. A wicked problem is a problem that is not easily solved. It’s complex; there’s not one singular way to view the issue nor is there just one solution that can solve the problem. A tame problem, on the other hand, is a problem that can be solved with the right skills and application. Reflecting on the definition of a wicked problem, I remembered a quote from “Bleed For This”, a movie based on the story of former boxer Vinny Pazienza. In this scene, Vinny, played by Miles teller, is asked by the interviewer, “What is the greatest lie you’ve ever been told?” After a moment, Vinny responds and says, “it’s not that simple…/that is the biggest lie I was ever told, it is not that simple. It is a lie they tell you over and over again. That is how they get you to give up…/[the truth is] that it is.” The very essence of the definition of a wicked problem is that it’s a one-shot operation with no room for trial-and-error. So, why are we limiting ourselves? Why are we questioning, and not doing? Too often, we let ‘what ifs’ stop us from progressing forward. 

Works Cited:

Bleed for This. Ben Younger. Universal Studios, 2016. Film.

Rittel, Horst W. J., Webber, Melvin M. “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning.” Policy Sciences, vol. 4, 1973, pp. 155–169., doi:file:///C:/Users/20gra/Downloads/Reading%201%20-%20Rittel-Webber1973_Wicked%20Problems%20(2).pdf. 

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Wicked Problems and How to Solve Them

Before starting this class I wasn’t sure what a wicked problem was. I knew about climate issues and sustainability were but not the in depths measures of it. Now I know that a wicked problem is something that involves our Earth and requires urgent attention. A wicked problem isn’t just a person problem but it also involves big companies and the government chooses how to deal with wicked problems. 

World population is one wicked problem we are dealing with today. With over 7 billion people in the world right now, population is becoming an issue. This has caused China to only allow one child per household. This issue also affects deforestation and the extinction of some animals. This is just one problem were dealing with worldwide. There are many wicked problems though that needs to be solved. Another problem that we deal with is fast fashion and the process of throwing out clothes. So many clothes fill up our landfill and cause so much waste when in reality we could be giving them away like donating to charity or selling them on the Internet but also buying from others as well. There are so many online thrift shops now a days like Depop and Poshmark where you can buy second hand to help save the environment and also getting good prices on clothes you may spend a lot of money on. 

In the 11th hour documentary, they talk about how the industrial revolution has changed the environment in so many different ways. Obviously, they had no idea what problems that this would cause. It has caused air pollution, a population boom, and people began using the Earth as a resource rather than a home we live on. It turned people to not looking about what the Earth provides naturally for us but instead we use the Earth as a minefield and it is slowly giving out. We are not one with nature anymore but instead living as two separate beings. We are the only species that takes from the Earth. Just changing being ignorant can help these problems and also help reduce climate change. 

After the first couple lectures on this class I have really comprehended the concept of wicked problems and what they are. They might be hard to solve but it is not truly impossible. If everyone puts a little effort in trying to protect the environment like shopping sustainably or second hand, or using metal straws to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean that is killing the marine life we could fully restore these problems. 

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Working for better

Essential to Life

The term “sustainability” has recently become more relevant than ever, especially in the current state of our world and environment. In my opinion, I used to see sustainability as an optional thing that doesn’t have much effect. As the world has continued to move towards a worse state and I have been educated more on the topic, I see sustainability as a crucial aspect that we as a society should continue to push towards. Whether it’s using reusable bags at the grocery store or seeking out more sustainable fashion brands while avoiding fast fashion. Anything we can do to help slow the worsening wicked problems is necessary for everyone in the world to incorporate into their lives. A wicked problem differs from a tame problem due to a variety of reasons. Some of these include the fact that there is no real solution, they are neither good nor bad, and how they are symptoms of other problems. When I initially heard the term “wicked problems” I originally thought it was because these problems were “bad”. I couldn’t wrap my mind around a concept that is not solvable, this characteristic forced me to reflect on wicked problems and our society. After learning more about them I understand more in-depth how complicated these issues are. I see now that it’s due to how difficult and virtually impossible it is to solve the problem.

The 11th-hour documentary was another great source I used to learn about the different wicked problems that affect us and our world every day. I think more education similar to this documentary should be taught starting from a younger age in school. For example, I only started recycling last year when I started college because my family didn’t and my school mentioned it but didn’t explain how important it is for everyone to recycle. Similar to the reading over Rittel-Webber, I think one of our biggest issues is getting everyone on the same page in order to start making any prominent change. This is another point that differentiates a wicked from a tame problem. Tame problems usually seem to have more people on board compared to wicked problems, making it easier to work towards a solution. I believe that my generation is starting to see the importance of sustainability. I have recently seen a lot of small businesses focusing on sustainable products and shipping while still maintaining a reasonable price point. I think that as an individual, I still have a lot of work to do to work towards a more sustainable lifestyle. One way I plan on working towards being more sustainable is to not buy fast fashion as often even though the price is tempting. A way that I think I am doing well with my own carbon footprint is using thrift stores so that more clothes are not thrown out into landfills. In my field of fashion, I hope to utilize clothing that is more sustainable and to refurbish and reuse old clothing pieces. I still have work to do, but I intend to continue educating myself on the subject and striving towards a more sustainable life. 

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The Wicked Truth

Sustainability is something that people not involved in the industry don’t even think about. Most people don’t know where their clothes came from or how the way they were made could be affecting the environment and the world as a whole. Sustainability has always been something the fashion industry has been concerned with, but brands are going to new lengths to prove their sustainability methods. The new generations care more and more about where their clothes come from, and how they may be affecting the world around us. Sustainability is something I would consider to be a wicked problem. Right now, there is no definitive end in sight, and it’s something that simply wouldn’t work in a lot of places. A wicked problem is a problem that cannot be solved without causing new problems, or maybe it can’t be solved at all. Things like global warming, deforestation, and overpopulation are examples of wicked problems. They are all problems that have no definitive solution, and even if there was one solution, it wouldn’t work in all places. Wicked problems are defined by six main characteristics: a problem has a vague definition, variable solutions, cascading effects, solutions that pose irreversible effects, solutions that require unique approaches, and most importantly urgency. A tame problem is something that we can take the time to solve. It’s a problem that we can eventually find one solution for. A wicked problem is the exact opposite. One solution just won’t work, and we don’t have the time to find the perfect solution.

The 11th hour documentary addresses some of these wicked issues and talks about how they are affecting our world. It talks about what will happen if these wicked problems are not solved, and calls viewers to action. Rittel and Webber’s article also specifically defines a wicked problem, and goes into depth on how we need to approach the problem. One thing that really stood out to me in this article was the fact that as the world becomes more diverse, different solutions need to be implemented for different groups since what may solve a problem for one group will create a problem for another.

Paradigms and self-narratives are important to consider when trying to solve a wicked problem. Paradigms are collective mental modes that are made up of our values, beliefs, and assumptions. Paradigms are the lens through which we perceive the world, but we often don’t notice them. They are different for each person, but so many of us have similar beliefs. For example, one dominant social paradigm we talked about was the idea that nature is an income rather than an asset. This is a paradigm in which people believe that “the earth is ours, so why shouldn’t we use it?” Paradigms are hard to shift, but in order to solve wicked problems, wouldn’t a shift be necessary? We are dealing with so many problems because of people who think this way, so it seems too simple to say that “if these people just stopped believing we can just use things without consequences then the world would be fine!” But paradigm shifts aren’t that simple. They involve the changing of a person’s entire belief system. People believe what they do because of what they’ve experienced in their lives, so a paradigm shift is a huge ordeal. You would have to experience something truly impactful to ignite a change like that, and that just isn’t possible to do for most people. Self-narratives are much the same, but are on a much smaller scale. Self-narratives can change frequently, and will do so as what you value most changes, and what you assume is proved wrong. Our attitudes are influenced by our self-narrative, but our behavior is influenced by paradigms. Another major topic involves intergenerational responsibility. The younger generation is currently trying to better the world and make everything renewable for themselves and the generations to come, but the older generations don’t have the same outlook. They think that since they won’t experience the repercussions of their actions in their lifetime, that they don’t need to change the way they are living. The progress the younger generations are making towards change is being hindered by the lack of responsibility of the older generations. The older generation is dealing with the Titanic Syndrome, which is the belief that “We’re all going down anyway, so I might as well go first class!” This viewpoint just keeps people from taking ownership of their own actions. I find this view in particular interesting, because so many people are seeming to be living this way. They believe that there are no consequences for using all the nonrenewable resources or causing damage to our planet’s ecosystems, when in reality it will be life changing for the future generations.

My carbon footprint is a little lower than the average American’s. The average is 19.2, but mine is 13.07. I think this is mostly because right now I am walking most places on campus, rather than driving like I normally would. The United States average is understandably much higher however. Most Americans drive to work because they generally don’t live within walking distance of their jobs, however as a full-time college student I walk almost everywhere I go. One thing I want to change in my field to help reduce the fashion industry’s carbon footprint is help reduce the amount of fast fashion. Fast fashion is extremely harmful to the environment and puts tons of pollutants into the atmosphere. This is something that definitely needs to be slowed down and discouraged, but is a wicked problem that has no end in sight.

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Wicked Problems and Why They’re Difficult to Approach

Before I joined the “Wicked Problems of the Industrial Practice” class, I had no clue what a wicked problem was. I knew that certain problems couldn’t be solved easily, but the title of a “wicked” problem was an entirely new concept to me. However, with this new information, I have learned so much in regard to the state that our planet is in. It has made me realize the ignorance of others, which alone is disappointing. It makes me wish others would take responsibility and educate themselves for the betterment of our only planet. While all variables of what make a problem wicked are equally important, I do believe that the “solution having no endpoint” part stands out. This part, to many people is very discouraging.

When facing problems, many people choose to face them head-on. With wicked problems, it’s impossible to have this approach. Everything relating to them is longitudinal, resulting in negligence from many. This, as a result makes the problem worse, as shown from multiple sources. “The 11th Hour”, for example, shows multiple examples of how negligence from multiple sources has taken its toll on our planet. From global warming, to oil spills and air pollution, the planet has significantly been giving us signs of how it can only get worse.

These signs have been showing for multiple generations, meaning that the responsibility does not only apply to us of the younger generation. All humans, together, hold responsibility for the state of the planet. Therefore, these parties should begin to act like it. Now, my carbon footprint might not be the best, but I try to consciously make an effort to recycle and reduce waste to try and slow down global warming. Others should try and do the same as a start towards approaching some wicked problems.

Overall, this week left me feeling better informed on the premise of wicked problems, and I’m excited to learn more!

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Sustainability: What We Can Do to Help!

Sustainability is a way of doing things that constantly stays the same and maintains our ecological balance. It can change its meaning depending on the subject at hand. A wicked problem is a large, social or cultural problem that is very difficult or impossible to be solved. Some examples of wicked problems include: poverty, homelessness, climate change, natural disasters, etc. There are also tame problems which are problems that can be solved like medical vaccines. 

The six characteristics that make a wicked problem hard to solve are: vague definition, variable solutions, solutions have no endpoint, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and if is urgent. One of the characteristics that stands out to me is “solutions that have no endpoint,” in my opinion if there was no endpoint, there would be no solution at all. Another one that is very similar is if the problem solution poses irreversible effects. If there was a “solution” to the wicked problem that involved creating a whole new problem that was irreversible, I wouldn’t consider it a good solution. When watching The 11th Hour, A wicked problem that I did not know much about was the state of our oceans and the impact that our economies are having on the ecosystems and other organisms. There are so many ways that we can prevent this problem from worsening. This subject also goes along with the reading from Rittel Webber. In the article, it mentions the way society deals with problems and how we determine the right solution. We would use our problem solving skills to make the right decisions. I would want to try and help by preventing waste and other materials from polluting our oceans. For example, the fashion industry contributes to the pollution with all of the chemicals, dyes, and other waste that they use for fast fashion. I think that people all over the world should be educated on issues like these so we can make changes for the better. 

I didn’t know much about wicked problems before this class and I have already learned so much about it. Since I am a fashion merchandising student, I think that there is a lot to be done about sustainable fashion and the way that we dispose of our waste and other materials. There are a million different ways that we could be preserving our planet and making it more sustainable, and not just in the fashion industry. My household is larger and our carbon footprint was 75 tons of CO2 a year. Comparing it to other households I was very shocked. I think there could be some changes made because of that number. Overall, the more that I learn about the subjects of wicked problems and sustainability, the more it makes me want to be more environmentally aware so I can make smarter choices that benefit our planet.

Samantha Cloud

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What Makes Climate Change A Wicked Problem

When I think of climate change, it is astonishing to me how it is one of the most pressing issues we face yet it seems to be the least talked about. It sticks out to me because it isn’t a problem that just a few countries face, or maybe a single race or gender, but it is a problem that all of humanity is facing. Climate change is the long-term change in weather patterns. This is caused by things like the emissions of greenhouse gases, the use of fossil fuels, deforestation, and more. Although it has been slowly happening over millions of years, the industrialization of our lifestyle has dramatically sped up the process.  

Before this class, I was unaware of what a wicked problem was and why they were so important. A wicked problem is a complex issue with many solutions and long-term effects. Climate change fits this description because there is not one known solution on how we can stop it. It’s a pressing issue that needs to be addressed immediately, and solutions must be put into place before being able to see if they will even work. When it comes to climate change, there is no option for trial and error, as all imposed solutions will cause some sort of chain reaction with the possibility of new problems. Climate change is also caused by many other issues like mentioned above. All of these characteristics make up the wicked problem that is climate change. 

I strive to learn more about how we as humans can help fix climate change. It makes me wonder, can any wicked problem ever be truly fixed, or is the damage irreversible? I think the most important matter in this issue is time, and we must act immediately to start taking care of our planet.

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