Think Outside of the box and Then Recycle the Box

It seemed to be the consensus in the class that the readings this week either seemed unrelated or were difficult to follow…and I would agree with that. However, despite their faults, the articles did make some very valid observations. The Titanistad article said that “A world that enriches and empowers the already wealthy and powerful by squeezing the life out of the poor and powerless is horrible…” This point is very truthful and has been going on for some time now; from the feudalism of the Middle Ages, to the recent news that the richest 1% will own more than half of the world’s wealth. I also liked another quote it provided which also goes along with the paradigm shift discussion we had “A good leader is someone who can communicate bad news without overwhelming people”. When people feel overwhelmed they lock up and don’t do anything, so a good leader has to inform people of the issues (but not all of the issues) and provide some hope for a solution as well. So speaking of paradigm shifts, I enjoyed learning about the Prime Minister of India and it tied in very well with the “Iceberg Model” we were shown. Both the Iceberg Model and the Prime Minister were very inspirational because I learned it is possible for one person to make a huge difference in the world, and it all starts with a paradigm shift.

The article Looking at the Future Through a Cartoonist’s Eyes seemed to be more of an autobiography than about lateral or future thinking. Therefore, the exercise we did in class on Thursday really helped to expand on the idea of lateral thinking and made it relatable to us. It was also fun to do as well! Through the exercise we were encouraged to throw out a bunch of crazy ideas and then real them in and see what is practical. This is exactly what we need to do to solve sustainability issues. Like some of the inventions Steven M. Johnson made, our ideas may seem ridiculous at first but they are important in order to get “the creative juices flowing”. Even if we decide that our idea is too crazy, someone else may see it and be inspired by it and then go on to make something more realistic. This kind of creative thinking is basically the only way to solve our sustainability issues because it was creative thinking that caused many of the issues (such as factories, chemicals, genetically modified food, etc.).

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