Most students that enroll in a class, generally have an understanding of what that class will entail. That was not the case with Wicked Problems of Industrial Practice. I had no idea what I was signing up for, what is a wicked problem? What does that have to do with industrial practice? What on earth is this class about? I assumed the class was about problems in DHM specific workplaces, and was surprised to find out it was about the environment. I was unaware of how much sustainability had an effect on not just DHM majors but everyone. Upon learning that I also learned my first lesson of the school year, not to double book classes. Though I was not there on the first day of class, I found out through a friend in the class that they had watched The 11th Hour.
The film really helped put the class in perspective for me. It was all about human impact on the environment, and the condition of the environment today. It also helped define the term “Wicked” for me. A Wicked problem is a problem that has no clear solution or foreseeable way to resolve it. It brought up problems such as deforestation, water shortages, climate change, pollution, and other major problems the world is facing today. In a way the film was almost scary, it brought up so many huge problems that it seemed overwhelming, creating a “the earth is doomed” kind of mentality. These problems hit close to home as I lived in an area in Malaysia that had a huge deforestation problem. It created a serious issue of endangerment and extinction of many species of birds, primates, and reptiles that all relied on the rainforest as a source of life and were now left with city streets and open fields. It really makes you realize how much of the world ignores these problems, walking around with blinders on, pretending the issue isn’t there because they can’t see it directly in front of them. I was one of these people until I watched what happened at my home, and especially after watching that film.
Although confused as to what this class was at the start, I’m really excited to learn more about how our actions can affect change on this planet. The concept of wicked problems was definitely foreign to me, but the film and this class have opened my eyes to a world full of wicked problems and I’m excited to learn about how to approach a solution.