Sustainability and Wicked Problems

Sustainability is a commonly used word but is rarely talked about in depth.  Prior to starting Wicked Problem Solving, I had thought sustainability was just about designing to create things that would last longer.  My original accusation is correct, but is missing a large factor and that is the part about how environmentally friendly the designs are in more than just one way.

Everything we do has a ripple affect and designing for sustainability is designing for ripples that reach beyond one layer; this plays hand in hand with wicked problems.  It is hard to know how things will indirectly affect one another without an abundant amount of research and discussion amongst experts.  A wicked problem is something that tries to address multiple problems at once and does not have one solid solution. It is a kind of problem that must be looked at from all the different angles.

Watching the 11th Hour was an eye opener.  We go through our daily routine without thinking about how we are indirectly affecting our environment, kind of playing into the out of sight out of mind theory.  Global warming has been under played by the media, and it is not something we address frequently.  Comparing the 11th Hour and the Easter Island reading it is obvious the path we are headed down.  The question is wether we will let ourselves get down to the last tree or not until we decide to really take action.  My main thought while reading about Easter Island was that it could not be true, but even more mind boggling was that I had never even heard of Easter Island before.  The similarities between what happened there and our current world status are astounding.  I just do not understand why people have not used what happened at Easter Island as a way to better explain our current state and where we are headed.  I would like to think humanity would not let us get to the point of Easter Island,  but then again they did, so what makes us any different?

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