What is so Wicked?

The world has evolved so much over time and you cannot help but wonder what we would have done or where we would be today without some of resources we have discovered. I have come to know of sustainability to be the ability to maintain something at a certain rate. While yes by definition this is true there is so much more to it that I did not understand. There are so many ways that you can be sustainable and as a merchandise major I feel as though my professors ask me every day about sustainability within my field. For instance, we are creating a company in one of my classes and the sustainability aspect of my company is that we are recycling old t-shirts to make new articles of clothing so that we are not producing even more waste. I think that over these last two semesters I have really come to learn what it means to be sustainable. I know that I still have room to learn and expand my knowledge on the subject.

Have you ever been in a situation that you ever come into a problem that you never thought you could solve, but with a little hard work, you probably could? Yeah, we all have at some point in our lives. That is where we all eventually get distracted from the real problems going on. The Wicked problems. Wicked problems are nearly impossible to solve if not impossible to solve. Sometimes in life we get so distracted by all of these tame problems like getting sick, breaking a bone, a stressful project that seems too tedious to accomplish that we forget about the big picture. Some of the wicked problems most people in first world countries might forget about are things such as the depletion of our fossil fuels (going back to our sustainability a little bit), the hunger crisis, pollution, and climate change. That is just to name a few. People need to open their eyes and realize all of the bad things going on in and to the world and if we do not make a change now we will not make it much longer before we kill earth.

Personally watching The 11th Hour was a little hard for me considering how long it is, but I thought that as a whole the documentary was very educational and interesting. The documentary mentioned many things that I had never heard of or realized before such as how bad global warming was and the fact that the earth’s temperature is slowly increasing. I often ask myself “what could I do different?” which I understand that is kind of an open-ended question in the sense of what could I do to benefit the earth? What could I change about my daily life that will make an impact? This could go several ways.

There are six characteristics to a wicked problem. They include vague problem definitions, variable solutions, solutions have no end-point, solutions pose irreversible effects, solutions require unique approaches, and urgent. The vague problem definitions are exactly what they sound like. They are not very clear as to what the actual problem is. Variable solutions can vary, some can eventually be thought up, but there is never a for sure if it will actually solve the problem in its entirety. Solutions have no end-point meaning that in most cases with wicked problems, there are no solutions. There are many things where you can reverse the effects of what has happened, but with wicked problems, solutions pose irreversible effects. Many people are afraid to take risks and some people do not realize that maybe you need to look at things in a creatively because some solutions require a unique approach. Wicked problems are always an urgent matter. For instance, pollution and climate change. If we do not change how we live, then we will soon kill earth and eventually we will all die out.

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