This has been our first week in Wicked Problems and to be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect and what all we will learn in the span of four weeks. Well now I can tell you this class is something which is very important in our economy and is making us become aware of the issues of sustainability in our economy. I have already became aware of so much within this last week of what destroys our environment and how these are wicked problems that are nearly impossible to fix.
For me personally, sustainability refers to the term reduce, reuse, and recycle. It’s an act of maintaining what we already have in our environment by coming up with ways to reuse things without harming the economy and producing more waste and pollution than we already have. By practicing sustainability, we will act as one with our Earth and become whole again as we once were. Our society today has completely forgotten the meaning of sustainable practices and has produced the largest waste and landfills our Earth has ever seen. A normal person doesn’t naturally think of how they could reuse something before they were to throw it away. The meaning of sustainability in todays times is providing us ideas of how to make things new again and provide many different purposes other than just throwing it away when we think we are done using it up. It won’t start right away and it will take a lot of time for our society to get this idea in their head, to use things as they never have before.
The name of this course is “Wicked Problems”, therefore, its only fitting to begin to understand the meaning behind what a wicked problem truly is. In my opinion, this would be a close to impossible problem, a problem in which we as individuals in this environment have not been able to solve just yet. Some of you may ask, “Does solving a wicked problem require sustainability practices in our environment?”, and the answer would be yes indeed. Any problem with this complexity will need to involve some type of sustainability. The only terrible thing about a wicked problem is that when we think we have came up with a solution to one aspect of it, this is when it poses issues to other aspects of the problem. I found some readings from the lecture to be very intriguing, which is for a wicked problem, “any resolution generates further issues” and “such problems are not morally wicked, but diabolical in that they resist all the usual attempts to resolve them.” There is something we’re not understanding and that is our environment is letting this happen for a reason, there is even a reasoning behind why wicked problems are actually taking place. Yes, we may have been building up waste for a long time and it gradually kept making our environment worse and worse, which is in fact true. Although, what we’re not taking away from this is that this process is all part of the end times. I truly believe this is why wicked problems exist. We as humans have to remember that no matter how much we try to solve these kinds of issues, it will never change God’s plan for the way He plans for things to happen here on Earth. I’m not proposing we should keep producing waste and stop the recycling process altogether, all I’m saying is that no matter how much we analyze and try to fix the impossible problems, it won’t stop His plan for what is going to happen.
Briefly reflecting on the Ted Talks given by Andrew Dent and Paul Gilding, I found them to be both very important in different ways. Dent discussed how we should incorporate thrifting into our everyday lives as a means of recycling. On the other hand, what Gilding discussed had more to do with understanding exactly what we have done to our environment and the fear it gives our society. Both speakers have great minds and an intuition on what exactly a wicked problem is and how our economy is able to handle such an impossible issue. They’ve used their minds in out of the box ways almost begin again and change what we believe to be the norm here on planet Earth.
The video I watched concerning Native American perspective on sustainability was unique and helped me to understand other cultures viewpoints on the issues our environment is facing daily. The Native American culture’s perspective on this is very eye opening and flows natural with the make up of humans and our intuition and alignment on how our environment acts. Their culture doesn’t actually have a direct definition of sustainability, because they live it in everyday life. I found it so amazing just how connected they believe we feel to our environment and how, by constantly being aware, we will never get out of alignment with our Earth.
The reading we did early in the week on Easter Island also taught me so much about society and how it affects the environment all together. The people in this society had to make due with what they had and nothing else. They survived on almost nothing at all, but due to their climate and the environmental needs required to sustain their economy, their society died off in the end and couldn’t last forever in those specific conditions. I believe this is where our society is headed in terms of how our economy is holding up. The sad thing is, the society we live in today is nothing compared to the society in Easter Island and how well they were able to maintain the few materials they had to work with.
Thinking back to our self-narratives relating to the Paradigm shift, the Paradigm shift is the lens through which we view the world. In our lives, we will have self-narrative shifts which is where our values, beliefs, assumptions, etc. will change in a specific way. Throughout each persons development, their self-narratives will change as they mature and grow as people. How has this changed for you in particular throughout your life by learning new things each day about the environment we live in.
To be quite honest, I wasn’t exactly sure of what carbon footprint actually meant. I now have learned its true meaning and understand how it’s the main contributor to climate disruption. Its overwhelming to know exactly how much carbon compounds are emitted and what harm it can cause to an environment as our own. Just as this relates to a wicked problem, or even is a wicked problem at that, I wish there could be a solution without causing climate disruption. I wish I could say I knew some amazing way to get rid of the harm it causes in our economy, but I do not.
After my journey thus far on learning about wicked problems and sustainability, I’ve decided to explore the issue with waste produced through the fashion industry. I learned last semester the fashion industry is the second largest industry that produces waste, so ever since hearing this, I’ve wanted to keep discovering it deeper and deeper. I cannot wait to see just what I can discover about this topic through the help of this classes teachings!