When I thought of sustainability my definition came to something that lasted a long time. Through the past couple of days in class that definition has changed for me. I learned that sustainability is something that can last for as long as is wanted. Sustainability is most often defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. There are three pillars to sustainability which are economic, environmental and social.
When talking about a wicked problem, its something way more than just any ordinary problem. A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve and there is no endpoint to it. An example of a wicked problem would be ocean pollution. This is a wicked problem because it has been an ongoing problem that has no set solution or endpoint in sight. There are six characteristics to a wicked problem which are vague problem definitions, variable solutions, no endpoint, irreversible effects, require unique approaches and they are urgent. Like ocean pollution it has some of these characteristics because there is no endpoint, it requires a unique approach and it is very urgent.
Looking at intergenerational responsibility it was very interesting and alerting to me. Intergenerational responsibility is very important in the fact that what you do today will help generations to come. Some people get in the social trap mindset of “It doesn’t matter what I do because no one else is doing it”, but it is the total opposite of that. If you take on intergenerational responsibility head on, it will influence others to do the same. By doing this you are not only protecting the environment now but it is saving it later on also. Something that also interested me was the reading of Easter Island. It was definitely not something I expected when I came to the end of it. Easter Island is not only an interesting story but it’s one that teaches us all a valuable lesson. It teaches us to not abuse nature but to be one with it. When we abuse the resources given to us it bites us back in the end of things. We are seeing things like this today in present time. Staring from the Industrial Revolution on, us humans have taken nature and all our resources and have overused and abused them. This is now coming back at us with things today like global warming, floods, ocean pollution and many other issues. It is ironic that something that happened so long ago would mirror what we would be facing years into the future.
The 11th hour video and activity were also very eye opening to me and showed a lot of things I was unaware about. The information given about all the wicked problems in our world was shocking and devastating. The video was very good on being informative and leaving you wanting to make change. Things I took from the video are to not abuse what is given to me, to reuse, recycle and spread awareness. It is amazing the change that can happen when one person decides to change which can ripple effect and make a bigger difference. The activity one made me think more about ways to solve each wicked problem and think about how serious or what type of problem each one was.
With everything that is going wrong in the world today with all it’s wicked problems, it’s easy to get the titanic syndrome. People get caught up and overwhelmed by the world and decide to not do anything. What I realized is that our self narratives can change paradigms. Our self narratives are our beliefs and what we decide to do for a change. These paradigms or patterns that have been continuous for too long, but can change if you have a self narrative shift and change your mindset on the things around you. When reflecting on these things, it is good to see what type of carbon footprint you are leaving on the world. A carbon footprint is a time of self reflection to see your behavior breakdown of what you have been doing and the effect it is having on the globe. This is a good thing to find out your carbon footprint so that you can be aware of what you are doing and look to see if there are changes that need to be made in your life. All it takes is simple steps to get closer to making our world a better place, and it all starts with one person.