Are We Going to Make Change Happen?

For class I read an intriguing article called, Does the Market Work Better Than Government at Transitioning to Sustainability? Some takeaways I got from the “Yes” section was how individual countries don’t want to jeopardize their economy by raising the cost of energy. 40 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency was established to help lower pollution. It was successful statically, but many industries challenged the governments approach. The auto industry was the main culprit for not wanting to cooperate. They fought legislation, but in the end, they realized it didn’t cost as much as expected. I think it’s bold that activists think pollution should be treated as a crime. It says a lot about their beliefs on the issue and I admire that.

On the wicked problems website, they talk about how he was assigned to work with stopping the spread of AIDS. He goes on explaining how this disease can spread because people are too embarrassed to go to a doctor for help. They then realized that 80%-90% of people in South Africa can access a cellphone, which could be the solution. The new system allows people to call or text a professional behind the privacy of a screen. I know there are various problems like Project M are out there but often overlooked by the issues that may make a company more money. I also learned about social entrepreneurship and what they do. Instead of trying to make products more advanced they take social issues and research ways to fix them. The website also goes through 10 wicked problem characteristics of social issues. They were very interesting and one that stuck out explained that humans invented wicked problems, so how can we undo that?

Current state analysis has six steps which include, defining the system where the problem is, to classify direct and indirect drivers, conducting casual chain analysis, assessing impact extent and trends of relevant drivers, pinpointing factors influencing human activities, and identifying indicators. I think it’s good to use current state, so you can organize your gained information. When I read about these steps I relate them back to my own wicked problem research. If more people were to think through these steps and to attempt to veer away from detrimental issues occurring, then we would be more advanced as humans coexisting with our environment. For future problems, I’m so thankful I’m being educated because I can now define, classify, conduct, assess and potentially solve these big issues humans have developed. If more people learn we could alleviate wicked problems and save our earth.

In the article, 22 Awesome Social Enterprise Ideas and Examples, I thought number 14, Beauty Products, was fitting for the class and my wicked problem topic of textile waste. The company is called Bottle 4 Bottle, they “Partner with major beauty brands to sell their products as an online retailer. Convince them to provide their products to you at a favorable wholesale rate and divert the profits to purchasing milk and baby bottles for distribution in the developing world.” They are a nonprofit and they are making a difference for people in need.

Since I plan to peruse a career that involves the usage of fabric and other physical materials, I am very interested in solving textile waste issues. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of production and design that we are not aware of. Becoming more educated on ways we can reuse and recycle materials effectively would be ideal. I would like to start a group that all has the same goal of alleviating waste issues. With my group, I would like to brainstorm ways we can help. One idea would be to set up bins or trashcan-like containers with labels on them in any design related classroom to put extra paper, textiles or materials we did not use, nor do we need, so that they can be reused. I would also want to do extra research and make posts online to get peoples attention. We need to be bold!

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