Problems and Solutions…Hopefully

While reading our assigned article discussing the market the main question posed was: Does the market work better than government at transitioning to sustainability? The argument for yes suggested the command control and regulation the government provides, while the argument for no focused on building codes and regulatory producers. My takeaway is on the focus of green building with national regulation, costs and benefits, programs, legal challenges, and necessity of green building. Overall, if financial disincentives are greatly reduced, green building will begin to make sense short and long term and should be imposed by both the market in their actions and the government in their regulation protocols and budgets.

The wicked problems website that was shown to us in class, I further explored after, and with the table of contents was able to learn about social entrepreneurship and how it provides the economic vehicle in which designers can tackle wicked problems. It also helped me to gain a greater understanding of the definition of a wicked problem, as well as the defining characteristics, which will help me with exploring my wicked problem. My wicked problem I am researching is waste in the fashion industry and the effects of environmental degradation as a result. It is difficult to precisely identify one definite solution to the problem that would work everywhere and for everyone because of multiple and diverse stakeholders. Even if there is consensus on the problem definition, not everyone will agree on when the problem has been resolved and how effectively it is resolved. Because professionals and experts in different fields have different viewpoints to the textile waste problem, one solution for all does not work effectively. Different solutions must be adapted to specific situations to be effective because each problem is different and distinct due to unique situation, context, culture, and country. Some solutions will work in one place but not work for the other. Therefore, when they are each implemented, they will not be effective and create the related effects. There have been many solutions proposed for the textile waste issue. Some proposed solutions are improvements in technology, raised awareness, development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials, and more recycling protocols.

People and problems. Wicked problems are something we have much trouble solving, whether we chose to address them as complex, interactive or adaptive, we often times find ourselves stuck or overwhelmed over the issues. Problem solving is a course we take to describe the way in which we alleviate these wicked problems. Using current state future scenarios analysis in order to do so is a very efficient method. Studying past issues helps us to make sense of the problem at hand as well as establish pattern making intelligence to see how different problems react to different imposed solutions. We should value the questions asked, rather than the answers, while remaining open to knew forms of knowledge. We can use this to apply solutions and predict the results in the future.

An example of social entrepreneurship of a wicked problem is the company ABLE. A lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary circumstances. They manufacture directly in the communities they wish to impact, both locally and globally, creating jobs and ending the cycle of charity dependency. The goal was to provide an alternative that would provide these women with the opportunity to earn a living, empowering them to end the cycle of poverty that kept them trapped. Armed with multiple studies illustrating how the employment of women benefits and strengthens an entire community, the ABLE team set out on a mission to end generational poverty, one job at a time. With the purchases of goods, the company has grown from producing a single collection of hand-woven scarves to a full offering that includes leather goods, hand-made jewelry, denim, and footwear. Each item purchased has one thing in common: through working with women, it is leading a step closer to the end of generational poverty.

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