As I begin to write my final blog, I am saddened. This class was a bright spot in my day and I always learned something new. Given the level of interaction in this particular class, I was able to listen to new ideas and communicate my own thoughts. For the most part, I felt like I was able to communicate about my own experiences and information about the human condition. In past discussions and blogs, I have talked a lot about wicked problems and how they relate to the human condition. Going back to the beginning, I mentioned how the Easter Islanders were simply doing what they had to do to survive. Now, coming all the way forward, we have discussed poverty, survival, and doing what suits your needs. One of my classmates mentioned that there are sacrifices and many people do not want to make this sacrifice. I connected this to human being selfish. Just like the Easter Islanders, we do what we want to do without analyzing the true effects on the environment. In my infographic project, we looked at sweatshops. I wish we could have shared our findings with the class because sweatshops are directly related to my field of study. Thus, this is a wicked problem that I will come across in the future and I think it is important to our world today. So, I would like to share a little bit of this information with you all. Sweatshops pry on low socioeconomic areas and employ people who are seeking a source of income. Sweatshops pay their workers an extremely low wage while they are being subjected to physical and verbal abuse, fear/ intimidation, and health and safety hazards. This is one of the world’s wicked problems because the problem varies from place to place, there is not one good solution to fix it, and there are many definitions of the problem. I hope one day I can assist in fixing the problem now that my knowledge of the issue has grown.
I have had several major takeaways from this course. The first is humans are going to do what humans want to do. What I mean by this is humans act in order to fix their needs. We do what we must do in order to survive. It is in our nature. Unfortunately, this has had some major effects on our planet. I think the Easter Island story was a fantastic way to start this course as it is still true today. Therefore, I will relate everything back to Easter Island. In order to survive, the islanders had to consume resources. Even though it devastated them, they thought that was their way to survive. Second, humans can be cruel to each other. This is a big wicked problem in of itself. Forget about saving the world for a minute. Why are we mean to not only our planet, but our species too? It is a wicked problem I cannot solve, nor do I think any one person can. We must learn to be kinder to one another. It is part of our chance at survival. Taking it back to Easter Island, they enslaved some of their people to build towers. Their own greedy ways put their own people in harm’s way. Finally, with the information that we now know, we must start to be reactive. There have been many proposed solutions to limit fossil fuel use, control pollution, and preserve our ecosystems. It is now up to us to start implementing these solutions and make the change. Returning to the islanders one last time, we should not blame them for what they did not know until they knew what was happening. At the time they knew they were completely devastated, it was too late for them. They did not have the means or the ways to fix it. While this is unfortunate, it serves an important lesson to us. We know what is happening, we have the means and ways to try to fix it. Let’s not end up like the islanders. Instead, let’s be the change.
There are still many problems we could focus on. I have made the choice to start focusing on the solutions. Given my chosen field of study, I think sustainable design and relying less on unrenewable resources are two things that I would like to continue to learn about and focus on as I continue my studies. As far as sustainable design is considered, I would like to learn more about how I can eliminate fast fashion. In addition to this, I would like to also research waste. Learning how to eliminate or reduce product waster, textile waste, and production waste. In addition to this, I would like to do more research on sweatshops. Specifically, how we could either do away with them in the industry or improve conditions to make them a safer and healthier environment. Finally, I have a passion for animals. I would love to do some additional research on species conservation and some of the details that are involved with that. Just as an additional passion of mine.
In my circle of influence, I think I am more than capable of making a positive impact. For me, I wanted to make certain changes just because I was learning such much about sustainability, pollution, waste, and other wicked problems. So, first, I will continue to talk about the things I have learned about and the things that I am still learning about. I have already started to have conversations with my friends and family and they completely understand where I am coming from. Like the documentary said, wanting to make a change is the first step in actually making a change. For the most part, everyone has wanted to make a change but they do not know exactly how to do that. Luckily, with the help of this class, I am able to make a few suggestions as to how they can start making a few little changes here and there. I want to conclude my final blog by saying that I have learned so much from this class. Having the fate of the world rest in our hands is a huge undertaking, but I am willing to start making changes and I hope, in time, everyone will be too.