When I had enrolled into this course, I was not sure what to expect. I had never really heard of a “wicked problem,” however I was blown away by how much I had learned in just a short 8 weeks! I did not realize how many wicked problems there were in the world. I always had this mindset that the major issues we had talked about in class were somewhat solvable, and I have learned there is so much more to these problems. Wicked problems are so expansive and bring lots of controversy. During the first couple weeks when we were learning the characteristics of a wicked problem, I was overwhelmed. Learning about different wicked problems and knowing that there is no solution to solve them was heartbreaking. After further discussions each week I have come to ease that while there is no perfect solution to solving these problems, there are still ideas and solutions to help slow the process down and prevent further harm. While this class was only for 8 weeks, I feel I have grown tremendously as a critical thinker. After watching the film The 11th Hour and reading the articles each week has made me want to step up and take some action and be more aware of what is happening around us in our environment. Every week during class I see myself reflecting on my own personal habits and ask myself, “how can I do better.” I personally believe that having small group discussions and then coming back as an entire class has improved my critical thinking skills. I loved hearing my classmates perspectives and their thoughts on what current topic we were discussing in class. I believe hearing others thoughts and perspectives helped further my understanding of not only the topic but to put myself into others shoes. One topic I wish we had more time to go over was about paradigms. I believe it is very important but it is such a complex concept that it was a little harder for me to grasp in a short amount of time.
Moving forward, here are some of my major takeaways from the class. One take away I had is that a solution to a wicked problem does not need to be grand or extensive to try to fix the entire problem. I learned that doing simple things such as making sure your tire pressure is good, using specific light bulbs, even researching and spreading the word is helpful. I learned that while it may not seem like a lot, over time collectively as a society this does make a difference. My goal is to from now on try my best to do simple things like this in my everyday life, recycle more, research and help get my family and friends to do the same. I think this last week of class was one of my favorite discussions we have had as a class. A classmate stated that our generation is the one to make a difference and it is because we have to. As stated in the film we are not at the 11th hour anymore, we have passed that, it is the 11:59 mark. My classmate stated that we can no longer do anything to help prevent but to just try to slow the process down. The biggest problem I took away is how much of our resources are diminishing. The planet gave us amazing resources to create a beautiful life but we have abused those resources. I never really thought about how many of the resources we use are actually nonrenewable. I am at fault for this as well, but I and so many others do take advantage of the resources we are given because it feels like there is no possible way anything could run out. We are wrong. Time is running out. We need to replenish whatever resource we took initially. Not only are we running out of fossil fuels but they are destroying our planet. We need to take some action and start switching to much cleaner and renewable energy resources. The sun is the best source of energy. I have actually taken time outside of class to research solar energy and wind energy and I hope to continue this throughout my career. I would love to be able to switch to solar energy. How cool would that be? The technology has already been made, why not use it? I do hope sooner than later we can start to see a difference and everyone can help collectively make a change.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this class! I wanted to point out how much I appreciate the meditation sessions before class. I have developed a lot of anxiety this semester and I truly looked forward to class and having a small meditation session. I have been practicing this outside of class as well and it actually has helped me get through each week. I have planned at least one a week to take time to myself and reflect and just breathe. I always struggled finding time to take care of myself because I never really thought it was that important, but I learned that it is one of the important things you can do for yourself! Now moving on to my final thoughts. I feel I have gained a lot of confidence to be able to make a change. I love talking to my friends and family about what we have been discussing specifically in this class. Just being educated and having some knowledge can really make a difference. I always doubted my ability to use my voice because I felt like I would never be heard, but that has changed. My goal over the next month I am at home is to spread my thoughts and ideas I have learned in this class to others. Spreading the word is an easy way to make change and I hope this is just the beginning of a great journey. I will for sure take what I have learned with me in my career in interior design. Be the change.