Coming into this class I was not exactly sure what wicked problems were. On the first day of school, we did an assignment where we had to get up and find people within the classroom who had the answer to the questions. One of the questions asked to find someone who looked up what wicked problems meant on the internet before class. After we were done with the assignment our professor called on one of the students and asked whose name, we put down for that question. Instead of the person getting in trouble because they looked the answer up, the professor just laughed. That is how I knew this class was going to be a good one. Taking compassionate curiosity to the multiple ways that I am about to explain truly helped me better understand wicked problems. The first week of class we watched part of a movie called “The 11th Hour.” When watching the movie, I was very shocked seeing how bad our world is being harmed. If the movie was made in 2007 then I can not imagine how our world is today. My heart was very heavy watching all the wicked problems on the film and how it affected our world. It was devastating having to watch how global warming, mass species extinction, and deforestation impacts our world so negatively. After watching the movie, I had a different perspective on our world because from what you see on a daily basis everything seems fine, but once you really investigate our problems it really is not okay. Even though watching “The 11th Hour” film made me devastated, I was very curious to learn more about wicked problems that we are dealing with. What helped me have a calm mind ready to learn about such a dreadful topic was doing mindfulness practice. In my own words, I think mindfulness practice means where you are calming yourself down to be present in the moment. It is also a type of meditation. When first doing mindfulness practice I could not focus. I had too many thoughts running through my head for me to be present in the moment. Whenever we did the mindfulness practice where we calmed our bodies down from head to toe, I could feel a tingling sensation. The tingling sensation started in my feet then went all the way to my head whenever our professor was describing the practice. After doing this mindfulness practice in class I got very tired. Later that night, I wanted to try and use it whenever I needed to go to bed. As I was lying in bed doing the mindfulness practice I eventually went right to sleep. It gave me a calming sensation which relaxed my body. Another mindfulness practice that I really enjoyed doing was belly breathing. At first it was difficult and confusing on how you breathe. However, the professor explained it in a really good way, so I eventually got it. At first it felt weird, but it does help you relax. Another mindfulness practice we learned was the Gatha. Gatha is where you mentally recite a phrase that helps you calm down with your breathing. I had no idea what Gatha meant until I practiced it. Doing all of these mindfulness practices not only calmed me down for things that I am dealing with outside of class, but helped me clear my mind and got me ready to learn about wicked problems. I think mindfulness practice truly helped me in understanding wicked problems. Taking compassionate curiosity to multiple ways such as mindfulness practice helped me understand wicked problems better.
What has really helped me develop humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems are the discussions and reading assignments. Reading the “Collapse of Easter Island” really helped me gain a new perspective on wicked problems. I already knew the gist of deforestation before coming to class, but after reading the “Collapse of Easter Island” made me realize how serious it really is. I learned that deforestation could happen with one simple mistake, which in the story they made the mistake of misusing the wood. Since they used the wood not only for survival, but for helping move the statues it caused a shortage. This eventually led to them not having any wood at all, especially to build canoes for transportation in which is how they got their food. This made me realize that even though our world is so big one day we will also run into a shortage if we are not careful of what we are using wood for. Another reading assignment that we did that helped me have a better understanding on wicked problems was the “Yes or No” article. I was assigned the “Yes” article, in which the author strongly agreed that globalization can lead to benefiting the environment. When reading the article, it was confusing and hard to understand at first, but once I read it again thoroughly, I had a better understanding. One of the main things that I learned was how sustainability can be a wicked problem. Some of the problems that sustainability can cause are pollution, global warming, climate change, and more. I learned if we do not focus on the needs that our world is in right now, then even worse problems can occur. Another reading assignment that really helped me understand wicked problems was the “Fashion and Sustainability” article. I really enjoyed reading this article because it specifically talked about fashion in which I am most passionate about. Furthermore, it helped me have an even greater understanding about wicked problems. The article talked about how fashion is being changed every season and can be a passing trend. A passing trend is something that is not as useful for an extended period. Therefore, when the fashion items are not in season anymore, they are most likely to be thrown away. This causes pollution because waste is being put into our environment. However, throughout the article it explained how fashion can support sustainability into making our world a better place. Fashion can support sustainability if designers are not wasting their time focusing on the future of fashion. If they focus on just the present, they will not be wasting their time because no one knows exactly what the trends in the future will be. Also, if fashion supports sustainability there is more of a chance that design can be more valuable and there will be easier ways when creating products. The faster we encourage fashion to support sustainability there will be more changes for the better in the fashion industry. This becomes less of a wicked problem because fashion items are not being thrown away, which can lead to a healthier environment. All these assignments and discussions in class have truly helped me gain knowledge in wicked problems. Overall, these assignments have helped me develop humble and compassionate responses to wicked problems.