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Gabrielle Makatura
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Test 1: Missions and visions are short and simple Both the vision and mission statements are simple and short, avoiding jargon or fancy language that would take away from the point. Grade: A Test 2: visions capture a picture of a binary future state Explaining that the knowledge students are... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at Mouserat
Significant amounts of the systems thinking literature we have focused on this semester urges readers to remember that systems thinkers are not born, but emerge. In complex systems we not only need systems thinkers at the top, but also in every level of organizations. In the craziness of today's world... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2017 at Mouserat
Last week my environmental collaboration class discussed how the daily bombardment of information from multiple social platforms creates slactivists. These slactivists have so many different causes streaming into their consciousness daily that they halfheartedly support issues by liking or sharing them on Facebook for example. How in this age can... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at Mouserat
Chemist George Whitesides delivered a great TED Talk titled, "Towards a Science of Simplicity" in which he discusses, much like Systems Thinking Made Simple did, that underneath complex systems are simple rules. In his talk he focuses in on Google. From the very basic component of Google there exists transistors,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at Mouserat
Being the economics undergrad and nerd that I am, I found the first three chapters of "A Finer Future Is Possible" incredibly engaging and thought-provoking. As terrifying as it is, I find it extremely interesting that the neo-liberal paradigm pushing us towards catastrophic economic events was essentially narrowed down to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at Mouserat
This week's reading suggested that the most important asset you have when it comes to resilience thinking is your own life experience. From this sentence could we draw the conclusion that people who have had more trauma in their life will be able to better recognize and handle resilience in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at Mouserat
The article that truly intrigued me this week was What is Resilience from the Stockholm Resilience Centre. This article emphasized the fact that people and societies are "inseparable parts of what we call the biosphere", and that serious consequences arise when this connection is not recognized as being important. In... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at Mouserat
Have you ever started reading an academic article for class, read about two pages in, and come to the realization that you understood exactly zero percent of the content so far? This recently happened in my theories of mass media class when we were assigned an article by Gayatri Spivak... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at Mouserat
Today, while visiting my family in Pennsylvania, I found myself in the middle of a guided tour of New Castle, Pennsylvania being given by my aunt. Usually when I visit we stay close to my aunt and uncle's home, which is situated on some lush farm land in a picturesque... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2017 at Mouserat
In both readings this week we were introduced to loose guidelines that push us, when trying to change a system, to focus more on fundamental changes as opposed to superficial changes. Quick fixes only, as the name suggests, fix something for a short amount of time. As newly emerging systems... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Mouserat
1) In Meadows Chapter 3 hierarchy is explained as a necessary part of systems that have any hope of functioning well. The best systems out there are made up of many sets of subsystems that care for themselves while also serving the higher system. In Chouinard’s, The Sustainable Economy we... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Mouserat
Most systems are complex and unique, but three main characteristics seem to be present in all that work very well: resilience, self-organization, and hierarchy. Resilience measures the ability of a system to bounce back after being altered in some way. Self Organization describes the ability of a system to make... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at Mouserat
I thought your fishing example was a great personal touch to help convey the idea of a renewable stock in a system that can crash. last semester I took a quantitative methods class wherein many examples actually included fishing and different policies to address the issues of over-fishing these resources. When examining these different policies to enact (theoretically of course) we were urged to not only look at the policies themselves, but something called critical descriptors. These critical descriptors were a list of top stakeholders in the process, what helped run the system, and how each policy would affect the resource. Many times when looking at policy solutions the answer seems obvious at first. For example, in many cases of over-fishing one would look at a policy that halts fishing to solve the problem. When one begins to understand the momentum and complexity of this renewable resource though policies such as limited fishing turn out to be more promising. While the class did not specifically call this systems thinking, it is exactly what you described above. While a system including fish seems simple, it is in reality very complex. We must, with failure and experience as our guide, learn where the momentum is in a system in order to more successfully achieve our goals. In your example it sounds like a business-as-usual approach was used and that no real work was put into understanding what drives and kills the system.
When pondering climate change as an environmentalist it is so simple to remove oneself from the problem and point fingers. The lists of common culprits all seem to include the huge oil companies, giant corporations who seemingly have no regard for the way products are being sourced and produced, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at Mouserat