Level Two: Blowing Up a Thought

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So last night I wrote an eh blog post in my own personal opinion. It was meant to be a reflection on our design challenge that we’ve been working on for the past few weeks in ID. The reason I call this past post “eh” is because I think I was just writing for the sake of writing, and thus there was a decent bit of word vomit in compassion specifically with other works of writing I’ve done.

However, towards the end of my post I did start to have some meat (go figure the meat came in when I started to talk about my wonders). One key insight I found while reflecting on my reflection was this last paragraph:

“I also still wonder though about where our recycling actually goes. This topic came up during our feedback, because many people have heard rumors that the recycling still ends up being picked up with the trash, and if this is true, then it won’t be much help at all even if more people start correctly using recycling bins and thus we’d be in the position of solving for the wrong problem. I wonder how we can test this rumor so we can make sure we are solving for the right problem.”

I’d like to take this thought to “Level Two”. (Level two, level two, level two… dun dun DUUUUUUNNNNNNN!) By going to Level Two, I would like to ask a new question: How might we discover if we are solving for the right problem?

I’d like to set some constraints on my thought process (or through a Canada as some of us say as a joke from an early adventure), by saying what my most ideal plan would be assuming that everything worked out nicely.

It would be fantastic if a group of us could spend a day where we started after school one day by talking to custodians about how they go about picking up the trash and recycling in the high school, and ideally, we would actually observe them during this process.

Then the next morning a group of us would wait for the recycling to be picked up from the back of the school. When the recycling gets picked up, we would physically follow it to see where else it stops on it’s path to where ever it goes. All the while we would talk to various people we met along the journey to learn about their role in the whole recycling process.

Eventually the truck we are following will come to it’s final destination for the day, at which point, we too would follow the recycling on it’s journey. We would then talk to people at the final destination trying to discover what they know about recycling and/or trash. Who knows where the recycling goes? If it does go to a recycling plant, then it would be interesting to ask about what the workers have observed about the recycling that comes in. If the recycling goes to a landfill, it would be interesting to learn more about the landfill process and to ask questions about what the workers there see come it. Also both people could be asked about what they think about sustainability.

The over all goal of this experience would be to discover what happens to our recycling by actually observing it all the way on it’s journey past the school. (Can you imagine how cool it would be to tell a pitch through the story lens of a sticky note on it’s journey?!?!)

After going out into the “real world” last Friday on our adventures with ID,  it reminded me how important it is to physically get out of your own “sterile environment” and get a little messy while actually talking to people. In my own personal experience, you learn a lot more from observations and talking to people while on an adventure, then while trying to research and make assumptions in a desk, or even while in a studio.

I wonder if we (being my team of 7) could/should (it may still not be the best plan, I’m open to suggestions) pitch the idea of us having an excused absence day from school in order to pursue this discovery adventure. It would be like a pitch for the pitch almost, because what we would be pitching is why the work we are doing is important enough for us to miss our traditional classes in order to let us continue to further research our challenge and help the MVPS community.

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