Friday, August 6, 2010

Zoom out, Zoom in

As my review panel had advised, I decided to take a step back and see what the 'larger than life' picture is. Systems thinking and design is something Rustam had also told me to look at. Wikipedia defines systems thinking as the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization healthy or unhealthy.

Systems thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing "problems" as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

Here are some examples of different kinds of system maps.

So, I need to understand the whole system before I can do anything to it.

I read up on this and tried to draw an information flow diagram. An information flow is an illustration of information flow throughout an organisation or system. An IFD shows the relationship between external and internal information flows. It also shows the relationship between the internal and sub-systems. I tried putting in all the factors within this scenario that influence each other. My panel had told me, "If you had all the time, money and resources, what would you do with this project? What are all the possibilities? Put them all down." So, I tried doing just that. Once I did that, I don't know how much clearer it was in my head because it looked like this!

One thing that I could do though, is zoom in. From all these possibilities, I knew what I wanted to work on exactly. This zone was what I wanted to handle. Of course, all of them are linked to each other, as seen in the map.While zooming in, I was told to look at where in this system can I leverage the right amount of time, effort and energy so that it produces a positive feedback loop. Sometimes, even though the intent it right, what we do might produce negative feedback loops, which is just making an already complex system worse. So, I have to step back from time to time and see if I am creating positive feedback loops.

From the zone (green outline) I wanted to work in, the key bubble words were Children, Fluoride, (Rain) Water, Awareness and Behavioural change. So, the next task to accomplish all this through fun methods. Something the children feel for, can relate to and feel like they are a part of. If this happens, then behaviour change will automatically follow. This is probably a better way to go about it (through nudges) than buggering 'change what you do!' in their faces. That on the other hand is probably not going to produce any positive results.

Yes, I am made this on Illustrator so that it is more understandable for everyone :) Here it is

Concept Map

From this, the area I want to concentrate on is

Zoomed in

So, I have make/facilitate or design something that involves children and makes them aware of the seriousness of fluoride in water and how rain water is a possible solution. Doing this in an interactive and fun way might lead to behavioural change. The next chart shows a few ideas on how I could possibly do this.

What can be done?

1 comment:

zenrainman said...