Day 5: The Bat Signal 🦇

Sustainability is not a field, sector, or risk to be managed. It’s simply the line that separates regeneration from degeneration.

This was my first major takeaway from our mentor session with Rebecca Mills, sustainable innovation strategist. A job she wants to design herself out of as the world will eventually built itself into a DNA that thinks sustainably about all its actions. Rebecca has worked on building The B team, founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz.

Situation: 7 people decide to go out for dinner. 1 of them gets no food on the table and 2 of them do not get clean water.

What do they do ? Share.

This is our current predicament on this planet, out of the 7 billion people, 1 billion go hungry and 2 billion have no access to clean water.

She shared with us the concept of 9 planetary boundaries for a better understanding of our current limits on the planet.

“The concept of planetary boundaries provides an opportunity to develop a game plan for human development on a planet that has limits.” -Johan Rockström
The 9 planetary boundaries: nine biophysical processes

Rebecca created a regeneration toolbox to share with us and helped us apply a lot of these concepts to practical life scenarios in the way of group tasks to design an equitable world that we’d like to live in.

A message that she left us with which resonated most is, “Live on the planet as if you intend to stay.”

Regeneration toolbox and the bat signal

The session gave us a lot to process and we did that during the picnic lunch which followed. A lot of greens to eat and sit on!

Leyla gave us more insights into the disruptive design methodology as we digested a lot of what we had learnt (and eaten) and looked at it from a systems thinking lens with the help of life cycle assessment tools.

We dug into the issue of gun violence by creating a systems map. If you wish to create a systems map online, this is for you.

We used the systems map to identify points of intervention as we went about designing ways to mitigate the risk of guns.

Systems map to tackle the issue of gun violence

Some definitions I found interesting:

Pillar issues: Strategic issues which other issues stem from.

It’s best to figure out the pillar issues when tackling a problem so today’s solutions are not tomorrow’s problems.

Flow: Optimum mental state of operation in which a person performs an activity and the state reached is a fully immersed feeling of energised focus, complete involvement, and enjoyment in the activity.

How to beat procrastination, Wait but why by Tim Urban

We had a reflection session with Craig, our co-host every evening to reflect on the day’s learnings and experiences. This evening was about taking a pick and the choices were brain, eyes, hands and heart. I chose hand which signified actionable learnings that can be applied directly to your practical projects or even your life.

Reflection session with Craig

We got a glimpse of what is to follow the final 24 hours of our fellowship program- a design challenge! The details shared were to a minimum though working with the Christchurch city council, a public body which provides core services such as water, library, and general maintenance (you see my order of priority here!) in a team of 4 people. Crucial.

Nidhi’s doodle on the day’s learning and the colour coordinated folks

If you enjoyed the article, click on the green heart to recommend, share it and be sure to let me know in the comments section.

Do follow me here on Medium for articles on sustainability, and if you’re new here- visit my previous posts to follow my journey so far! Thanks for the love.