Week 8 Reflection

🔷 Adam Kahane at Ci2012 — “Transformative Scenario Planning”

My main takeaway from this video is the transformative power of a story. But also how slow change can be, 16 years passed from the time the workshop was held to the signing of the Colombian peace Agreement. However, I do want to point out that there are always multiple sides to a story. And that Adam Kahane might be oversimplyfying (and giving himself/ his method a lot of credit) about what was and is going on in Colombia about the way locals tell stories about themselves and their histories. I was studying in Medellin, Colombia at the time the treaty was signed and I remember being surprised about why this was not a bigger deal for the Colombians themselves. The international media was portraying it as this grand historical moment. Yet, the Colombians did not seem to feel anything was really going to change simply by signing a document. I guess that shows how our ‘western’ media portrays and feeds us stories that in turn feed our assumptions. I also had conversations with Colombians about the Netflix series Narcos and the general dislike they had towards it because Pablo Escobar was in a way portrayed as a hero through the series and the way it perpetuated the stereo type of Colombia as a drug country. Instead of focussing on the other qualities of the country such as the beautiful nature.

🔷 Resource Abundance by Design | William McDonough at World Economic Forum

“Design is the signal of intention”

Talks like this make me both hopeful and sad at the same time. Hopeful because the solution to most of our problems seem easy: we just need to want it badly enough and we will succeed. Sad because even though I want to believe the simplicity of the argument, reality is showing that it is far more complicated. Additionally, there is a lot of bad design in this world, and I don’t believe the people behind those designs were evil, ignorant maybe, but not evil.

🔷 Barry Schwartz: Using our practical wisdom

What really struck me about this talk was the power of using what Schwartz calls: “practical wisdom”. In other words wisdom that is based on context and real people. Especially his story of the judge in a veteran court who instead of ruling based on standardized rules, ruled based on context of the person involved. And the drastic improvements they were able to achieve in regards to reincarsiration. It makes you wonder, if we have proved this here, why aren’t we taking this approach everywhere?



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Christianne Francovich

Christianne Francovich


My medium posts are part of my graduate study at Carnegie Mellon, School of Design.