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05/01/2017

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Sam Krasnobrod

I think that's a really good point... the mental model proposed in the mission/vision suggests that there is something wrong with the world. Same with the "Make America Great Again" campaign, when was America not great? When was it great? Why bring America back to there it was, why not move it forward?

I think that we should be more worried about understanding the complex systems that make the world run. Then again, I'm but a mere masters student...

Cody Janousek

I guess moreso than just suggesting there's something wrong with the world, which you pointed out with the Make America Great Again slogan, the program is asserting that it has the answer to fix the problem. Interesting parallel you drew, thank you for that.

Harsha Maragh

I agree with you Cody on almost every critique that you've made for each test. I had the similar thoughts when thinking about test #6, although I took my own critique in a different direction. It is hard to measure why someone came into the program and if they are leaving with the skills that they set out to attain. I agree that we all have different personal mental models for the environment, but we do need to figure out a way to measure this for MENV to be a successful program going forward.

Mallika

agree that it is too bad that the Mission -> Vision statement wasn’t shared with us sooner. I feel like it conveys a mental model that, upon reflection, seems like it is shared by many of the faculty in this program. For me, this provides a lot of clarity about how MENV is approaching the design of the program, particularly the selection of core courses. I had previously been confused by this, so I found the additional clarity helpful.

Also, to address Sam’s interesting parallel, I think the whole “Make America Great Again” speaks to the power of shared mental models. In the case of this slogan, people share a mental model that America is in decline and needs to be returned to an earlier time when things were better (I’m sure you all have also read some of the seemingly endless articles on the possible underlying forces contributing to this mental model, so I won’t go into that here). In the case of MENV, I feel like it’s safe to say that we also share a mental model that the world isn’t as just, productive, or sustainable as it could or should be, which is why we’ve entered the environmental field. There are certainly people out there who may disagree with this mental model (climate change deniers spring to mind as an example). Ideally, through systems thinking, we can continually reflect upon and improve our mental models, as well as connect with others who share our mental models to create change.

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