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The current situation

Suggested tasks/questions for this sub section

Add interesting content about what people are doing or not doing. What's going on on the surface? What are the easily observable manifestations of the problem?

What are the traits of the situation? What are some interesting phenomenon going on here? What are banal or curious with the situation?

This section can contain anecdotes.

You might also include what seems mundane. If you are affected by the problem you might have gotten used to some of the issues that others would characterize as peculiar. Often these are so common that we tend to not think of them.

The items you add here are observable things that may indicate there is a problem. They need not be good or bad, it should just be some aspect that makes the situation peculiar or different when compared to the past or when compared to other places.

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Further reading for intermediate problem solvers:

This section is used to point out the obvious observable issues of the problem. It is used to describe what is going on on the surface. It helps us to describe the current situation in a way that anyone can relate to.

While the next sections hold facts and statistics, this section is about our common sense judgement of the situation. It describes the absurdities of the situation.

The "observations section" describes the plain mundane manifestations of the problem that can be seen by the general public. These are usually so mundane that we fail to recognize them as being part of a systemic problem.

The observations section should describe the status quo (or the existing state of affairs).

This sub section can be seen as a list of interesting aspects of the problem. This helps you uncover the less serious aspects (not just the severe issues) which is important to form an understanding of the entire problem complexity.

At this stage in the process you should consider doing a field trip to see the problem situation by yourself.

We humans are experiential creatures. So, there needs to be some way to actually experience our system – to become authentically curious about the passions, goals and worldviews of others in the system – to literally walk around in it, seeing, hearing and feeling what serves the system and what doesn’t.
- Scott Spann, Innate Strategies

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What are some interesting observations of the current situation?

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Lots of talk but little action

In his first 50 days, former President Obama had already pushed through several pieces of massive legislation. Donald Trump was still waiting on confirming his whole Cabinet, to say nothing of the array of other senior government jobs that were unfilled [193]. Trump has signed a record number of executive orders but they are mostly vague [194] and no progress can be seen.  

Waste of peoples' time

The lies and scandals surrounding Trump creates a circus of never ending news stories of zero value other then entertainment. Instead of meaningful political debates the news media is swamped with conflicts and bickering. Ill conceived bills, like the travel ban, resulted in chaos at airports, more than two dozen lawsuits in US courts. All in all the travel ban ended up as a total waste of time and money, in addition to ending up being a terrorist recruitment tool. 

Hostility and open conflicts

Trump has shown little restraint in using the bully pulpit of the White House to attack his enemies—real or perceived[193]. Trump opened his presidency with a dark and one-sided address that gave no credit to his predecessor and opened no doors to cooperation. Since then he has attacked protestors, the media, senators, China, the Clintons, the UN, Obama, Congress, Hollywood actors, the CIA, the intelligence community, federal judges to name some.

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Add new observations

  • What are some observable curiosities that keep happening?
  • What are some noteworthy things going on?

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Suggested tasks/questions for this sub section

  • Look for facts that are memorable, out of the ordinary, remarkable, extraordinary, puzzling or unexpected.
  • Find facts that others would find interesting.

Watch out for

  • The text still has to be a fact. Do not distort facts to make it more selling.

Advanced topics

Further reading for intermediate problem solvers:

The Striking facts are mainly to grab people’s attention.

These may not be negative in itself but they help to identify the severity of the situation.

These facts should be shocking or humorous in order to attract attention and to become memorable.

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What are some striking facts about the situation?

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Trump tells more lies than any president in American history

All politicians lie, or at least dissemble, but Trump appears extreme in this regard. According to Politifact 17% of Trumps claims are true or mostly true. The corresponding figures for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are 51 and 52 percent.

Trump PolitiFact scorecard

True 4%
Mostly 13%
Half True 14%
Mostly False 20%
False 33%
Pants on Fire  16%

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

There has never been a president like Donald Trump, whose volume of falsehoods, misstatements and serial exaggerations — on matters large and wincingly small — place him “in a class by himself,”. [198] 

 

Corruption

This may be the least ethical administration. The president-elect's refusal to sell his business interests or put his assets in a real blind trust means conflicts of interest will shadow his entire presidency. He actually bragged about turning down a $2 billion deal with Dubai recently. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top White-House-aide-to-be who faces his own conflict questions, met eight days after the election with a Chinese tycoon with government connections to discuss a deal. [199] 

 

Avoids taking responsibility

Time and again Trump has punted responsibility for legislating to Congress, crafting policy to his Cabinet Secretaries or the military, and even suggested that his generals were the ones responsible for the death of the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen[193]. Donald Trump even blamed Democrats for the failure to repeal Obama care.

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Add new striking facts

Add an interesting, shocking or funny fact.

  • These items are added to make the challenge more lively and interesting.

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Suggested tasks/questions for this sub section

  • Only add factual numbers.
  • Add statistics on things that are measurable.
  • Use valid objective unbiased sources.

Watch out for

  • Do not do any interpretation such as what it will lead to and why it is bad etc.

Advanced topics

Further reading for intermediate problem solvers:

The statistics section helps you clarify the extent or magnitude of the problem.

This is useful in order to rank or prioritize this social challenge against other challenge. If the problem is not really substantial you should consider trying to solve another more important problem.

Suggested reading

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What are some good statistics on the extent of the problem?

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  • Number of lies
  • Number of times bullying 
  • Trump has publicly encouraged violence at least 11 times on different occasions [195]. 
  • Trump attacked the media at least 43 times while being a presidential candidate [196]. 
  • Trump has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by at least fifteen different women since the 1980s. [200]
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Add new statistic

Add a statistical key figure or a few related statistics in one paragraph.

  • This should be an important figure that helps to shed light on how big the problem is.

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Suggested tasks/questions for this sub section

  • Find out what people fear whether the threat is real or imagined.
  • What are people afraid will happen if nothing is done?
  • What are common perceptions, feelings, attitudes, frustrations or complaints people have about the situation?
  • Gather experts and have them provide observations and judgements about important developments that are underway or expected.

Watch out for

Advanced topics

Further reading for intermediate problem solvers:

On this sub section we add common concerns by the public, by experts or others.

This helps to get a picture of the public perception which is important to know about when we start to go deeper into the problem.

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What are some common concerns?

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  • We are afraid that having a president like Trump will lead to poor politics that will weaken the economy, not just in the US but also abroad. 
  • We are afraid that Trump, a narisisitic short tempered man is a threat to global security.
  • We are afraid that Trump, having a reputation as a con man, will create a corrupt administration.

 

Trump as a risk taker - We are afraid that he will make risky decisions that may turn out very bad. President Trump might try to swing for the fences in an effort to deliver big payoffs—"to make America great again", as he has promised. As a real-estate developer, he has certainly taken big risks, Trump is unlikely to shy away from risky decisions that, should they work out, could burnish his legacy and provide him an emotional payoff. For example: Trumps risky decisions have  resulted in four Chapter 11 business bankruptcies.

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/the-mind-of-donald-trump/480771/

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Add new concerns

  • What are we afraid of?

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Suggested tasks/questions for this sub section

  • What are some typical misconceptions held by the the public?
  • What are some common widespread misunderstandings?
  • What are popular erroneous conceptions or mistaken notions about the problem situation?
  • What are some popular reasonless beliefs or traditions that have grown up around something or someone?

Watch out for

Advanced topics

Further reading for intermediate problem solvers:

In this section you can find common misconceptions about aspects of the problem.

This can be stories of ostensibly historical events that serve to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice or belief.

This helps us to understand how the problem has evolved and the cultural context.

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What are some common myths or misconceptions about the problem?

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A common myth was that Trump would calm down once becoming the president and become more presidential.

Now some month into his presidency that myth is shattered. A good example would be his accusation that former president Obama had spied on him, or wiretapped him, during the election.

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Add new myth

  • Add common myths often found among the public. Misconceptions held by single persons or groups should be added to Elements - Stakeholders.
  • First decribe the myth. Then describe how the myth is wrong.

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