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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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Roma beggars are visible everyday from early in the morning (usually around 8) to the evening on major streets in down-town Oslo. Some beggars are sitting alone with their cup. You are also likely to see Roma people in small numbers walking somewhere together, or you will find them standing in groups talking or sitting down in street corners resting, eating etc.
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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.

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  • 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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Oslo is the only country in Europe where Roma can come without a penny in their pocket. The Salvation Army provides free showers and clothes. The Evangelist Centre provides free food on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The organization People is People fight for their rights and have provided tents and other help. Roma also travel for free on subways and trams as ticket inspectors no longer waste time on writing fines to people who have no chance of paying them.
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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.

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  • 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.

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

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74 percent of the population support a ban on begging on the streets of Norway, according to a poll done by Ipsos MMI for Dagbladet with 600 interviewed in 2012. The number of Romanians in Norwegian prisons have increased 10 times between 2006 and 2009. It is not known how many of these are Roma. In june 2012, Roger Andresen, deputy chief of Grønland police Station estimated the number of Romanian beggars in Oslo to be 2000. 171 Romanians were convicted of crimes in Oslo and two neighboring cities in the first half year of 2012. More than 150 of the convictions were for theft, robbery or handling stolen goods. It is not known how many of the Romanians were Roma. Seven out of ten who were arrested for pocket thefts in Oslo are Romanians according to the statistics for first half of 2012.
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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.

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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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Some parents are concerned to have their children playing outside Many are concerned that the number of Roma in Oslo will grow to an unmanageable amount and create a very unpleasant city environment.
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  • 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?

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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 misconception is that Roma are nomads. Although they often live a nomadic life it is usually because they often were forced to move because of persecution, lack of agricultural land and economic opportunities. The feeling of not being part of any society, being discriminated in practically all countries they live in and not being respected nor accepted by other people in general enforces a nomadic lifestyle. In Romania, Gypsies are divided into 40 smaller groups. These differ for different crafts/occupations and different dialects. Increasing economic complexity in society the last century with more specialization of different crafts, contributed to further divisions into smaller tribes. There is no reason to believe that neither the beggars or their criminal countrymen are organized in a legal sense as a mafia in organized crime. There has been some cases where beggars have been involved in stealing. Some beggars may have been forced to steal because of lack of money or have changed profession from begging to stealing. It seems the great majority of crimes are committed by professional thieves who have no reason to be beggars as a thief makes much more money. Bjønnulv Evenrud in the organization People is People believe about 10 percent of Roma in Oslo are criminals.
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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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