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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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Many people rise above the poverty line only to tumble back beneath it. Millions of vulnerable people return to extreme poverty, or become poor for the first time, when they are hit by a combination or sequence of shocks, such as a serious drought, a costly illness, and insecurity or conflict in their community.
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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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The estimated cost of providing universal access to basic social services and transfers to alleviate income poverty is $80 billion, which is less than 0.5 per cent of global income.

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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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842 million people (or one in eight people in the world) do not have enough to eat.

China pulled 680 million people out of misery in 1981-2010, and reduced its extreme-poverty rate from 84% in 1980 to 10% in 2013.

In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much.

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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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No concerns added. Add content and receive points.

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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?

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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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This misconception is usually held by people who think the poor have the same opportunities as themselves. Being born into extreme poverty there is usually no way out of it or the chances of escaping extreme poverty are so slim that it is almost impossible. What others see as passivity, dullness or self-neglect is the result of economic helplessness and insurmountable misery, not the other way around. Many people are concerned about whether the planet can continue to sustain the human race, especially in the age of climate change. Addressing poverty is seen by many as a way to help more people survive and this will contribute to overpopulation. This does however overlook the transformations that happens when people move out of poverty. Not being in extreme poverty increases access to knowledge and resources. For example access to contraceptives and family planning programs improves. More children may even benefit mothers in extreme poverty as more children are able to contribute more to finding food, getting firewood etc. Less poverty means lower child mortality rates and this improves stability and happiness needed to evolve and prosper as a family.
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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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