March 2012

  • Think Globally - Act Locally

    March 28, 2012
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    Student Reflection - March 27, 2012

    After losing for several weeks due to overly complicated projects, our team decided that the simplest idea for a grass-roots global practice campaign would be the best. The difference between the “global best practices” and our idea was that we had to convince people to adopt a good practice without the aid of a government mandate or massive funds. Getting people to adopt a practice is hard without some sort of incentive. The easiest good habit we could think of was recycling. The impact is not visible, and the visible incentive is coins if you’re lucky. That’s the exact opposite of motivating. It’s far easier to use human behavior than change it, so we used greed. People would rather have a chance to win a thousand dollars than an actual dollar, so our idea was to save the coins normally paid and have a lottery for them. Recycling companies could pay less per person, and the infrastructure already exists. Even though our idea was not revolutionary, it was a practical and novel way to get more out of a system already in place, which suited this challenge entirely.

    - Winning post from Richard Pham

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  • Reusable Bird Feeder

    March 21, 2012
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    Student Reflection - March 20, 2012

    The objective was to build a useful bird feeder out of trash.  An interesting observation was that participants made very few changes to the trash materials supplied.   At first I had thought that the trash wouldn’t be used as much as the paper materials provided or the trash would be hidden by the non trash materials.  Instead the trash was prominently featured in the designs. The winning design was the most simple yet effective design.  Other designs were very attractive but also very extravagant and the judges chose the simpler design to be the one they would put up in their backyard, which is a good illustration of the importance of simplicity in design. 

    - Greg Keogh

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