by • February 27, 2015 • Design Thinking, Integrative ThinkingComments (0)1198

Seek the Tension!

Today we continued to work on shifting how we perceive tensions and conflict.  Integrative thinkers embrace tensions as they represent opportunity for new ideas.

We began by exploring World Mapper.  On this interactive site, countries are presented proportionally based on issues.




The problems evident from the maps could result in an, “Isn’t it awful how terrible things are in the world?” discussion.  It could also have ended with an, “Aren’t we lucky to live in Canada?” observation. After all, it didn’t take students long to realize that Canada is good place to be.

Instead, we focused on leveraging the tensions.  Tensions represent opportunity.  From them ideas and inventions emerge.  Students selected maps they found interesting and then had to devise ways to resolve the tensions.  At this point we are not worried that new ideas might not be viable nor that information is incomplete.  This is not a research project.  It is an experience structured to cause insight.  The purpose is to examine data with the stance of an integrative thinker and realize that we are capable of finding new and innovative solutions to complex problems. The idea of stakeholders needs and points of view has not yet entered the conversation.

Taya, for example, based on the extinction map has imagined a sanctuary island – one half cold, the other tropical.  It would be camouflaged so that it is protected from humans.  Animals could live safely.


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