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Showing posts from 2021

System Thinking

System is a collection of interrelated elements that create one complete and unified whole. All components within it constantly interact with each other to achieve a specific purpose.  For example, a car is a highly sophisticated form of a system. Hundreds of different parts work together to make it move in the desired direction, and even if a small part is missing, the car will fail to run.  From the system, I learnt that system thinking is a perspective of things around us, which makes us see how everything is connected to other things. In the above example, it is not just the motor that creates the motion in the car but combined work of all the parts in the vehicle. For example, even if everything works, without an accelerator, the car will not move in the desired speed that we want it to run.    Therefore, system thinking forces us to think about the relationships between things and how they influence the overall system. It makes us see the bigger picture. For example, when we buy

A system thinking approach to waste management

My major project (in one of the units) focused on the growing per capita solid waste in Bhutan’s capital city. I wanted to show how there is more to what we observe in the solid waste management issue than meets the eye. Looking at the issue through the system thinking lenses reveals various underlying factors that contribute to the problem. System thinking provides an overall perspective of what is really going on deep underneath, which can be best explained with the iceberg theory.   Being the most populated city in the country, Thimphu faces a critical challenge of managing the solid wastes. Given that there is only a lukewarm interest by the private sector in waste-related businesses, it is a national concern. This is because Thimphu is the place that all tourists visit, and tourism is the second-highest source of domestic revenue   The iceberg theory advises us to view an issue through repeated events, their usual trends and the underlying systemic structures. It reminds us that w

Nyak is more than saying No

What is  nyak ? Nyak is a cultural construct prevalent in many parts of Bhutan, especially in eastern and central Bhutan. It is never easy to describe for many things go with this. It is a subtle act of refusing when someone offers us something to eat or drink. Our first reaction (as our norm would have it) is to impulsively refuse and say ‘no, no, it is okay, I just had something', etc., even though we may not have eaten anything at all. However, having lived in such a cultural milieu, the host or the person who makes the offer immediately understands that we are shy or modest and immediately assume that we are engaged in nyak. It would prompt the host to make several attempts to get a clear answer if our refusal was honest. If we want to accept the offer, after several proposals, we would then say, “Well, if you insist, I will try it.” Nevertheless, the frequency would be much more if, for instance, you are a stranger visiting the village. The possible reason may be that the vis