Essay – analyzing the sustainability problem

Content and Structure

For this essay, you should use the sustainability problem you have identified in Essay #1! Your essay should apply the concepts we have covered in this course. Start the essay with an introduction paragraph that reminds the reader of your topic. Then, the essay should be structured into nine parts, each with their own header, and a Tool for Analyzing Sustainability Problems diagram:

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(1.) Adverse effects and affected stakeholders. You need to briefly summarize and, if necessary, specify and refine the results from the problem identification: summarize the significant harm and dispersed effects related to the sustainability problem you identified; indicate how those effects are threatening the long-term (future) vitality and integrity of a society or community (social structure, environment, economy); and, make sure you detail who is, or will be, negatively affected by the identifiedissues, in short, the affected stakeholders. [Keep this section brief!]

(2.) Causing activities, actors, and technologies.You need to link the identified adverse effects and affected stakeholders back to actions, activities, behavior, as well as the used technologies and infrastructure (immediate or primary causes). Thereby, you might need to identify different chains of actions and activities. Pay special attention to the technologies and infrastructures used when doing these actions and activities. You need to specifically spell out who the responsible stakeholders are; in short, the causing stakeholders.

(3.) Benefits and benefiting stakeholders.You need to briefly describe the benefits (positive effects) that are attached to the identified actions, activities, and behavior, and who is benefitting from those; in short, the benefitting stakeholders.

(4.) Underlying motives, needs, preferences, and values.You need to describe the motives, needs, desires, and preferences that are drivers for the causing actions, activities, and behavior identified.

(5.)  Assumptions, beliefs, knowledge. These are drivers that guide us in what we do. Different assumptions and beliefs are considered to be true by different people. Also, different assumptions and beliefs display different levels of approval. Knowledge is a set of assumptions or beliefs that is considered true and has been approved by some mechanism of confirmation, including experience, authority, or peer review.

(6.)  Rules, norms, and laws. There is a wide variety of rules, including norms, standards, guidelines, regulations, laws, common sense, customs, and so forth. While motives and assumptions are considered largely attributes of individuals (with the overlaps discussed above), social rules are being shared among collectives. One can distinguish between formal and informal rules. Formal rules are written in law or are part of established codes such as road rules, building codes, or safety manuals. Informal rules are norms shared in a collective, e.g., etiquette, but they are not officially coded in law or other officially enforced or enforceable structures.

(7.)  Capacity, skills, competence. We focus here on capacities, skills, and competence of a practical nature, i.e., how to do something. You need to identify the knowledge and capacity that enable the causing stakeholders to act. This includes skills, competence, experience, expertise, know-how, craftsmanship, and so forth.

(8.) Resources. Resources are here defined as material and social supporters of action, even if virtual in form of money. The lack thereof prohibits people to do other actions. Prominent resources include money, property, natural resources, time, trust, or a supporting social network.

(9.)   External factors. External factors or forces influence actions from the outside, with limited options to directly change them.

(10.)  Tool for Analyzing Sustainability Problems.  Finally, you need to add a diagram that compiles and relates all the components you analyzed (in a flowchart with boxes and arrows). Make sure to follow the guidelines of the ‘Tool for Analyzing Sustainability Problems’ as outlined in the reading and relevant powerpointpresentation on Blackboard.

The essay should be max. 6 pages. 5 pages of text and a one-page diagram.

Formal Aspects

The essay must be written from a professional perspective for a general audience. You are expected to use credible sources to substantiate your ideas (Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptablesource for this purpose), and to fully reference those sources both in the text and reference section of the paper. Each essay should be typed, spell-checked, and no more than five pageslong single-spaced, size 12 font. Please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Manual) as your style guide.

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