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Introducing our Challenge

The challenge we will investigate using the Design Thinking approach.
For the purposes of experiencing the Design Thinking process we have created a challenge based in the sustainability goals. Specifically #12.

  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Now this is still a large space to work in so lets narrow it down a little more to make it more accessible for each person.

Part of goal 12 is to reduce food waste, and reduce waste generation.

Your challenge therefore to explore is:

How can your community* reduce food waste and/or prevent waste going to landfill.

*For the purposes of this exercise you may define community as the area you live in, your family and extended family or your workplace.


Your first task is to understand the context with which we are working in so can you find answers to the following questions for your area:

  • How is waste defined? Are there different types of definitions for different waste types (e.g. inorganic waste, food waste… etc)?
  • Why is waste a challenge?
  • What types of waste are there in your community? Do you know how much of each type of waste there is?
  • Where does your waste go to?
  • What waste management services does your community provide?
  • What are common barriers to implementing waste management programs in your area?
  • What are ways different countries deal with their waste (See if you can find examples or case studies of some ways that a country different to yours deals with their waste).

Make short notes to answer each question backed up by some source – this source could be your observations or from a secondary research source.

You should spend about 45 minutes on this activity.

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Design Thinking for Sustainable Development

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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