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Visiting a Bakery (ELSI Recap Exercise)

To practice ELSI once again, let's do an exercise during one of the most common daily activities: going to the bakery.
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hey everyone I have for you here to posters to explain you a little bit about the SNO hierarchy and especially the ELSI stack so as you may remember from the previous course this is the SNO hierarchy as an outstanding for system Network and object and it shows you the different categorizations systems for objects it shows you the parameters for networks and the main aspects of the system level which are resilience autonomy and Now we’ll be looking at the object level first very often when you start building your overview of a system you start from the bottom up.
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So this is a good place to start now on this poster here We have blown this up for you So ELSI consists of four different areas that have two categories each you can see it starts with energy and materials ecosystems and species. This is all of society and these Are the individual now these categories have a relationship with one another? This categorization system has been developed for you to be able to figure out what aspects of the system are important while at the same time remaining to have an integrated overview of the whole of the system. So these four and eight categories inside of them.
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They allow you to very quickly scan any kind of system for what would be the important aspect now the categories within the ELSI stack are nested. Within one another which means that they have a causal relationship and they are of one another let me explain for example everything in the universe and everything that we know consists of energy including all matter and all materials consisting of fundamentally energy, which means that materials are a part of energy and this is why this bar is drawn a little bit smaller to show that it sits inside of this one then all of life with its bases Ecosystems which means rivers and clouds and climate and land and so forth is a subset of all of those materials then all of life and all of its species are subsets and living within those ecosystems.
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We are human civilization are a part of those species and consists as its foundation of culture which means education, law, policy and our traditions and religion. And so on and our economy is a part of that and the economy consisting of things like Logistics Finance as well as the job market and so on now each individual is then part of that economy with as a foundation our physical health and eventually our mental health and well-being now for each project you use these categories to determine for each category what is important Let me show Show you how that works. So here we have a nice poster of the ELSI stack when we use it in workshops.
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This is a very handy tool to quickly analyze What we think is important which we call the areas of interest and eventually also make a set of indicators of exactly what we want to measure and know in order to do an integrated analysis. So for example, imagine that we are thinking about a bakery the bakery is our project and we want to increase Used to sustainability of the system around it. It’s Village Society or city and we begin with this very preliminary ELSI investigation which we call ELSI scan. So for example on starting just down here with energy.
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I have some P*st-its and a pen and I have some nice colleagues around me that are going to help me fill this stack. So the first thing I’m going to ask is what comes in your mind when you think about the bakery in relationship to Energy? now for example, the first thing that comes into mind for me is the energy that it requires to heat the oven to bake the bread so I write “oven”
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And I stick that here on the stack. Here we go, and I’ll come up with some other things and we filled up with P*st-its like this and then I’ll move on to materials and for materials like, okay. Well, I need yeast I need grain and I need several other things like water to make my bakery work. So that’s what I stick on it. So now together we’re going to fill this thing up.
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You can cut the lat. Okay. So this is a super quick exercise. We just did it a couple of minutes and from it. You see that within just a few minutes with the three of us. We came up with a variety of different areas of interest within the ELSI stack was interestingly enough is that some of these categories have more posts in them than others but that is not always an indication of something if you do this with a group and you take a little bit more time you will Start to notice that certain groups of people have a certain bias. For example with us here.
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We don’t have that much in the health category and there’s clearly less within species that are in with economy in culture and that may simply have something to do with our Affinity with the subjects or simply where our Collective heads are at and that means that it may prove valuable to do another exercise after this to specifically think about those areas where we feel some information may be missing because usually those are the ones we’re basically some Secrets may be hiding that might be really interesting and my help you solve the puzzle of your challenge now something that we do after this is especially when you have far more of these posts and we’ll show you a little bit of photographs down below of some workshops that we’ve done before some of them have hundreds of them after this you you have all these rough Categorisation what we typically do is we go and find the ones that belong kind of together.
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We put them together in a group and then put larger P*st-its on top of it to get kind of an overarching set of areas of interests with subcomponents. And in this way you very quickly build up a hierarchy of potential kpis or areas of interest for any challenge that you can do from the bottom up. So now it’s your turn. We hope that you enjoy the exercise. Good luck.

The ElSI Stack or ELSI tool helps us investigate a given issue, make a full spectrum indicator set, and set goals, guide analysis, and research phases.

Ultimately, ELSI helps develop solutions that work on all levels and clarify tensions and points of interest in a project or subject.

It’s also an excellent tool for workshops. For example, it is a powerful brainstorming tool for groups to explore a sustainability issue, set goals, develop indicators, or solutions. In this video, Tom uses a straightforward daily activity to practically explain how ELSI works and why it is a fundamental tool for start to create systems analysis.

In the next steps of this activity, we give a further indication of how ELSI can come in handy when figuring out the relevant elements to consider in a system.

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