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April 24, 2008

blog #8: response to a response

As I was in one of the two groups that presented this week….I will be commenting on the group presentation that focused on Goal 8: Global Development.

Because the project itself was so broad, I think, even without seeing the remaining presentations, that the interesting element will be the way in which each group was able to bring this very large idea into realistic, understandable, and relatable terms. Large concepts are often very overwhelming, and are often avoided rather than contemplated. Hearing phrases such as Ensuring Environmental Sustainability and Global Development can maybe even scare away action rather than welcome it. Without defining these broad ideas in some way further, some way smaller, the goals will always remain ‘too big’ and unachievable.

When ‘group goal 8’ began their presentation with a ‘common thread’ throughout global development, already their ideas were effective in defining this broad idea into a more manageable concept. Global development could mean a huge plethora of different things, could be measured in a variety of ways, and could be achieved separately. Introducing the common theme of ‘affordability’ or ‘low cost’ allowed them to ground their ideas before even explaining them.

Not only is affordability something we can all relate to in our own daily lives, but it presents a unique and ‘extra’ challenge for their research. It also addresses the thoughts of ‘scaring away action’ as it speaks to affordable solutions, which can often draw a much larger crowd of interest and availability. It was also a nice method of organization for them, as they all went in very different directions. It was helpful, from the view of an audience member, to keep remembering that ‘common thread’ for organization and understanding purposes.

‘Group Goal 8’s’ further ideas were also very interesting. Each member took a topic that seemed to interest them, but also which seemed to cover some of the largest areas of ‘global development’, including housing, medicine, sustainability, and energy. Each of these could have been great topics in themselves, but it was nice to see a breadth of information rather than more focused info. With each of these topics, I also felt the group was able to achieve an accurate ‘world view’, representing many, many different countries and solutions in their research. Although it might have been nice to do a more focused study on a few, again, the images and mentioning of several shifted the focus to the actual achievement of the goal, rather than the goal itself.

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Images overall in the presentation could have really helped to drive their concept of affordability and their coverage of ‘worldly views’. The first presenter and her images of low cost housing projects around the world were so interesting, eye catching, and effective. The others, although I’m sure their research was just as valuable, were harder to follow.

Overall, I felt the presentation was very effective and relational in covering such a broad topic. I would have liked to hear a little more regarding a preface to their actual goal, how the millennium goal is defined, how it is being measured. It wasn’t entirely clear as to why they chose the specific avenues, were these the topics the UN used also to define global development? It may have been helpful for the group to begin with their brainstorming process, and how they began to wrap their mind around the ideas, the process it took to arrive at the end result.