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ID: 546
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Stochastic Design

Description of the problem

[needs editing] There are many factors that often lead us to behave differently, for example to design something because we believe it is right and important, then try to make it happen even if there are not all the necessary conditions. This can be extremely tiring, make us consume a lot of time and resources, eventually getting a disproportion between the effort made and the results obtained.

One basic concept that guided the creation of the Municipalities in Transition System (MiTS) concerns the need to face extreme complexity and resource scarcity for those trying to promote systemic change in our society. One of the purposes of the MiTS is to help every actor to “design and plan” observing the opportunities arising around them, and spotting carefully when and where “energy” is available. Energy and opportunities can manifest themselves in many different forms, such as the availability of human and economic resources, the material availability of spaces, equipment, skills, etc. There are many factors that often lead us to behave differently, for example to design something because we believe it is right and important, then try to make it happen even if there are not all the necessary conditions. This can be extremely tiring, make us consume a lot of time and resources, eventually getting a disproportion between the effort made and the results obtained. Acting mainly on “opportunities” and “energy” availability makes things easier and increases the number of actions that can be performed with higher impacts in real life. We call this attitude “stochastic design” to stress the concept of having a constant attention to the random evolution of the environment, recognizing and accepting variables, and designing on those parameters without losing the scope of our work. The risk is in fact that following the opportunities, say money available through a government incentive campaign, we end up doing what the campaign is asking to us even if we don’t really need it but only because there are funds. This can be as ineffective and time consuming as the pursuit of unattainable goals. This concept is embedded in the whole system. Every suggested procedure is oriented towards this attitude.

Solution

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