01 Introduction

01 Introduction - CEE 454 Sustainable Small-Scale Water...

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Monroe L. Weber-Shirk S chool of Civil and Environmental Engineering CEE 454: Sustainable Small-Scale Water Supplies 1
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Why am I teaching this course? Experience in refugee camps in Honduras in 1982-83 The spark of interest: What makes slow sand filters work? Engineers for a Sustainable World The unevenly expanding human knowledge space Groupthink The myth that the environmental engineering challenge of providing safe drinking water has already been solved
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Uneven Knowledge Space Water purification nanotechnology pharmaceuticals Learn from adjacent knowledge spaces! WMD
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You should be taking a course in business or information technology Environmental Engineering is a dead profession The science behind environmental engineering is already well understood Environmental engineers have been applying the same solutions for the past 80 years Providing everyone on the planet with safe drinking water only requires the money and political will to apply known technologies Discussion time! Do you agree?
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Groupthink Groupthink refers to faulty decision-making in a group (coined by Irving Janis, 1972) Groups experiencing groupthink do not consider all alternatives and they desire unanimity at the expense of quality decisions Irving, Janis. (1972). Victims of groupthink. Boston: Houghton Mifflin; Irving, Janis. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
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Examining few alternatives Not being critical of each other's ideas Not examining early alternatives Not seeking expert opinion Being highly selective in gathering information Not having contingency plans Why would a group adopt these behaviors? True, true,
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01 Introduction - CEE 454 Sustainable Small-Scale Water...

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