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Engineers (and many others) have difficulties understanding intangible stuff like “knowledge”.
Engineers are good at establishing and applying formal rules and standards to discover and build solutions for well analyzed problems, but they are not so good at solving problems involving people or other chaotic components. Engineers work in and with organizations comprised of people who are inherently error prone and sometimes chaotic. By recognizing these problems of knowledge and organization, engineers can build systems to minimize uncertainty and manage knowledge.
This presentation covers some key frameworks of understanding for sustainability practice:
* The "tragedy of the commons"
- Garrett Hardin
- Elinor Ostrom (Nobel Laureate)
Models of governance
* Herbert Simon (Nobel Laureate)
- Theoretical basis for decision support
- Theory of hierarchically complex systems
* Intersecting theories of organization and knowledge
Engineering for sustainability unavoidably involves understanding the social use of resources
* People, communities and their imperatives
* Social systems & infrastructure
Knowledge & decision support