NYC: 2050 – x/y grid and leverage points


The above graph was part of the in-class assignment for me last week. A little bit uncertain of how to apply this to a short film, I thought about what I was most struggling with. Besides figuring out the style of the film (which is now pretty much set in stone), I’ve struggled with what content, of all the massive amounts of things we could talk about in a film in 2050, should we really focus on.

So, I through up a bunch of topics, and rated them in terms of what I most want to talk about, and what would reach the most people. In terms of rapid sketches, I made these little charts talking about how I would both ‘show’ and ‘tell’ in a short film context about each of these topics. This has been constant points of discussion as our group talks about how to most effectively ‘show’ what life is like in 2050, while giving viewers the information they need without overdoing it. Here is what I came up with, and I almost did this as a quick instinctual exercise more than really thinking about the best possible thing (like I have been doing for the script).


eatinginseason stopeating meat movingawayfromcoast reproduction extinct animals

And a few photos for something like what I picture for these:







In terms of the Leverage points, I thought the best route to take, at least as a first step was to look at society, as it stands, and how it would continue on its path to this future world of 2050. In some instances, I address what I hope users may question after seeing the film. I think this is a little vague and they’re a bit scattered as I’m thinking of main issues facing NYC in 2050. This also, in a way, addresses environmental issues as whole, but it’s a starting point, as the topic of the film is also fairly broad.

12. Constants, parameters, numbers (such as subsidies, taxes, standards).

- As of right now, the total population that needs food and water to survive, and jobs to keep economy going (and to allow for them to get food/water/shelter).
11. The sizes of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows.

- In the food system, we have a surplus through importing/farmer’s having more so all needs are met/packaged and canned goods. But, if there are enough food shortages, when will that buffer fizzle out, and is such a large buffer of fresh food needed? We can survive if we wanted to get beans but they ran out.
10. The structure of material stocks and flows (such as transport networks, population age structures).

- The distribution system of food and fresh water is complex in NYC (and anywhere). But it’s one area that would need to be addressed immediately in times of disaster or in building a more sustainable future.
9. The lengths of delays, relative to the rate of system change.

- Proactive disaster relief causes a delay because you don’t know how effective it is until the next disaster.

- Changes to farming system won’t be clear until next crop has harvested
8. The strength of negative feedback loops, relative to the impacts they are trying to correct against.

- Costs associated with buying from people who don’t deal in mass quantities – it’s more expensive and negatively effects the chance of you doing that again.

- Another would be general water/flooding issues in areas affected by rising sea levels – it interrupts your romanticized idea of living on the water, and makes you less likely to continue.


7. The gain around driving positive feedback loops.

- Eating conveniently and being satisfied encourages that to continue to happen. The same for having a food craving and it being satisfied, regardless of how hard it was to get that food to NYC.

- On the good side, interacting with the people who make your food (at farmer’s markets) causes a connection that will make you more likely to buy from them again.
6. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to information).

- In disaster relief, that directions and support would come from government and police/fire. Again, if these are common/sever enough, would citizens need to figure it out for themselves and develop their own methods like mesh networking for communication?
5. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints).

- You work at a job, get your salary, pay your taxes, and spend your money how you choose.

- There is oversight from the government to help you in times of need, but if those times are frequent enough, can they still be effective?


4. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure.

- The structure of food consumption and distribution – trucks sending food all across America, and ships even bringing food in overseas.

- The structure of humans as ultimate beings on Earth – are we allowed to just kill/eat everything we want, and in doing so allow for all the resource waste in the process?
3. The goals of the system.

- Booming economy

- Freedom

- Minimal unemployment

- Environmentalism when convenient after other conditions have been satisfied
2. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises.

- The concept that growth and good is a necessity in our economy.
1. The power to transcend paradigms.

- Viewers question their relationship with their food and place of residence, and structure their life differently and focus political energy towards advocates of the environment.

- Re-consider constant re-population and humans’ natural instinct to have children


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>