Copyright © 2019 by Omar El-Haloush, Stephen Powley, Yash Kaushik, David Flanigan and Joseph Sitomer. Permission granted to INCOSE to publish and use. INCOSE Practitioners Challenge 2019: Clean Water Omar El-Haloush (Omar.El-Haloush@how2se.nl), Stephen Powley (email@example.com), Yash Kaushik (firstname.lastname@example.org), David Flanigan (David.Flanigan@jhuapl.edu), Joseph Sitomer (email@example.com) ABSTRACT During the INCOSE International Symposium 2019, a Practitioners Challenge was issued to address the problem of pollution in the river Ganges in support of the broad focus INCOSE has placed on the United Nations’ global Clean Water and Sanitation Sustainability Goal. The team was asked to use Systems Engineering (SE) principles and methods to explore solutions to achieve clean water for the inhabitants of the Ganges River basin. After applying different SE techniques, a problem statement was formed, additional information was retrieved and the team identified a multi-facetted approach to addressing the clean water challenge. The need to address social aspects of the system and change human behavior stood out as being particularly important. INTRODUCTION For the past five years, INCOSE has offered a chance to apply systems engineering (SE) practices and principles to real-world socio-technical problems at the International Symposium. Previous Practitioners Challenges included detecting and containing infectious disease outbreaks, detection of and defense against Near-Earth Objects, cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and applying systems thinking and SE principles to innovation systems. This year’s challenge was to address clean water for consumption in the areas surrounding the Ganges River in India. The topic of clean water was also part of the IS 2019 President’s Challenge to tackle the global Grand Challenges previously identified by the INCOSE Academic Council (Wade et al 2018) (Hoffenson et al 2019). The INCOSE Board and President have chosen to continue the Academic Council’s work on the Grand Challenges, focusing on Clean Water and Sanitation (CWS) and working to establish Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with organizations to provide systems expertise as appropriate. INCOSE attended the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference to present the need of a systems approach to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (United Nations, Outreach 2019). Some of the outputs reported in this paper were presented as examples during the INCOSE workshop held at this conference. SDG 6 is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all (United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals 2019).). The 2019 Practitioners Challenge team was composed of delegates attending the 27th Annual INCOSE International Symposium who volunteered their time alongside attending and presenting in technical sessions and working groups. The work reported here is based on three days of collaborative work sessions, where each team member brought their own strengths to complement each other. Additional work has been carried out since the conference to generate the outputs as reported here. METHODOLOGY Given the complexity of the problem, the team applied multiple approaches to define the scope of the problem, such as Root Cause Analysis, System Definition, Stakeholder Analysis, Ontology, Functional Analysis, etc. Soon it was evident that, given the time in hand, it would be more appropriate to ensure that the problem statement was defined correctly rather than rushing to find a solution. Hence, the team decided to focus their efforts to come up with the most appropriate problem statement within the duration of INCOSE Symposium 2019, with an assumption that the teams working on this challenge after IS 2019 could take that problem statement as a starting point and work on finding a solution. Listed below are excerpts of the team’s efforts and how they came together to address the challenge. PROBLEM DEFINITION & LAYERING To understand the problem and define its scope, the team started with System Analysis and created a system boundary. The system was named ‘The Ganges’. Several artifacts were developed to visualize the scope of the problem and define the system boundary along with who the stakeholders are. Figure 1 provides a visual representation of the System Boundary, along with the interactions between users, industries, businesses, and government while the river provides water flow. Although Global Community is not included within the system boundary, it is considered within the scope of the problem for the reason that the river merges into the ocean and has an impact on the underwater ecosystem. Figure 1. System boundary for “The Ganges” system Identifying different layers of the system was also key to understanding different levels of detail. The team worked to explore who was using the river, at what scale, and how the layers would interact with each other. The team also identified the key factors affecting each system layer. Figure 2 provides an example of the various layers of the system formed by multiple systems within the Ganges River and region. Figure 2. System Layers The team also noted that it is important to consider interactions between the UN goals. The interrelations between the goals are currently not well communicated and treating the goals in isolation risks negative, unintended quantities. For example, providing clean water and sanitation to all (SDG 6) will increase average human lifespans and human population. This will place increased strain on the food production system, making it more difficult to achieve SDG 2 of ‘zero hunger’. This in turn suggests a dependency with SDG 12, which is to ‘ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’. ONTOLOGY Two ontologies were developed to describe the key concepts associated with the problem space and the relationships between those concepts. The goal of an ontology in systems engineering is to help with shared understanding and interoperability. It does this by providing the foundation for defining the viewpoints of an architectural framework (AF). An AF embodies “conventions, principles and practices for the description of architectures established within a specific domain of application and/or community of stakeholders” (ISO, 2011). Viewpoints capture stakeholder perspectives and hence define how the system model is visualized to meet their needs. Even if an ontology is not developed into an architectural framework, it can benefit a project by providing a basis for common understanding within and external to the team. It also provides a map to guide storytelling about the problem space, which the Practitioners Challenge team identified as another key technique for solving this challenge. Figure 3 shows a developed version of one of the ontologies that came out of the workshop, which focuses on human influence. This is not a traditional area for applying model-based systems engineering (MBSE) techniques, so it was selected to illustrate how familiar techniques can equally be applied to social systems. The other ontology (not show for reasons of space) focused on water and the substances that pollute it. Figure 3. Human Influence – ontology example FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS The team developed a visual representation of the flow of water to help understand the detailed functions that a filtration and transportation system would need to perform, as well as handling the wastewater. Figure 4 provides a higher-level view of how the water originated from natural sources and flowed through several systems and system layers, which helped to understand the flow rate as well as the pollutants (total dissolved solids). Figure 4. Modeling the Water Flow – Functional Decomposition of the System ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS At each part of the functional description of the systems, the team evaluated different ways that water could be processed and reused within the system. Several criteria to describe how potential systems could affect the water included: capacity, land use, human resources needed to operate these systems, how the system would “fit” (and be accepted or not) in the community, investment, sustainability potential, scalability, and time to implement. Each of these alternative concepts were judged in a qualitative scale ranging from very easy to very hard. Some of these alternatives included: Filtration systems Water routing systems Education and awareness Public policy and outreach Treatment plants Relocation of resources Biological remedies A House of Quality approach (Figure 5) was also used to compare the alternatives to the capability challenges, such as lack of land, bureaucracy, high population, high industrial pollution, and lack of sewage facilities. Figure 5. House of Quality (QFD) SUBJECTIVE FRAMEWORKS The team realized that many of the challenges to be overcome in advancing a solution to this problem are cultural in nature. The complex mixture of local socio-economic customs, cultural traditions, political loyalties, and religious influence on the population have proven in the past to undermine projects of this size, even when the technology and financial means for a solution exist (as is the case here). For example, the waters of the Ganga are considered sacred by a large percentage of the population, but the river itself and surrounding urban and rural lands are not. Convincing the population that the water is impacted by those surroundings and is therefore a matter for engineers and not divine intervention must be handled with care and a suitable strategy (Lance, 2008). We therefore extended our analysis to leverage socio-technical technique called the Four Quadrants model, as shown below, also known as “AQAL” (All Quadrants, All Levels) adapted from Integral Theory – a holistic analysis paradigm developed by Ken Wilber (Ken, 2000) (Figure 6): • • • Systems Thinking Models Interfaces Internal Individual Design Thinking Craftmanship Beauty User-friendliness Collective • • • • Upper Left (UL) External Upper Right (UR) “I” Intentional, Personal (Subjective) “It” Behavioral (Objective) Lower Left (LL) Lower Right (LR) “We” Cultural (Intersubjective) “Its” Systems, Social (Interobjective) • • • • Focus Technology Components User Needs • • • • Empathy Storytelling Metaphors Image Figure 6. Four Quadrants socio-technical model Traditional engineering methods align with the right-hand column of this model, and more subjective conceptual methods are represented on the left. Design thinking in line with local aesthetics and empathy with local customs are critical to success when striving for such large goals. Ultimately, a multi-tiered storytelling strategy should be employed to enlist local religious and cultural leaders who can in turn reach their constituents to drive realization of a greater good and acceptance of change. CONCLUSIONS The team identified the problem statement as: “Altering human behavior to follow practices that reduce waste and pollution of the system ‘The Ganges’” Altering the behavior of the inhabitants of ‘The Ganges’ river system (as described above), is a complex socio-technical problem at a systems-of-systems level that can only be addressed with careful consideration of the interactions between major social, technical, financial and ecological systems. The Practitioners Challenge team identified that the social system was the major factor preventing progress at this point, with technical solutions and funding already available. Ensuring clean water in ‘The Ganges’ requires working together with the inhabitants and local administrations in a way that is sensitive to local cultures and beliefs. When this problem is approached in such a manner, this working group is convinced the problem could be addressed and not share a similar fate to previous failed endeavors. Next Steps To continue the efforts for finding a solution to the problem, the next suggested steps in this approach are described below: The Clean Water WG should take the findings of this challenge into account while they are continuing their work. There could be an exchange of knowledge leading up to INCOSE WS 2020. The Clean Water WG should collaborate with INCOSE India Chapter to identify ongoing efforts for the cleaning of river Ganges and evaluate their efficacy while working towards the solution. INCOSE India Chapter should find ways to collaborate with local leaders who can influence communities to work towards a viable solution. Develop the human-centric ontology presented in Figure 3 as follows: o Add elements from the water and polluted substances ontology. This will create a more complete description of the concepts and relationships in the problem space considered during the Practitioners Challenge. o Abstract the idea of Human Community to consider other types of Community. Natural communities are major stakeholders in the system of interest. o Expand on the idea of ‘Personality clashes with Personality’ to enable models based on the ontology to capture. o Develop an AF based on the extended ontology to facilitate modelling of the problem from different stakeholder perspectives. In order to share the findings of the challenge beyond our own community and gain momentum in awareness-building, there should be a (more) intense collaboration/ communication between INCOSE and the UN with regard to the Sustainability Development Goals. Model system interactions at the level of the UN goals to avoid the risks associate with addressing the goals in isolation. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The members of the Practitioners Challenge team would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals who helped in providing the team with insights and techniques that were used in approaching this challenge: Kerry Lunney for your insights to the larger INCOSE clean water global challenge initiatives Dr. Gregory Parnell for sharing methods used in defining the problem Kevin Devaney for sharing your insights on how to apply the subjective framework in this challenge Mike Vinarcik for creating an initial System Model in SysML that we were not really able to expand on in our short time working this effort Prashant Dhawan for your insights on how nature would solve this challenge Simon Perry for your review and insightful observations on the Human Behavior ontology that helped to refine the work Frank Salvatore for your knowledge, time, interesting discussions, efforts to get the working group in contact with many of those listed above, providing the final push in creating this paper and of course your company REFERENCES 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, https://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/slcconference. 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New York, US. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable% 20Development%20web.pdf Wade, Jon, et al. 2018. "Future systems engineering research directions”. Disciplinary convergence in systems engineering research. Springer, Cham. 1165-1179. Wilber, Ken. 2000. A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality. Shambala Publications. 66-73 ABOUT THE AUTHORS Stephen Powley MEng MINCOSE MIET Stephen’s vision is for a harmonious, interconnected world that understands how to use technology to break down barriers and bridge divides. Before starting his PhD in Automotive Cybersecurity, he consulted on requirements-led engineering for international businesses. His research focuses on describing how enterprises with global impact can work together to deliver complex, high-integrity automotive systems that remain secure throughout their lifecycles. Stephen works actively as a volunteer sharing the wonder of engineering and technology with young people. He co-founded Robot Day in Derby and Coventry, UK – the most recent event attracted over 5500 visitors of all ages. Joseph Sitomer MSBE Joseph has devoted his four-decade professional career to innovation and advancement in healthcare technology and medical devices. After receiving his MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan, he has made several contributions in the fields of medical image processing & visualization; cardiology; and large scale EMR & Population Health IT solutions. Along the way, he has worked in both industry and academic settings and co-founded a successful startup venture. He is currently the Sr. Manager of Systems Engineering at THINK Surgical Inc in Fremont CA and a recent member of INCOSE. David Flanigan David Flanigan is a member of the Principal Professional Staff for The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, providing systems engineering services to various US Government clients, and is an INCOSE CSEP. He holds a PhD in Systems Engineering and Operations Research from George Mason University. Omar El-Haloush Omar has a high affinity with modelling natural systems and acquired these skills during his BS degree in Computational Biology. During his career he applied this knowledge throughout the financial industry for Insurance companies and Banks. Currently he is working for several projects within the infrastructure domain. Besides his work, Omar is a member of the board of the Dutch INCOSE chapter. Yash Kaushik Yash is an Engineering Management Professional practicing Systems Engineering in the MedTech industry with specialization in New Product Development and Risk Management of Medical Devices including Surgical Robotics and Combination Products. During his entrepreneurial experience in past, Yash co-founded Oxygenie LLC to develop a closed loop oxygen weaning system for in-hospital patients. He is currently associated with THINK Surgical Inc. (Fremont, CA) as Sr. Systems Engineer developing an Intra Operative Surgical Robotics System. Yash holds a Masters in Engineering Management from Northwestern University, Chicago (USA) and a Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from UP Technical University, Uttar Pradesh (India).