Making Sustainable Decisions Using the KONVERGENCE Framework

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Hundreds of contaminated facilities and sites must be cleaned up. “Cleanup” includes decommissioning, environmental restoration, and waste management. Cleanup can be complex, expensive, risky, and time-consuming. Decisions are often controversial, can stall or be blocked, and are sometimes re-done - some before implementation, some decades later. Making and keeping decisions with long time horizons involves special difficulties and requires new approaches, including: • New ways (mental model) to analyze and visualize the problem, • Awareness of the option to shift strategy or reframe from a single decision to an adaptable network of decisions, and • Improved tactical processes that account ... continued below

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Piet, Steven James; Gibson, Patrick Lavern; Joe, Jeffrey Clark; Kerr, Thomas A; Nitschke, Robert Leon & Dakins, Maxine Ellen February 1, 2003.

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Hundreds of contaminated facilities and sites must be cleaned up. “Cleanup” includes decommissioning, environmental restoration, and waste management. Cleanup can be complex, expensive, risky, and time-consuming. Decisions are often controversial, can stall or be blocked, and are sometimes re-done - some before implementation, some decades later. Making and keeping decisions with long time horizons involves special difficulties and requires new approaches, including: • New ways (mental model) to analyze and visualize the problem, • Awareness of the option to shift strategy or reframe from a single decision to an adaptable network of decisions, and • Improved tactical processes that account for several challenges. These include the following: • Stakeholder values are a more fundamental basis for decision making and keeping than “meeting regulations.” • Late-entry players and future generations will question decisions. • People may resist making “irreversible” decisions. • People need “compelling reasons” to take action in the face of uncertainties. Our project goal is to make cleanup decisions easier to make, implement, keep, and sustain. By sustainability, we mean decisions that work better over the entire time-period—from when a decision is made, through implementation, to its end point. That is, alternatives that can be kept “as is” or adapted as circumstances change. Increased attention to sustainability and adaptability may decrease resistance to making and implementing decisions. Our KONVERGENCE framework addresses these challenges. The framework is based on a mental model that states: where Knowledge, Values, and Resources converge (the K, V, R in KONVERGENCE), you will find a sustainable decision. We define these areas or universes as follows: • Knowledge: what is known about the problem and possible solutions? • Values: what is important to those affected by the decision? • Resources: what is available to implement possible solutions or improve knowledge? This mental model helps analyze and visualize what is happening as decisions are made and kept. Why is there disagreement? Is there movement toward konvergence? Is a past decision drifting out of konvergence? The framework includes strategic improvements, i.e., expand the spectrum of alternatives to include adaptable alternatives and decision networks. It includes tactical process improvements derived from experience, values, and relevant literature. This paper includes diagnosis and medication (suggested path forward) for intractable cases.

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  • Waste Management 2003,Tucson, AZ,02/23/2003,02/27/2003

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  • Report No.: INEEL/CON-02-01468
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 944218
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc901104

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  • February 1, 2003

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 7:17 p.m.

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Piet, Steven James; Gibson, Patrick Lavern; Joe, Jeffrey Clark; Kerr, Thomas A; Nitschke, Robert Leon & Dakins, Maxine Ellen. Making Sustainable Decisions Using the KONVERGENCE Framework, article, February 1, 2003; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc901104/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.