Preparing for China

Written by Karoline Johnson

Nǐ hǎo,

I can’t believe after a year of preparation I’ll finally be going to China in a week and a half!  It’s only the end of our third full day together but we have already gotten so much done in preparation.  I have been working for the last year on building low cost air pollution monitors to take along with us to China but after today I have much better of an idea of what our goals are in China.  The goal is to create healthy, wealthy, and wise cities where people want to live and we are using the Socio Ecological Infrastructure Systems (SEIS) framework to accomplish it.   We are such a diverse group and it will be great getting to bring together so many different areas of expertise to hopefully make some actionable items and inform politicians and citizens of ways they can be more sustainable.

Not only have we been talking about the research we all will be doing, we have also been taking Chinese language and culture classes.  In addition we have taken a collection of assessments to better understand how we will interact both across cultures and as a group.  Although there are many assessment skeptics in our team, I think we all learned something from discussing how to best interact with the different types of people defined within the DISC assessment.  Our team is learning a lot both about each other and how to more efficiently interact and also about what will happen when we get to China.  I think after this week we will be well prepared to travel to China and begin researching and learning together.

I have had so much fun meeting everyone and exploring Minneapolis and I know there will be much more learning and fun for the rest of the week.  The team is great, not only do we all get along well, we all seem to have the same goal of changing the world. After these few days I’m even more excited for China!


Team admiring the Mississippi River

Team admiring the Mississippi River

Blog 2

View of the Mississippi River

Blog 3

Students in the elevator practicing being in each other’s personal space for train rides in China


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