IFTF Foresight Talks: Designing the Future with Jake Dunagan and Jacques Barcia


well welcome everyone my name is Toshi Hoo. I’m the director of the Emerging Media Lab at IFTF and I’m gonna be
hosting our foresight talk today with Jake Dunagan and Jacques Barcia. And we’re going to get started. Let me give us a little context about foresight talks
this is a series that we’re producing here at IFTF to help our broader
community grow their foresight capabilities and really connect folks
and give you a little insight into some of our master practitioners thinking and
how they the activities they’re doing and how they do what they do and some of
the future thinking resources that we’re offering beyond this talk series is also
the foresight trainings that we offer at IFTF we’ve got one coming up in Palo
Alto in February as well as in June of next year or this year sorry okay 2020
all right we also have foresight training in Washington DC at cosa
co-hosted with a real world bank that’s happening at March we have a co-hosted
training it was Steelcase in Munich Germany that’s in May and Jake and
Jacques will be talking today about their design futures course on which we
offered last year for the first time and we’re gonna be offering a number of
times we know right now we’re going to be doing it in April so if you’re
interested and you like what you hear today please sign up for that and we
also have launched our online futures thinking course with Coursera so this is
the world’s first set of mass lis open free online futures thinking courses so
take a quick look at that and it’s free to sign up for that and yet there’s
hours and hours of material on there and it’s been very heavily trafficked and
appreciate so far so please check that out we also have some upcoming foresight
talks we’ve got Rachel Alexandra ausama and from the World Bank and we’re going
to be citroen that soon got Rene Roy Beck a professor at the EDHEC business
school that’s on March 12th and we also offer some alumni online meetups for
those who have already taken our training I think probably have some
folks in the audience today that have do our trainings already
and then if you’d like you can go to our website and also sign up for our four
site essential newsletters and those those are just low traffic emails and
letting you guys know what we’re up to and opportunities to get involved in
community um today we’re going to have you guys muted on and your videos turned
off we will be able to see Jacques in a moment and feel free to introduce
yourselves on the chat and if you want to ask questions please do it in the Q&A
so if you see there’s two icons here well use the Q&A window not the chat so
those are the two icons so uh our agenda for today is we’re gonna that’s we’re in
the Welcome portion we’re gonna have a conversation with Jake and Jacque and
then we’re gonna set aside a bunch of time for Q&A with you guys and you’ll be
entering that in the Q&A section your zoom window and then we’ll have a little
bit of a closing so without further ado I’d like to introduce Jake Dunnigan he’s
the director of our governance features lab at IFT F amongst other things and
our research affiliate Jacques Garcia who’s joining us from down in Brazil
today Jake I believe this I’m here in sunny California and yeah I’m gonna let
you guys introduce yourselves a little bit so let’s uh she’s gonna stop the
screen share so actually see to each other so Jake wants you to give us a
little bit of an introduction of yourselves sure good morning toasting
good morning everybody joining very glad to have you share an hour of time to
talk about one my favorite subjects which is design and experiential
features as Todd you mentioned mentioned I lead the governance design lab at the
Institute for the future where we’re trying to invent and reinvent government
to to to serve the purpose of people in the environment in the future now in the
future so social inventors as a term is very important to me and seeing myself
and others as social inventors is is critical to my work and goals in my work
I also do as you might guess I do a lot of experiential futures in design
features so I teach experiential futures at the California
College of arts and ut-austin and our course at IFT
f that we just launched in december which we’ll discuss a little bit more so
governance design experiential futures and then also the last big pillar what I
do is neuro politics so looking at how our understanding of mind and brain how
we manipulate it how it is manipulated changes our political system and our
social dynamics and power dynamics so those things are kind of the pillars I
of course work with lots of other things companies large companies across
different industries governments I’ve been doing a lot of work with the US
Conference of Mayors in the last couple of years that’s been very exciting has
rekindled my fading hope and our political endeavors in the future so
there’s there’s good things happening at certain levels if you know where to look
so very glad to join you and beyond this call beyond this webinar please feel
free to reach out any time I love to hear from people working in in swimming
in similar waters thanks Jake Jack tell us a little bit about yourself and your
background and your work with ITF cool awesome good morning oh and good morning
to a couple of Brazilians that I saw are in this this webinar so yeah I’m Chuck
Bass room I’m a research fellow at the Institute for the future I wear many
hats I do so many things but at IFTA involved in the Vantage program doing
research or I was involved in last year’s future 50 research on futures of
power the distributed superpowers this year I’ll be involved as well
researching beyond organizations I also teach in the design futures training and
I’m doing some research for a client here in Brazil we have semi the the
Brazilians in the webinar will recognize this name semi is a big association of
manufacturing industries and we’re helping them build their own foresight
capacity but I was involved in innovation and design any media on the
weird fiction author or genre fiction author some stories published in the in
the US and the UK I’ve worked with technology technology park here in
Mississippi where I’m based in Northeast Brazil called go to Giotto and also the
Caesar which is a major innovation Institute also basing here in Pacific
where I taught design futures in their design program both in the undergraduate
and the graduate program so yeah so design futures
experiential scenarios prototype in the future I’m really interested in and
that’s one of the topics of our design futures training is to help foresight
practitioners use design to embody the future and feel the future use
narratives and experiences to make people engage with the future in more
emotional ways but also helping designers and innovators to design for
the future future or with the future in mind or inside the future using
foresight so that’s that some of the things that I’m involved in and some of
my interests fantastic yeah so let’s get started and just kind of dive in I know
in a minute we’re going to talk specifically about the course that was
just offered and we’re about to offer again but let’s get do a little more
background I think Jacque you just give a really great definition of design
features and experiencial features but Jake could you kind of expand that on
that a little bit and talk a little bit about what the motivation is for
creating this is our second course offering an ITF having audio issues let’s see can we
unmute you I will I just let’s see there we go hear me oh yes we can’t say I
muted myself and then realize that I don’t have the power to unmute so that’s
fun there’s a there’s a design feature yes so design features I mean I’ll try
to give this the most pithy version of it it really comes out of the idea that
we want to have an impact on the world we want future the future and futures to
make a difference in the world in the present and help people use that
information or use that knowledge or use those insights to make better decision
the field of futures has been around probably in its sort of consistent
iteration since after World War two and I think it’s not a coincidence that it
came after a period when we could potentially destroy the planet
so foresight itself I think is rising because of the existential threats that
we have created for ourselves and it’s a response to that but over you know over
the last 60 70 80 years of development really good foresight doesn’t hasn’t
helped us make great decisions maybe we avoided a nuclear war I don’t know we
don’t we can’t do counterfactual history but we feel like and I think it’s pretty
obvious that we’re not living in one of the better scenarios that we could have
imagined 50 years ago I think in equality environmental destruction you
know global political strife all of those things are happening and so we ask
the question why aren’t we getting the outcomes that we can imagine and so one
of our responses is that people have a really an amazing ability to dismiss
both as individuals and as society’s futures and and possibilities that they
don’t like either to themselves or to their organizations you know they want
to they want to maintain power they want to have a we have competing versions of
the future a Shuster on DS you know says that basically is it the the four side
and futures is a game of just dissenting visions right so we have we have these
things we have a lot of great we’re not really organized very well and
this is all a big wind-up to say why we do design and experiential futures
because we feel like if we can help people experience a possible future to
feel it to touch it maybe even a simulation of that that they will
hopefully and I think there’s there’s some good science backing it now that
they will make better decisions for themselves one one piece of research or
host of research that we’ve been looking at is how when people think about
themselves in the future they their brain patterns mirror as if they’re
thinking about a stranger right so why would I put away money in savings for
somebody that feels like not me right I think looking at how we do something
called affective forecasting trying to predict our own happiness in the future
Dan Gilbert wrote a great book and done research showing that we’re really bad
at that so we’re uncovering some of these biases and limitations we have and
we feel like if we can bridge that gap as my friend and colleague Stuart candy
who I do a lot of work with says if we can bridge the experiential gap between
the live present the thing that we can feel now and an abstract future or
possible sets of futures that we can act more appropriately to get the outcomes
we want that we feel it that we understand it more deeply and so we’re
trying to create a host of tools techniques concepts theories practices
that help bridge between the lived present and a set of possible futures
one of our other kind of takeaway notes is that ultimately it’s better to be
surprised by a simulation or a scenario rather than blindsided by reality so
we’re trying to learn as all you know human societies are trying to learn and
get better I hope that learning doesn’t have to be the hard way every time it
doesn’t have to be painful violent expensive we’re trying to pre experience
or design pre experiences so that we can learn and steer clear early and also to
avoid some of the more negative and painful outcomes so that’s the kind of
the big picture and you know we can talk about the actual theories and techniques
and practices and ways that we accomplish that but that’s through
the goal is to try to it’s to try to pre-experience possible future so that
we can steer and design our way toward better ones you’re muted Toshi I can’t
control my I’m getting let’s talk about the practice let’s dive in so let’s talk
a little bit about what is the practice of experiential features design features
and what are the kind of outputs of this and what are the intentions and
philosophy around that and and and and how did you decide essentially to what
to include in this course versus what what you know how to prioritize what was
in this course given that it’s a two-day course Jacques gonna tackle that fun
welcome welcome you I think well Jake you’ve been doing this for for a longer
time I think you should so which is why you’ll have an answer yeah I mean I
think we we kind of decided to and I have to have so okay Jake and I and IFT
have been have been doing this what we call now design futures for some time
now but we haven’t codified this into a single a single practice and I think we
both or the three of us I have to have as an institution felt the necessity to
kind of have that structured in a way of thinking and doing it this particular
type of futures practice and it’s it’s really of timely because design futures
this this term as us as we kind of with as we’ve been saying this this term
design the future is kind of a broad umbrella term for many different types
of practices that combine design and foresight or use foresight to boost
design or use designed to boost foresight so FTF has been doing
facts from the future for a long time Jason tester has been the I mean one day
I think that he’s the one had begun this practice within I have to have then Jake
and and Stuart candy have been toying with how to bridge that experiential gap
and here in Brazil since we we don’t have a how can I say we don’t have a
history or a solid history of foresight with kind kind of been trying to
experiment with with different ways of doing foresight and making people
experience the future has been one one very interesting tool so we kind of
decided to make a framework out of that or try to organize these these metals
and tools and off of that to the public and I can give it even simpler like well
to the to the point about media tell she which is part of the question too I can
I can follow up on what Jacques was saying is you know so write written word
scenarios is typically or one way or it’s not even science fiction to a
degree is a way that we experience futures and that’s great right we can
use our imagination we can do all that but we we really take the tangibility
part seriously so physical artifacts you know a a pack of cancer scrubbing
nanoparticle curettes right even videos are a little bit more
immersive and of course you’ve been working in VR and that kind of immersive
experience but games artifacts from the future videos performance projection
media all of these things now I think are considered part of our toolkit and
part of the ways that we do that bridging part I mean just to bring up a
quick example we were talking earlier we met a the former vice minister of the
environment in Brazil is now not part of the current administration and he was
saying you know that the the environmental destruction in brazil is
worse than you can imagine right and our sera skorsky uncle we were
talking earlier she said yeah people in northern california you know we’re
talking about last year’s fires with people in australia the fires are worse
you can imagine so all these people are saying you know are trying to do this
this this bridging act activity to say if you really could feel it it would be
incredibly powerful to you and maybe would make you act more on these issues
than you would have before so that is that’s what everything is experience
design it’s all to try to help us imagine better or feel better what’s
happening now so those are the things that are happening now and is still
difficult so imagine a a possible future that
we’re doing so all of these techniques is very very tactical in a sense right
so we’re we’re just trying to connect we’re just trying to overcome those
biases that I briefly mentioned before those neurological biases we’re trying
to have an emotional connection you know you cannot I don’t think you cannot act
appropriately to the future if you don’t have an emotional core and it’s and
those are types of the values that you want to see so seeing the world I’m
feeling the world that might exist or possible several possible worlds that
might exist helped overcome some of those cognitive biases we might have
again just you know I might say there’s 10 more times because it’s so important
it’s really to make it people having a more appropriate response and a better
set of decision-making tools to think about the future more effectively and so
that we get better outcomes that’s what it’s that’s what all of this is about
and games videos posters artifacts experiences all of that as in service of
that as colleague says that’s not the work those things are fun and we talk
about and we’ll show it great for show-and-tell but the work is when minds
are changed and decisions are changed and better outcomes are made yeah and I
think it all comes to create meaning which that’s what art does or design
does it’s create meaning out of out of information so when we talk about the
future and we do scenarios it’s all very rational but when we add of characters
or we add a piece of art we add a poster then you have then you help people
create meaning and when you embody the future when you immerse people inside
into the future it helps them create meaning subjective meaning yeah we talk
a lot of course about like the difference is about the between
telling stories about talking about the future with statistics versus talking
about the future with stories right and some stories that make those human
connections in ways that not only help us relate but imagine ourselves in these
futures I think right now if we can see this with kind of the climate emergency
right we can hear about the percentage chance that we’re going to have
increased temperatures and wildfires and then we can see people in Australia like
running or in with the red sky around them those those are stories or syste
sistex we know I don’t know mine just week we need about Randy we need that
rigor I mean this is some people go more into the the quantitative realm and and
and data that’s part of our reality we need it but we also need this
storytelling so we’re not storytellers unhinged from reality we have a basis in
fact but we do this kind of projection or speculation into the future but it’s
anchored in reality so it’s not pure art a pure science fiction so I just think
we she’s bacteremic yeah I want to invite remind everybody in the audience
to submit some questions it’s a couple minutes we’re gonna switch over to the
Q&A discussion portion so if you’ve got questions in mind but I’m already seeing
a couple in the chat and one of them is really I think when it comes down to it
we can kind of talk about this conceptually but I think people want to
hear all right give us some examples what is an artifact to tell us about
like how do you create a futures game could you share some of your favorite
examples that you think best kind of explain the impact of this work yeah I
don’t mind I have a couple so yeah the physicality of this I wanted
to embody that as well.we Stewart and I started doing experiential futures
design features in Hawaii in the mid 2000s 2006 2007 again not to get too
academic and historical but there was there’s a whole history of work before
that Wendy Schultz we were inspired by her talking about a me at foresight
jason tests are doing artifacts you know world building coming out of science
fiction and and I already report of course get a bingo point for that so
there were stuff before but for us working in Hawaii so I’m gonna give a
couple or at least one example from Hawaii and this was a
project we did for tourism management Institute at the University of Hawaii
and we ran a quick workshop and so you know we we couldn’t do a full immersive
experience with actors and sets and things that we had actually done before
for a previous project but we could create something very simple but very
powerful and so an example as a postcard from the future
and we created four different postcards that they only have three with me from
alternative futures for Hawaii and we use the alternative futures from Jim
dater taught there we won’t have to go into
that methodology but there’s again a methodological background to all of this
so we created four alternative futures of Hawaii embodied in postcards a very
quintessential Hawaiian artifact or tourist related artifact and so it can
be as simple as that so here’s one that’s a a collapse story so this was I
think oh seven we did these and you know this is obviously before Haiti in 2010
and Puerto Rico a couple years ago so the idea was that there was a massive
hurricane in Hawaii and the US kind of left it to its own which was very
provocative and people were very skeptical of that but again we’ve seen
that happen so instead of a typical postcard hey I’m in Hawaii this is a
call to the UN secretary-general of the time please help us basically so this is
a call for help we in a different future that was Maui Hatton so this is the idea
that growth story has accelerated and there’s casinos and all of these things
are happening in Hawaii so it’s really accelerated into this sort of playground
for the rich and little subtleties like the East West Maui bridge because sea
level rise has split the island of Maui things like that you know we’re details
and then another one which is kind of a virtual world but it’s owned by this
company so you could only experience this virtual world they owned the IP to
all of the kind of blue Hawaii 1960s Elvis version of Hawaii and so this is
kind of an advertisement for that there was a quick example that I had a hand of
as simple as it gets right it a very simple artifact you know it could be a
drawing so it scales to to you know as high as scale as you want something
simple like that to fully immersive lived experiences
which we’ve you know created in the past as well where you have where you come
into a room and you’re your caste and I sort of roll and you play along and
there’s you know there’s there’s all the set pieces and props and things that are
all coordinated in that way so it scales from can be very simple to very complex
and videos to it consider those artifacts as well so we’ve created
future videos we use genre conventions like advertising and new employee hires
and all of those things are ways that we surf and bridge between a kind of genre
that people understand but content that’s that potentially is very
provocative right so we were always we’re always modulating the distance and
the cognitive load for people that experienced this so that it’s not you
know sometimes you have to cut corners or sometimes you have to you have to
give people a little bit of a handrail to get to where you’re going so we we
think about these things very very deeply the audience experience and what
can they actually what’s thinkable for them and what’s too much and and maybe
what’s a you know an advertising genre that that they might understand or you
know a convention genre convention or something that we can utilize to help
get our message across so those are some of the ways that we think about the
design and it’s it’s a very holistic system’s way of thinking through there’s
many different levels of fidelity and complexity and it can be creative or a
postcard to an entire world speaking of provocative shock I wonder if you could
talk a little bit about your funeral experience that you create yeah yeah so
well anyway I have some slides where I can talk a little bit about it more
deeply but anyway so a couple of years ago like two years ago we did a an
experience of scenario for a an association of funeral services so these
guys they they they wanted our help because they were worried about the
death of death so they they saw things about you know I’m reading the longevity
yeah the word about yeah they you know funeral services if nobody dies then but
yeah so so they they saw some things about ultra
longevity and you know um believe in like 200 years or even forever so they
reached out to so we could help them understand this death of death so but
but then we reframe the question and we understood that they actually they were
worried about the death of rituals of death so people were not going to
funerals or the you know a funeral or Thor or longing was being transformed by
social media and an even artificial intelligence and deep fakes so we had to
communicate that to a number of stakeholders because it’s an association
of funeral services so they had like hundreds of people involved in the
Association and we couldn’t just you know do a report and do a workshop with
so many people so we decided to prototype a funeral in 2035 so we went
to into a hotel and we we prototyped what we do we set a scene in which in
which there was a funeral but it was not a traditional funeral actually what we
thought was what if blockchain and artificial intelligence deep fades voice
interfaces could simulate someone after they die so if we could recover their
memories and their experiences and we could simulate that persona what were
the implications for for families for for businesses for example so we did a a
funeral in which the deceased person was actually addressing the crowd and we did
this without telling anyone that it was actually staged now it was important
because this particular industry is not very connected to technology so the
surprise effect was really important but we’d even tried to lure them into
believing that it was actually real we kind of gave hints that okay maybe this
is a little too much but we kind of built a I I’ve seen so
immersive that they suspended their disbelief that’s one term that we use
for example in literature but particularly science fiction you have to
give enough context so people suspend their disbelief they stop not believing
actually they know it’s not real but they’d say okay I’ll let you you know
I’ll let you guide me through this fiction and it was a really interesting
experience we did that for it was a 40 minute played with ten actors for a
crowd of a hundred and twenty people and the the curious thing was that when we
would ended up and lift the the curtain we said okay this is not real actually
this is an experiential scenario we want you to discuss what are the
possibilities of these technologies and the implications of these these types of
things and this disruptions if they come true and a couple of people said they
were not they were not disbelieving anymore they were kind of they were so
immersed that they that they confronted us and said no no this this this this
can’t be not real this cannot be unreal this should be real so it was a really
interesting experience fantastic I love hearing about that Jacque if people if
people are ever in the palace area and want to come by I FTF we have a whole
collection of artifacts of future scattered throughout and we always
recommend me even go into our bathroom there’s even some in the bathrooms and
if you want to come downstairs in the emerging media lab we actually have
something called sentain err which is a virtual reality storytelling a platform
for FTF to actually create virtual reality experiences allow people to step
into futures we have experience where you are able to step into the future
basically micro shipping containers micro homes micro farms and micro
clinics and the idea of kind of the future where we need to have modular
architecture but you’re actually able to embody least step into these single
places um I want to switch over to questions
and answers can we really want to get turn this into a conversation I’m seeing
a couple of questions here both from Jeremy and from Louise there are kind of
classic questions for us and I yeah really which are about how do you kind
of how do you make the case for the real impact and outcome for creating
experiential futures you know they might seem very fun and whimsical and very
provocative but how do you make the connection for clients and partners
around the value in creating these in terms of creating actual impact outcome
and initiatives that people can act on yeah you know on that point I think
we’re seeing the growth of this we’ve been talking of course naturally it’s
about some of our own experiences and examples but you’re seeing this kind of
work pop up in places like Dubai with the Museum of the future so they six
years ago started to design a Museum of the future of government services that’s
worth again at the world government summit it was kind of a traveling
exhibition or a temporary exhibition and they use that as inspiration for several
immediate initiatives so you know fanciful things like drone delivery of
driver’s license and things like that but also just the the user experience of
bettering government service interfaces for them so healthcare interfaces
housing all of those things have have come in and and been implemented another
one from my experience now going back a while is in Hawaii we did a kind of
street version on the streets of Chinatown and Honolulu three different
possible futures of Chinatown one of those was a disease outbreak so a kind
of pandemic flu happened and Chinatown had to respond it was kind of ground
zero for that of course Hawaii had experienced or had the after-effects of
stars you know we’ve had these things almost hit several times and so we
created that that experience as if it happened last year so that we didn’t
they were scaring people as it were we have to be careful about that obviously
and the CDC and the Hawaii Department of Public Health really got excited about
that and said okay this is a way for people to learn we’ve been trying to
tell people proof public service announcements and everything else and
and you you’ve been able to get people attention in a way that we haven’t
before and so um we ran a alternate reality game a year later on a kind of
pig swine swine flu outbreak there’s there’s I could talk about this for for
the next hour plus of this but the thing that happened as we were about to launch
was that if you remember in oh 9 there was a swine flu outbreak in Mexico and
it actually happened so we were creating we created a system a game an alternate
reality game that we changed it to an emerging reality game and it became okay
well you know from a what-if to all right now what do you need to do I mean
things that we take for granted now like sneezing into your elbow instead of your
hands came out of that that’s really when it kind of took off at that point
and so you know it could be very practically gonna be provocative you you
need to think about these different futures you’re not you’re not seeing it
coming you know you’re you’re a higher education institution you really need to
see how people might be learning in the future or it can be it can be very
practical and in saying okay if something like this happens it’s kind of
a simulation or a disaster simulation you see quite a bit that’s not all we do
but so it scans across that and I think for say a company they’re seeing the
value you know again going back to that term blindsided I think government
agencies other organizations the companies have been blindsided and gone
out of business you know we can talk about the trail of dead of companies
that didn’t they didn’t act on a changing industry and so getting by in
having that experience overcoming some of those biases we’re beginning to see
organizations incorporate these things into the again a whole whole system of
communication and research and stats and all of that but also these kind of lived
provocations so that it can be a shorthand for people to talk about that
but it can also action and so again so government cases
sort of in the public public health examples and in companies which was kind
of the lagging one because I think the return on investment wasn’t as clear in
many cases that feedback loop oh yeah you provoked this but how did that
change our behavior and we’re beginning to see that companies are investing in
this because it has that I mean they realize that that the change has to
happen through psychology and culture as well and this is an aid not only to
deliver information but to deliver a kind of movement that can happen even
within organizations also I think there’s the the other side I mean design
features is about engagement that’s what Jake just said but also you
can use design futures and artifacts from the future in the experience or
experience or scenarios to kind of prototype the future and think about new
offerings new be them product services public policies and test them in a
limited way of course I mean a prototype there are several levels of prototyping
a scribble in a paper can be a prototype but also a more structured and more
tangible you know a piece of electronics can also be a prototype so we can
prototype these new offerings these public policies or our products and with
them in our literally in our hands we can think okay
what are what what new business model does this artefact enables work or what
must change in order for this to exist in a positive or in a negative way so it
helps innovation hmm we talked about energy a Clarett to speak for the
product and services Xhaka yeah it’s a very important part of this too is to is
to inspire and evoke new kinds of offerings and services for sure and I
kept we talked about foresight as a cycle where we’re doing you know a
prepare cycle or foresight cycle or insight cycle and then our action cycle
and that’s really often where the process of translating this and I know
in the course that’s something that you guys touch upon on day two because I’ve
got a chance to sit in on that but make sure we get to some other questions here
there’s some really great ones here some of them are a little bit more kind of
generalized around just foresight process but let’s talk about them within
kind of the experiential features domain we’re getting some questions around kind
of ethics and bias from Sergio and Sheila here around how we’re what how do
we kind of check ourselves in terms of bias unlike our decisions in creating
these experiencial features and are there other ethical considerations when
we’re doing this kind of work maybe you want to start this railing Jacque okay
so one of the specific things that we wanted to address in our not just the
training but in our take on design features is to use foresight combine
foresight and design to help ourselves and our clients understand the biases
and assumptions and in in futures design so if we’re trying to again if we’re
developing a new product or service and we think that this answers to some some
problem in society then we can use design features to kind of dive into
those assumptions and those biases and say okay whoo-hoo
to whom does this this product or service or the orientation of this new
offering who does this does it benefit or am I do I have some bias or Howard’s
it or against it so we can kind of use and we we kind of we specifically
developed a one tool one or two tools to kind of help people address this yeah
and let me just add one thing that from the other questions too is how can we
also integrate kind of the collective process and democratizing this to also
address kind of bias and ethic has issues right yeah so let me let me let
me give a brief answer to the first part just some reflections on that and
and we could talk about the the participatory part of the side of this
thing but I mentioned the the pandemic flu outbreak is one of the scenarios we
did on on the ground in Hawaii in Chinatown the first one we did was
actually a gentrification story and we had gone around for months my wife’s an
artist you know we we live and work in that area quite a bit and so I I we did
some formal and informal investigations and historical and look backs as well
but if you ask a lot of people around Chinatown you know if a Starbucks came
in on this empty building or if these you know chain stores came in how would
you feel about that or you know it’s becoming different it’s becoming gender
fighting you heard we heard that over and over again
so we basically gave people back that future we put up signage you know luxury
lofts are coming you know two million dollar opening bid and which was all the
sudden doesn’t sound like very much but it was a lot at the time
and TGI Fridays is moving in an American Apparel and all these things we we gave
people back their assumptions or at least their fears and when we did that
and they thought it was real for you know even there’s only really a few
hours on a first Friday Artwalk the same people would tell us oh yeah well okay
you know that buildings been empty that might drive foot traffic to my gallery
or you know that that might improve this block of apartments that have been empty
or that have been decrepit for a long time there’s a lot of lot of assumptions
baked into that but the takeaway point for me was that when people actually
believe that he knew even for a short period of time their answers were
different than when they just sort of you know sort of guessed or speculated
about what they would want or not want in the future and so I come out of
anthropology as a discipline background and I know you know from anthropological
research that people don’t tell you what they actually do report it’s probably
not going to be very accurate similar for the future I think is that people
assume that they’re gonna feel a certain way about the future but when you give
it to them and they actually believe it they they might feel a different way or
at least they’re able to interrogate those assumptions a little more deeply
now there are a huge ethical considerations in that you know we were
trying to fool people just to fool them to make them feel dumb or to you know to
do that we’re it was a functional attempt to try to ease them into
reconsidering their their baseline assumptions and this was before
disinformation exploded and I’m a lot more hesitant about something we call
don’t break the universe where we we just act as if this is happening there
there were previous considerations already but now that we have this world
of people weaponizing fake news and disinformation and hoaxes yeah it really
carries a different a different set of considerations and criteria to overcome
when we do those kind of things now back to the collective question you have to
be very strategic there are points where you know where do you want I think I
think it’s for a lot of us we default to more is better like getting more inputs
is better at certain and I think it is important but you have to figure out
where it the stage do you want that so for example in the Chinatown project we
heard from hundreds of people we would we do surveys we do ethnographic work we
do historical work and we get a lot of input into that part the scenario
writing and some of the creation of the actual scene or the the the situation
that you’re creating I find that if you have too many cooks it gets it gets
messy so there is a there is a kind of convergence in a smaller group that that
that has to do that kind of creative work then you can you can also also
engage a lot more people to create the stuff you know the the artifacts or the
experiences so there’s a point there where people can come in again and then
your audience right so depending on your project you can engage thousands or
hundreds or thousands or 10,000 people into that experience I mean movies do
that right it’s it’s there’s a dynamic to that so it’s not it’s not all or
better or more participation is good it’s it’s it’s right timing and right
sizing that where is the input most important where is it going to be most
useful because you do need that diversity of voices you don’t want to
just recapitulate your your own assumptions to so we’re always going
back and challenging that so we do workshops we do a referent research we
do historical research surveys all these things
and then creative exercises to help us as best we can nothing’s ever going to
be perfect but to try to try to make sure that we’re not colonized in the
future with our own assumptions and depending on the audience independent of
the project you might want to use the different design futures approaches so
for some just one artifact were a bunch of art artifacts and in a table or in a
gallery where people can you know look at them and discuss them is enough but
sometimes you need to interact with people where you encounter you you need
to address you know a longer story for a larger audience so you might want to do
a play or you want to involve them or you want to use a game that really
depends on on the project of your audience mm-hmm that’s great I think we
have time for one more question had one from an anonymous attendee here that’s
quite interesting I think they write what is is or is their criteria for
design features that separate it from art and other experiencial learning
practices and all I’m going to add to that as well like just kind of making
some contrasting distinctions think what are you know your thoughts around kind
of design futures versus design thinking right a lot of I think there’s a lot of
relationships there and there’s some some overlap but there’s some
differences so could you kind of distinguish design features from design
thinking experiential learning practices and just art in general how is it
different so art be the fiction painting video and what we do with in design
futures the difference is that we are we’re using media or medium media in
general to communicate research we’re using media to communicate data art
doesn’t art doesn’t have to doesn’t have to be based on anything it just is it’s
an expression of the artist the sensibilities of the artist and design
futures we actually research we gather data we talk to people we do scenarios
we we we do rigorous research and use the
media be the fiction or art or video play to communicate or engage audiences
with that so that’s that’s basically the defense now design thinking I’m a lot of
critical of design thinking being a master’s in design and have studied in
the school which really connects with design thinking the design thinking is a
one specific way of thinking of design actually is a the it’s it’s a box of
tools from one particular school of thought and one and actually one
particular design consultancy that tries to make design simpler for the larger
audience make it accessible to the larger audience but it’s not because I’m
thinking it’s not it’s not design itself it’s a tool it’s more like a tool the
same way that futures thinking in general is a tool but then you go to
four side the practice itself is deeper it has you know more it has Theory has
methods it has a history design has methods and history and theories and as
I’m thinking is is one way of making it easier for non designers or or people in
general to try to think as a designer which means think about not solutions
but think of problems think of of people instead of things think of context
instead of an answer for example so yes being partnered to an artist and
sensitive to what art is that’s already a hard question so I was a different
from art it’d be hard to define so I know a lot of artists to do deep
research and spend 90% of their time doing that kind of background stuff so
just for myself on it we’re generalizing right but I think it’s really about
outcomes and where that focus is so again for us
to work the the artifacts and the experiences are to meet invitations for
the next thing which is the thing which is deeper conversations about the future
interrogating your own assumptions potentially changing minds changing
policy outcomes changing corporate strategy it’s in some cases so you know
the idea of public foresight art art art can make a difference too right I mean
we can name dozens of examples of ways that our minds have been changed by an
experience of art and I know a lot of artists are intending for that but I
think for us it’s a lot it’s more structured in that sense than art is we
are and more formalized to try to get those outcomes so the Chinatown project
would dimension a few times and all of our work will often have a workshop or a
platform for conversation that comes that that’s embedded in that so if
there’s an experience or you know a piece of think something that looks kind
of like art or design that is really to serve a better conversation and to serve
the outcome certain kinds of outcomes so that’s to me it’s a it’s a it’s an we
use those tools and often artists are trying to have a certain kind of outcome
to but I think it’s the amplitude of those inflections is that for us it’s
really about getting better at long-term thinking and empowering people to make
better decisions and so the art and all of that stuff that is really fun to talk
about and it’s great for show and tell nervous of that second part yeah so when
I when I write a story I do a lot of research right but but I can’t distort
Bend that that research to benefit the story itself when I do scenarios or when
I do experiential scenarios or or an artifact from the future I do lots of
research but I cannot bend the rules that much I cannot bend the data I
cannot bend I can work on top of it to think of alternative futures or their
implications etc obviously but I can’t distort the the data or the facts so I
think that’s it connects to what you said about the outcome but
so I think that in the process in the intention the intent of art and design
futures an artifact or etc are really different it’s not that different in a
speculative design for example which is one of the of the the practices within
design futures which is more connected to art critical art or critical design
it has more this artful way of producing artifacts and and media but again I
think there’s a difference in content and constraint as you mentioned yeah
well this was a more constrained we can’t so there’s so many great questions
in the stream and in a minute and when we wrap up we’re gonna put every all of
our emails in the on the screen and you should be getting that in a follow-up
email if you signed up for this webinar we encourage you to kind of keep
reaching out to us and continue the conversation I think a big part of this
is about us connecting with you guys and just continue to figure out exactly what
all these new territories are I think one of my favorite slides from the
course guys that you have the design features course is this kind of new
mapping of terminology and territories of like innovation design thinking and
features thinking and spiritual art and you’re kind of kind of that this like
multi-dimensional Venn diagram that is very much kind of emerging right these
terms are emerging these territories they’re overlapping some of them are
conceptual and are just being kind of developed and some are like implemented
or systematically at this point so I think it’s highly emerging which leads
us to our actually that’s what I’m just gone out to a movie for doing this look
and laying out that person map so if you want to look it up Google Elliott
Montgomery at the new school and he has a map of these different genres and
subgenres from design futures and specular design and art and foresight
yeah they’re keywords they could search on do you think we can I will send it
out in the fall but let’s add and this is we’ll have to do a quick response
because we just have five minutes left but Jeremy nila also asked the question
I think this is a great one for a futurist at to be asked what is
the future of experiencial futures is there a growth scenario for design
futures what do you guys see as kind of the short and longer term future for
experiential features yeah you know it’s growing I mentioned the the Museum of
the future in Dubai you know I work in Mexico City there’s certain threads of
design futures there’s a Smithsonian exhibition that’s being designed right
now so it’s gaining wider berth and traction in the world I think as
practitioners I think we’re going to find you know we have a kid of tools now
we have a process and this is something that that’s Stewart and I in a way we’re
kind of making up on our own and Jason tester and other people Jamaica shows a
colleague of ours was working and doing these kind of things but a whole host of
people were kind of more or less inventing again generalizing with
inventing these tools I think we’ve gotten to a point where we can we’ve
systematized it where if it’s not foolproof at least there’s a process and
that that is communicated communicated well you don’t there’s not some sort of
special genius sauce that you have to have to do this and I think everyone can
get better at foresight and I think everyone that wants to get better at
doing experiencial and design futures can use these tools now embed it so I’m
leading up to say that it again it’s a different scales we may see large museum
public versions of this we in this election cycle we may see instead of you
know ads about the present more about visions of the future right I mean
that’s what all campaigns are is trying to sell a vision the future so I think
we’re gonna see a lot of that in the near term but also I mean toshi you know
this augmented in bit and virtual reality overlaying possible futures
looking at simulations that that could appear before us in real space you know
that we can proprioceptive lee feel and look around so overlaying possible
futures designing those interacting with those mathematical and and visual
simulations they’re going to happen you know so I think those are the the area
so not only just growth in general and then more people speaking this language
and doing this work but also the kind of media that we’re going to be utilizing
simulation virtual reality augmented reality
and then I’ll make a pitch for one of my pet ideas for a long time which is
basically a simulation core that we have a that we Institute a draft to have
people come and pre live possible futures so that we can have a feedback
loop back into our current decision-making processes so you know
that’s a little bit of a leap into the future but I think I think we’re gonna
we’re learning because the stakes are still extremely high that if we can see
and feel these possible futures ahead of time again that that learning process
which we always have to do and those feedback loops can be cheaper less
painful and more effective if we embed these tools into our standard processes
so I see a bright future for it and and a tip of the spear where there’s a lot
of experimentation possibilities ongoing jhatka any quick last thoughts we’ve
just in our last minute here I think the future the future of design
features it has a lot to do with involving more people doing kind of
massive futures to larger audiences like a community like if you go instead of
asking people what they think about the future
make them prototype of visions and versions of alternative futures and make
them live these futures so an impoverished community university a town
hall or a I don’t know some students what are what or what could be they
could live in a future in which ax type of education exists and and then help
them redesign the system I think that’s the one of the possible futures for
design futures doing that yes Sheriff we’re at the right time here I’m going
to share up our emails here your if you’d like to get in touch with any of
us and continue this conversation I can already see from the quiet Q&A there’s a
lot of really interesting conversations to be had in this area we encourage you
to sign up for our course in April where if you’re interested in us bringing this
course to your organization reach out to us also
where this is a area that all of us myself included are very excited to be
building out not just at IVF but in the world so thank you to our guests here
today Jacque and Jake and thank you all for joining us this is a really
wonderful gathering and please sign up for futures future foresight talks and
this talk will be available in one week also online archive version thank you
everyone and see in the future

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