Session 11 :: Persona Mandala in Alternative Future

15 mins: Reflection Discussion 15 minutes

Please reflect on your post and comments for the question:

Unit 5: We’ve explored seminal ideas about foresight and futures thinking this week while you’ve been working on persona mandala from a three generation persona family. Below are some of the ideas we discussed this week:

  • used futures;
  • disowned futures;
  • alternative futures e.g., multiple paths lead to multiple futures;
  • theory of change as it is linked to futures;
  • post-normal times involving complexity, contradiction, & chaos;
  • alignment of incentives and stated values;

What might be some examples of how such ideas relate to your personal experience or professional practice (e.g., architecture, art, design, hci, etc) ? 

(1) Discuss with your group, what are common threads of how  foresight played out in your initial posts?

(2) What are some common patterns in your group with how people responded to your initial posts?

15 mins: OLI Questions 15 minutes (5 minutes discussion; 8 minutes reporting back ) 

(1) Planning for scenarios is important for the alternative futures and why? What designers can do for the alternative futures?
(2) How do we know how many alternative futures are enough for the purposes at hand?
(3) When Chris Luebkman presented the Ecological Age scenario, he said “This is what we all hope to get to, right?” We learned that it is bad practice to present one scenario as more preferred than another when doing an alternative futures exercise, so why did he say this?
(4) What are some strategies we can use to translate ambiguity and uncertain into a certain direction, that can ultimately guide others’ decisions?
(5) What should designers do to design for future when dealing with ambiguity?
(6) how do you know which futures to pursue and which ones are simply out of the range of possibilities?
(7) It seems alternative futures are developed to “anticipate what might happen before it does.” How should/do designers account for the knowledge that they cannot anticipate all futures, particularly as this relates to systems of protocols? Eg. natural disasters and public safety.

15 mins:  Step 1. Persona Mandala Work Session. Pull up your persona mandala google slide. Divide and conquer within your group to complete the following tasks:

  • Persona has name, and picture.
  • Description section filled out: e.g., demographic, geographic, psychographic, etc.
  • Influences, motivators filled out.
  • Explicit and Tacit needs filled out
  • Dilemmas described
  • images uploaded to mandala

10 mins: Step 2. Persona Mandala timeline (instructions: sketch on the whiteboard, photograph, upload image to your persona mandala slides)

(a) 2 minutes Past: Remind yourself of the family timeline that your persona came from. 

(b) 3 minutes Future: What future world is the persona in? Write on google slide what alternative future world your persona is in. In the OLI homework, you learned of Chris Luebkman’s four alternative futures based on two axis: Human Development Index (high or low) and Planetary Health (high or low).

Next imagine that your persona is living in one of four of the four plausible alternative futures:

Selfish bubble (click here, not below) 

Vortex of despair (click here, not below)

Carbon is crime (click here, not below) 

Ecological age (click here, not below) 

(c) 5 minutes Stories What stories might your persona have to tell about the time span from 2013 to 2050? Map main events to your timeline. What major life events has the persona experienced? Consider the world they are in, what major events happened along the way? How old is your persona in 2050? (upload a picture of your timeline sketch to the mandala person google slide)

5 mins: Persona Mandala Enactment Session

  • Spend 5 minutes sketching out what your Persona might say to us if he/she were to time-travel and come visit us today in 2017 from 2050 to our classroom. (Write out notes that describe characters story on a google slide).

10 mins: One minute introductions of your personas to the class.

Turn in Mandala assignment& Homework OLI page 25 (Transformative Futures Scenarios). 

There is a broken link in the OLI page use this: 

Recap :: To prepare for class you learned about two different kinds of alternative futures. Chris Luebkman described four plausible alternative futures created based on two axis: Human Development Index (high or low) and Planetary Health (high or low). He describes four alternative worlds: Selfish bubble, Carbon is crime, Vortex of despair, and Ecological age. From the Shell Scenarios team you learned the history of how futures scenarios developed in industry. 

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