Session 17 :: Normative Futures

15 mins: Discussion on Unit 8: Future signs: signals, issues, and interpretations.

William Gibson famously said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” I’ve repeatedly said CMU is a time machine.  You will see projects on campus that give us a sense of what will go mainstream 10-15 years later.These projects usually come out of research projects. What is an example of a future sign that you noticed on campus? Please provide the signal, issue, and interpretation.

15 mins: OLI questions.

What are the examples of normative scenarios, measurable benchmark goals, and pathways of change in real designers’ world and industry? 
How do we create realistic benchmarks for the scenarios we want to approach? What do we compare the timeline of benchmarks against for reference so that they are grounded in some way? If we just make benchmarks however we want, won’t there be a high chance things won’t go as expected, and will take more or less time than expected? 
How can we structure conversations about the sticky floor in a manner that is compelling and ted talkable? 
There is an aspect to normative scenarios that is “prescriptive”, meaning somewhat like a recommendation for improvement. What are some ways that the recommenders understand the issues the targeted population faces? Sohail Inayatullah describes going from Alternative scenarios to normative scenarios. How it has to be collaborative co-construction of the the futures exercises with multiple perspectives present. Adam Kahane, described the process of creating alternative scenario that involve opposing factions working together to bring their voices to the scenario building process.  
 For measurable benchmark goals, when should these change together with priorities changing?In the WBCSD normative scenario, there are benchmark goals for 2050, and decade by decade milestones to be met. There also are barriers within the pathways of change. These risks and goals need to change as time passes. If a barrier blocks something the whole plan needs to be reassessed.

45 mins: Imagining the future of education based  the WBCSD benchmark goals are set in 2050 and how they are connected to the present times. Use this slide.

5 mins:
Step 1.
 The WBCSD plan is based on global forces of change. It should be describing something true anywhere in the planet. Based on the expertise in your team, pick one zipcode where you would like to work. 

15 mins: (3 minutes per goal)
Step 2.
 Check the goals for the WBCSD plan for 2050 with the statistics from zip atlas for your zip code. Pick five benchmark goals linked to education and gender equality.

Where is your zipcode on the dimensions that you can easily discern according to the  “People, Values, Behaviors, and Development,” we find the following benchmark goals for 2050:

  • Basic needs for all people are met with regards to food, clean water, sanitation, shelter, and universal access to lifelong education.
  • Education and economic empowerment of females accomplished in most places.
  • Most primary and secondary school children now in school most of the year.
  • Most adults can now read and write.
  • Rapid, cheap worldwide communication for almost everybody.
  • Customers no longer have to choose between “green” products and the ones that meet their consumer needs.
  • World public health has learned to cope with diseases spread by climate change.
  • Abject poverty reduced to minimal amounts.
  • Aging population engaged in society.

Write where you imagine your zip code is in meeting the five 2050 education and gender equality bench mark goals?

25 mins:
Step 3. What might the future of education be like in the zip code you chose in 2050?

(a) Sketch a written description of the scenario. What would the day in a life look like for your persona from the 3 generation persona?

(b) draw a storyboard of what the future of education would feel like for your persona. Use the whiteboard to sketch and upload a picture to the google slide. Stick figures or Baskinger people are fine.

(c) What learning tools might your persona use in 2050?

Submit homework for grading.

Recap :: We began normative futures today. You practiced unpacking benchmark goals in the present and future for a particular zip code. We focused on education and gender equality today.

Homework :: OLI page 34 “Normative Scenarios Critique”

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