Tag Archives: Foresight

Designing a Future for our Future: Personal Foresight

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Get ready for The Multiplicity.

This workshop engaged participants to co-create multiple personal futures in large and small group collaboration. This social design experiment in personal foresight generated the creation of possible personal scenarios for the challenging next-future term possibilities. We started by creating a personal profile for the Low Tech Social Network. Communities listed on the profiles were shared in the closing circle to co-create a living network among the participants.

An amazing array of participants were involved, suggesting that DwD is reaching beyond its business + creatives + designerly roots. More and more people from dedicated social change communities are engaged and returning. While businesses can benefit from and afford these creative group processes, social change agents need to learn from each other. A community across communities is forming.

The event was framed by the question of considering the multiple futures we have choice to create. When we think of the future, we tend to push a vague collection of dreams, possibilities and wishes out to a speculative point in the years following the nearest term. We can guess about the world in two years, we can plan for 5 years, but 10 and 20 years challenge personal vision. Our concept was to confront the future opportunities for humanity, by learning to position our own inherent multiplicities as creative narratives to counter a technologically-determined future, whether a career ideal or the “singularity.”

The venue supported the creation of a circle and pairs for the exercises:

  • Values conflicts at the Crossroads
  • 3 Whys of 3 Values: Core values, Calling values, Contra values
  • Mapping Values to Actions
  • Mapping Value-Actions to future possibilities in the Pathway template

The workshop was convened by Peter Jones and Patricia Kambitsch (visual reflection) at The Design Exchange  Feb 24th in the DX boardroom as part of the Toronto Design Week Design Offsite Festival.


The Toronto Star: Dialogue on Thriving in a Changing News World

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DwD hosted John Cruickshank (Publisher) and Kate Collins (Product Director, Star Media Group – Digital) from The Toronto Star for a special community design workshop. This was a DwD “innovation fishbowl” that explored the future of news media in a changing media landscape. The framing of the evening was:

What might the Toronto Star look like in the future as a dynamic and thriving content platform that effectively serves a range of audiences from loyal traditionalists who are used to paying for a singular authoritative newspaper product to younger ‘digital natives’ who participate in real-time news and meaningful content from a distributed network of sources utilizing a variety of devices?

The session unpacked the context, trends, audiences, and possible approaches for The Star to take with its platform to continue with its civic imperative and remain a thriving commercial business.

Results of the session are not provided publicly, as this was an invitational event and was held for the benefit of aiding the Star in its strategic innovation by drawing on the experience and intellectual and creative diversity of the DwD community.


Transilience: Adapting urban living for a changing future

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A special Design with Dialogue event was held in conjunction with the 2011 McLuhan Centenary and U of Toronto’s KMDI, as a panel and participatory workshop in which the public is invited to engage the questions:

  • How are ecological changes moving us toward planning for urban resilience?
  • How might we make the transition to resilience as a community and not as competing resource users?
  • How is the city a medium, a media system? Can McLuhan’s notion of media ecology help guide historic changes in resource ecologies?
  • What are the risks if we don’t act, or we fail to cooperate in “transilience?”

Video by Gregory Greene, ResilientPLANET

Although starting from different perspectives and communities, both movements are coordinated, advance responses to near-future impacts to urban planning, transport, food and water supply, energy, ecology, and habitation. The big question remains for citizens and communities, that, if foresight is true, what ought we to do – today?

Two global movements have emerged in the last few years as a civil societal response to foreseeable constraints and societal shocks resulting from changes in climate and energy resources – Resiliency and the Transition Town.

Peter Jones (DwD, OCADU) hosted the session and workshop. Peter Rose moderated a one-hour panel discussion with three leading thinkers and planners.  (Presentations are now available)

  • Resilient City planner Craig Applegath (Dialog Design)                                  PDF
  • Jeff Ranson (Innovolve and OCADU Strategic Foresight & Innovation)     PDF
  • Transition Town planner Blake Poland (UofT Public Health).                       PDF

Many thanks to Patricia Kambitsch, whose live sketches provided visual reflection. And to documentary videographers Greg Greene (ResilientCITY, End of Suburbia) and Dexter Ico for their coverage and photos (all photo credits, Greg and Dexter).

Over 70 people from around the GTA joined us for an engaging, creative, hands-on thinking and doing workshop. Participants left the session wanting to know and do more. We planned this session with the hope that we might help our communities change values, habits, and communication to create and adapt to a more resilient future.