1 I learned to think through each variable and how it might affect the others. There were a lot of connections between variables and making sure to consider how they influence one another is a skill this helped me develop.
2 I was definitely challenged to make sure everything was grounded and supported logically. I felt it was very easy to slip into vagueness, and be unclear about whether it was relevant or not.
3 To be honest, I was skeptical at first about how this would be a useful field of design. However, as we started going through more readings and videos, I began to see how this would be applied. It comes off as such a vague process, but as you dive deeper, it reveals itself to be very logical. I especially enjoyed the Shell scenarios and being able to see how a tangible company used this process.
4 I think I did well at grounding my scenarios in day-to-day interactions. Even if things like vacuums don’t exist in this potential future, I feel that making that sort of reference helped to communicate what those worlds would be like, even if it isn’t what it literally would be.
5 I did not feel prepared to discuss political and economic variables at all. If I had a year to take some intro classes in these topics, I feel that I would be able to really make my worlds more realistic. I definitely felt that I was making assumptions about the influences of these outcomes that were probably incorrect.
Step 5: Final Presentation
Step 4: Depict the scenarios
Scenario 1: Resources
A golden age of responsible growth: Society learns to create sharing markets to combat irresponsible production
age distribution: balanced
class distribution: balanced
economic distribution: some big corporations, some small business
economic stability: stable
government influence: only as necessary, public trust
education: most have basic education (k-12)
health: most diseases have been cured or almost cured
technology: advanced but not overwhelming
Scenario 2: Timesharing
A world maximized for efficiency: a massive human assembly line and a single repetitive task for each person.
age distribution: heavy on young adults
class distribution: heavy lower-middle class
economic distribution: mainly large corporations
economic stability: predictable, not necessarily stable
government influence: strong, determines life path
education: majority do not receive full education
technology: advancements have slowed
community: dependent on what it can offer
Scenario 3: Commonwealth
Nothing is privatized: wholly communal living where work is rewarded by access to the world’s inventory.
age distribution: balanced
class distribution: one single class
economic distribution: balanced
economic stability: extremely unpredictable
government influence: strong, controlling all physical items
education: most are uneducated
health: very good
technology: very advanced, keeps up giant inventory
community: friendly due to lack of competition
Scenario 4: Basic Exchange
Post-collapse: Life is led in very small communities via the direct exchange of goods and services.
age distribution: balanced
class distribution: heavy on lower class
economic distribution: mostly small business
economic stability: collapsed
government influence: collapsed
education: no educational system
Step 3: Describe the clusters and connections.
***No longer the same as my final scenarios, prefer to step 4 and final presentation for descriptions of those
This is a situation in which the middle class ceases to exist due to technological advances. As the industry grows, so does the baseline for education necessary to get a job. Only a few make the cut, and rise to the upper class. Most grow more and more out of touch, creating a bottom heavy class distribution. Technology becomes so expensive that it is only available to the rich, leaving the poor in an environment growing more and more toxic. Disease is common due to lack of accessibility to new medicine. The only upside is that families are brought together by shared desperation. Bartering becomes common as the most effective way to exchange services now that finances are hard to find.
This is a form of the discipline scenario. The environment complete collapses, forcing the government to take serious measures and impose restrictions on everything. Through drastic reform, we achieve balanced age and class distribution. However, extensive rules force us sacrifice any sense of community. Bartering is used in the underground to give people items or experiences that are now banned.
This is a fairly likely scenario, modeled after transformation. Technology explodes, and so does corporate power as they privatize all information. Scientific advancements eliminate all disease and reverse global warming. Everything begins to rely on heavy technology. As in the class gap scenario, the baseline education increases drastically. Since technology runs all aspects of life, jobs are readily available to those who can access education, and near impossible for those who cannot. However, the job situation slowly begins to alter the age balance, leaving a larger elderly population than the working population can take care of. Technology allows individuals to live in very limited social circles. Bartering may take an entirely different form to accommodate new living and social conditions.
This is the ideal scenario (growth). We take the necessary steps to combat global warming, rebalance the economy, and fix the education system. This results in a good distribution of big business vs. small, as well as class divisions. For the most part, society is happy. We live in a golden age of responsible growth. Bartering is common, but more in a recreational and social context.
This is also a fairly likely scenario in my opinion (collapse). The environment is on the edge of collapse, and has rendered living conditions so impossible that technology can no longer be supported. The world is forced to regress to 18th century technologies. Jobs are almost impossible to find, and disease becomes widespread. Without the technology to cure disease, it begins to wipe out the weak, leaving the population heavy with young adults. It is rare to encounter the elderly or children. Bartering is the only way to get things you need.
Step 2: Bring drivers into a viable framework
Step 1: Drivers of change
The top (bolded) row shows potential categories that could influence the future and a description. Each post-it directly below a category describes a potential scenario within that category.
Step 1: Organized into importance/likelihood matrix
Vertical axis is likelihood of occurrence with most likely at the top and least likely at the bottom. Horizontal axis is importance with most important to the right and least important to the left.