Summary of VERGE (ethnographic futures framework devised by Richard Lum and Michele Bowman).
 

Summary of VERGE (ethnographic futures framework devised by Richard Lum and Michele Bowman).

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  • The Ethnographic Futures Framework - VERGE - was developed by Kaipo Lum and Michele Bowman of Global Foresight Associates, and any use of it should cite them as authors / designers.
  • The Ethnographic Futures Framework - VERGE - was developed by Kaipo Lum and Michele Bowman of Global Foresight Associates, and any use of it should cite them as authors / designers.
  • The Ethnographic Futures Framework - VERGE - was developed by Kaipo Lum and Michele Bowman of Global Foresight Associates, and any use of it should cite them as authors / designers.

Summary of VERGE (ethnographic futures framework devised by Richard Lum and Michele Bowman). Summary of VERGE (ethnographic futures framework devised by Richard Lum and Michele Bowman). Presentation Transcript

  • Verge / EFF: History
    • Began with frustration with limitations of STEEP taxonomy
      • Overly broad - human systems blur STEEP boundaries
      • STEEP views change from the point of origin
    • What categories help define our lives as human beings?
      • “ Culture points”: highlighting key experiences as human beings
      • Explore change at the point of impact on people and human systems
      • Still arguing whether “Destroy” is a key aspect of human experience
    • Intellectual roots in anthropology, ethnography, and ethnographic futures research (Robert Textor), as well as social impact assessment.
    “ LOTS of people – consultants in particular – talk about the “drivers” of change.  And they’re usually referring to technology when they do so.  I prefer to think about how change happens across the various segments of human experience.   Human history can be dissected (and sometimes understood) as a series of eras or epochs – the Agricultural Era, the Industrial Era, the Information Age.  Common to each of these eras or ages is a set of culture points which define and shape each era and which are common to all of human experience.   For instance, while the role (and even the flavor) of religion has changed throughout time, the common need of humans to have a framework for understanding their world has not.  Likewise, while our weapons, our choice of foods and structure of our families may change throughout time, the need for them does not.” Richard Lum, M.A., Ph.D. Futures Vision Strategy Foresight LLC Michele Bowman, M.A. Futures AndSpace Consulting  
  • EFF Verge: Case Studies
    • Futures presentations / workshops by AndSpace Consulting :
      • About identifying eternal verities around which change swirls
      • Fidelity Bank
      • Price Waterhouse Coopers
      • Massachusetts Department of Education
      • Women in Technology
      • Nissan Motor Company
      • Ford Motor Company
      • Babson College, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Future presentations / workshops by Infinite Futures :
      • President’s Panel, American Library Association
      • Singapore Civil Service College
    • Future presentations / workshops by The Futures Company :
      • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
      • Eurostar
    Michele Bowman, M.A. Futures AndSpace Consulting Wendy L. Schultz, Ph.D. Futures Infinite Futures Andrew Curry The Futures Company
  • EFF Verge: Case Studies
    • Pitney Bowes:
      • Futuring Group
      • Growth Strategy Group
    • MTV User Profiles:
      • Social Technologies presented at Trends conference: “The Future of Happiness”
      • Created user profiles for MTV’s new customers:
        • Today’s users increasingly pragmatic in pursuit of happiness
        • User profiles: enabled comparative analysis of details of users’ lives
    • Health and Safety Executive Scenarios
      • Provided organizational frame and focus for rich welter of detail generated by workshop discussions
      • Enabled detailed comparison across the scenarios on issues critical to stakeholders and policy-makers.
    Christian Crews, M.S. Futures Pitney Bowes Andy Hines, M.S. Futures Terry Grim, M.S. Futures Social Technologies Wendy L. Schultz, Ph.D. Futures Infinite Futures “ The VERGE framework has proven extremely valuable at Pitney Bowes in translating thinking about the future into innovation and strategic decision-making. We've used VERGE in several invention and strategy contexts to organize and make sense of the changes in the customer communications environment. ...In addition, the immediacy of VERGE content provokes leaders to shift strategies ahead of potential disruptive change, and to see these disruptions as opportunities, not threats.” Christian Crews Pitney Bowes
  • VERGE Ethnographic Futures Framework
    • Focus not on the drivers, but on the impacts:
    • How does change ripple out across the various segments of human experience?
    •  
      • Human history can be dissected (and sometimes understood) as a series of eras or epochs – the Agricultural Era, the Industrial Era, the Information Age.  Common to each of these eras or ages is a set of culture points which define and shape each era and which are common to all of human experience.
      •  
      • For instance, while the role (and even the flavor) of religion has changed throughout time, the common need of humans to have a framework for understanding their world has not.  Likewise, while our weapons, our choice of foods and structure of our families may change throughout time, the need for them does not.
      • Michele Bowman and Richard Lum
    • Goal: Use the EFF to imagine how 2050 in your scenario might differ significantly from today, and identify what changes might occur between now and 2050 to create your scenario.
  • How is 2050 different from 2009?
    • Globally:
      • Define?
      • Relate?
      • Connect?
      • Create?
      • Consume?
    • Major actors:
      • Winners?
      • Losers?
      • Businesses?
      • Organizations?
      • Nations?
    Personalise this, eg, young female entrepreneur; senior environmental regulatory officer; teen consumer; etc…. Exercise 1, making change distinct:
  • The processes and technology through which we create goods & services The goods & services we create, and the ways in which we aquire and use them Social structures & relationships which link people and organizations The concepts, ideas and paradigms we use to define the world around us The technologies used to connect people, places and things Verge/EFF: scenario building focused on people: EFF was created by Dr. Richard Lum of Vision Strategy Foresight and Michele Bowman of AndSpace Consulting
  • The concepts, ideas and paradigms we use to define ourselves and the world around us, including: Social Values & Attitudes Scientific Models Culture Economic Systems Religion Politics & Public Policy What new concepts, ideas, and paradigms will emerge to help us make sense of the world? Example: radical biotechnology : No extinction exists between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’; highly elastic notions of what ‘human’ looks like…
  • Social structures and relationships which link people and organizations, including: Demographics Family & Lifestyle Groups Work & Economy Habitat & Ecosystems Business Models & Practices Government International Relations Education How will we live together on planet Earth? Example: radical biotechnology : New ‘synthetic’ ethnicities; some ecosystems treated as living works of art; international regulatory compacts to monitor Impacts of bio-designs.
  • The technologies used to connect people, places and things, including: Information Technology Music Media Visual Arts Language Space What arts and technologies will we use to connect people, places, and things? Example: radical biotechnology : DNA-based computing possible; gifts of bio-designed life the new Valentine bouquets; genetically engineered organic sculptures…
  • The processes and technology through which we produce goods and services, including: Engineering Wealth Manufacturing Innovation Processes Life Sciences Materials Sciences Nanotechnology As human beings what will we be inspired to create? Example: radical biotechnology : Many new materials ‘manufactured’ on farms: goats produce proteins, plants produce plastics, etc.; ‘artificial insects’ monitor agricultural lands, water quality, etc…
  • The goods and services we create and the ways in which we acquire and use them - and destroy them, including: Consumer Goods Energy Food & Agriculture House & Home Entertainment & Leisure Healthcare Natural Resources Touch Points How will we use the earth’s resources? Example: radical biotechnology : More ‘white goods’ mimic organisms in design: self-repair, communicate to others of their kind, optimise their intake / output of energy and waste….
  • You have been assigned a scenario to explore. Your task is to consider what changes might arise from now until 2050 given the drivers defining your scenario. Using the discussion questions below, imagine how 2050 in your scenario might differ significantly from life today. What new concepts, ideas, and paradigms will emerge to help us make sense of the world? How will we live together on planet Earth? What arts and technologies will we use to connect people, places, and things? As human beings what will we be inspired to create? How will we use the earth’s resources?
  • Your Scenario 2050 Drivers What would make this happen? Create a timeline. 1 st horizon 2 nd horizon 3 rd horizon Time Dominance of model Impacts Impacts Impacts Impacts Impacts Impacts 2010 2020 2030 2050 2040
  • Reporting back.
    • You have ONLY TEN MINUTES, so…
      • Choose the most vivid details to make news headlines for your future, e.g.:
        • Headlines,
        • People in the news,
        • Newsworthy events, breaking news
      • Be bold, be brief, be specific.
  • Exercise 2, adding details:
    • Characters and their organizations, conflicts, collaborations, events, developments:
    • 3 scenarios, 2 groups assigned to each:
      • From your drivers deck, choose drivers that you think will contribute to the development of your scenario, and suggest how their impacts might emerge over the timeline ;
      • Using the ethnographic framework, identify important actors and organisations in your future, and explore how they might conflict and collaborate;
      • What are the key tensions in your scenario, and what events do they generate as people and issues interact?
    • CAPTURE AS MUCH OF YOUR CONVERSATION AS YOU CAN!
  • How is 2050 different from 2009?
    • Scenarios tell a vivid and plausible story about a possible future
    • Drivers and emerging issues of change redefine who has resources and power
    • New and old characters interact to create events in this new context
    • Their interactions include conflict and tensions as well as new collaborations
    • The scenario story describes not only what’s happening in 2050, but how 2050 happened: the timeline.
  • The processes and technology through which we create goods & services The goods & services we create, and the ways in which we acquire and use them Social structures & relationships which link people and organizations The concepts, ideas and paradigms we use to define the world around us The technologies used to connect people, places and things Verge/EFF: scenario building focused on people: EFF was created by Dr. Richard Lum of Vision Strategy Foresight and Michele Bowman of AndSpace Consulting
  • The concepts, ideas and paradigms we use to define ourselves and the world around us, including: Social Values & Attitudes Scientific Models Culture Economic Systems Religion Politics & Public Policy Actors: opinion leaders in the news (bloggers? virtual reality celebs?); scientists; artists and writers; philosophers and social revplutionaries… who are they and what new models and paradigms are they proposing? New concepts, ideas, and paradigms
  • Social structures and relationships which link people and organizations, including: Demographics Family & Lifestyle Groups Work & Economy Habitat & Ecosystems Business Models & Practices Government International Relations Education How will we live together on planet Earth? Actors: how do businesses work together in this future -- how do unions and businesses relate? Who are the key NGOs? Is the UN still relevant? What’s the most important government agency? How do families work?
  • The technologies used to connect people, places and things, including: Information Technology Music Media Visual Arts Language Space What arts and technologies will we use to connect people, places, and things? Actors: who’s the most influential news source, and why? Who are the newest celebs and what do they promote? What’s the biggest media company? What’s the new diplomatic language?
  • The processes and technology through which we produce goods and services, including: Engineering Wealth Manufacturing Innovation Processes Life Sciences Materials Sciences Nanotechnology What will we be inspired to create? Actors: who are the angel investors in this future? Who manufactures goods, and where -- what’s the newest big MNC/TNC? What is the ‘next big thing’ in this future, and who is the “Bill Gates”? What universities produce the most discoveries? Where and how is food produced?
  • The goods and services we create and the ways in which we acquire and use them - and destroy them, including: Consumer Goods Energy Food & Agriculture House & Home Entertainment & Leisure Healthcare Natural Resources How will we use the earth’s resources? Actors: what is the equivalent of a shopping centre? Who owns it? Is the line between producing food and consuming it distinct or blurred? Does everyone own their own home -- are homes detached, or are flats the norm? What’s the biggest energy company? What organisation provides healthcare? Who handles waste?
  • Your Scenario 2050 Drivers Who and what would make this happen? Create a timeline. Events Events Events Events Events Events 1 st horizon 2 nd horizon 3 rd horizon Time Dominance of model Impacts Impacts 2010 2020 2030 2050 2040 Actors Actors Actors Actors Impacts
  • Reporting back.
    • Inter-group diplomacy: have your rapporteur compare notes with your paired group’s rapporteur:
      • Identify two common / similar events or conditions within your scenario emerging from your discussions;
      • Identify two events or conditions within your scenario that are unique to each of your groups -- let the other rapporteur ID it for you.
    • Both groups working on a scenario offer a single report with 5 highlights: 3 common and 2 unique.
    • Based on this, the plenary will vote on suggested names for the three scenarios.