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Provoking Strategic IoT Conversations:

Helping Businesses Imagine Their Future
!
Matt Gorbet Susan LK Gorbet

@mgorbet @slkgorbet
WORKSHOP RECAP

ThingsCon 2015

Amsterdam

Dec 4, 2015
WHO ARE WE?
SUSAN LK GORBET

EXPERIENCE DESIGNER (STANFORD, PENN)
STRATEGIC FORESIGHT, COMPUTER SCIENCE, PSYCHOLOGY
MATT GORBET
CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIST (MIT MEDIA LAB)

RESEARCH, DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE, TECHNOLOGY ART
We teach businesses how to run strategic, creative,
collaborative conversations with their customers.
WHAT HAPPENED at ThingsCON:
1. Teams explored and
demonstrated four pre-
existing future IoT scenarios
using props and littleBits. 



Each group acted theirs out
to share with everyone.
Photos: Frank Van Boheemen
2. We led a discussion about each scenario’s human and
technical aspects: What was IoT’s role in the human
experience, and what was happening technically to enable
this?



These abstracted human and technical capabilities of IoT
were then carried forward to help people imagine new
scenarios in other contexts.
Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
People,

Objects,

Environment Persona Thing-Ona
3. We introduced a sequence of three tools to help groups
conceive of new IoT scenarios:
People-Objects-Environment:
Explore a place mindmap-style,
starting with the people, then listing
objects and environmental features
relevant to each person.
!
Each group was given a context,
then built their own POE map.
Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
Personas: Paint a picture of a
specific individual in order to build
an understanding of their
experience, needs and goals.
!
Each group chose one individual
from their POE map to focus on.
Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
Thing-Ona: Re-imagine the
objects in the persona’s
environment by thinking of them
as active participants with
personalities and goals.
!
Each group chose 2-3 objects
important to their Persona, then
created a Thing-Ona for each one.
Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
4. Once the groups had created Thing-onas, they began
thinking physically by building rapid prototypes, then
acting out conversations between the objects and people
(a.k.a. bodystorming). 



This helped participants imagine entirely new capabilities
for connected objects and environments.
Photos: Frank Van Boheemen
5. Finally, the Persona’s newly imagined experience with IoT-
enabled objects was captured using a pre-scripted
Storyboard format.

This told the story of the new
technology in human terms
and demonstrated the impact
of the newly-conceived

IoT objects.
Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
Quotes from participants:
6. A discussion wrapped up the workshop at the end, and
participants expressed their enjoyment of the process and
how it changed their thinking:
!
“The personalities of the objects helped us
think outside our previous understanding of
what these things were.”
!
“Because I had this tangible object, I no longer
was thinking in terms like ‘I have to push this
button’ but instead, ‘I just want to
communicate with this object.’”
!
“Because we made this… I was suddenly
thinking of what I would be able to see if I
were this projector, [up on the ceiling].”
!
“Everyone was working together the whole
time and it was very smooth — we didn’t
criticize each others’ ideas like people
normally would. What a good way to work.”
Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
If you’d like help having strategic conversations in a creative,
collaborative way with your own partners, customers, or
clients, let us know:
!
Within the Netherlands:
ThinkG, Susan LK Gorbet
(susan.thinkg@gorbet.com)
!
Worldwide: 

Gorbet Design, Matt Gorbet and Susan LK Gorbet
(matt@gorbetdesign.com and susan@gorbetdesign.com)

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Thingscon Amsterdam 2015 - Provoking Strategic IoT Conversations workshop

  • 1. 
 Provoking Strategic IoT Conversations:
 Helping Businesses Imagine Their Future ! Matt Gorbet Susan LK Gorbet
 @mgorbet @slkgorbet WORKSHOP RECAP
 ThingsCon 2015
 Amsterdam
 Dec 4, 2015
  • 2. WHO ARE WE? SUSAN LK GORBET
 EXPERIENCE DESIGNER (STANFORD, PENN) STRATEGIC FORESIGHT, COMPUTER SCIENCE, PSYCHOLOGY MATT GORBET CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIST (MIT MEDIA LAB)
 RESEARCH, DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE, TECHNOLOGY ART We teach businesses how to run strategic, creative, collaborative conversations with their customers.
  • 3. WHAT HAPPENED at ThingsCON: 1. Teams explored and demonstrated four pre- existing future IoT scenarios using props and littleBits. 
 
 Each group acted theirs out to share with everyone. Photos: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 4. 2. We led a discussion about each scenario’s human and technical aspects: What was IoT’s role in the human experience, and what was happening technically to enable this?
 
 These abstracted human and technical capabilities of IoT were then carried forward to help people imagine new scenarios in other contexts. Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 5. People,
 Objects,
 Environment Persona Thing-Ona 3. We introduced a sequence of three tools to help groups conceive of new IoT scenarios:
  • 6. People-Objects-Environment: Explore a place mindmap-style, starting with the people, then listing objects and environmental features relevant to each person. ! Each group was given a context, then built their own POE map. Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 7. Personas: Paint a picture of a specific individual in order to build an understanding of their experience, needs and goals. ! Each group chose one individual from their POE map to focus on. Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 8. Thing-Ona: Re-imagine the objects in the persona’s environment by thinking of them as active participants with personalities and goals. ! Each group chose 2-3 objects important to their Persona, then created a Thing-Ona for each one. Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 9. 4. Once the groups had created Thing-onas, they began thinking physically by building rapid prototypes, then acting out conversations between the objects and people (a.k.a. bodystorming). 
 
 This helped participants imagine entirely new capabilities for connected objects and environments. Photos: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 10. 5. Finally, the Persona’s newly imagined experience with IoT- enabled objects was captured using a pre-scripted Storyboard format.
 This told the story of the new technology in human terms and demonstrated the impact of the newly-conceived
 IoT objects. Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 11. Quotes from participants: 6. A discussion wrapped up the workshop at the end, and participants expressed their enjoyment of the process and how it changed their thinking: ! “The personalities of the objects helped us think outside our previous understanding of what these things were.” ! “Because I had this tangible object, I no longer was thinking in terms like ‘I have to push this button’ but instead, ‘I just want to communicate with this object.’” ! “Because we made this… I was suddenly thinking of what I would be able to see if I were this projector, [up on the ceiling].” ! “Everyone was working together the whole time and it was very smooth — we didn’t criticize each others’ ideas like people normally would. What a good way to work.” Photo: Frank Van Boheemen
  • 12. If you’d like help having strategic conversations in a creative, collaborative way with your own partners, customers, or clients, let us know: ! Within the Netherlands: ThinkG, Susan LK Gorbet (susan.thinkg@gorbet.com) ! Worldwide: 
 Gorbet Design, Matt Gorbet and Susan LK Gorbet (matt@gorbetdesign.com and susan@gorbetdesign.com)