Remaking Worlds

First off, it's worth mentioning that Changeist just turned 9 years old. We quietly celebrated with a
Remaking Worlds
By Changeist • Issue #24
First off, it’s worth mentioning that Changeist just turned 9 years old. We quietly celebrated with a day-trip to our favorite science museum
We’re also just back from the 3rd annual Innovation & Futures Thinking course taught at IED Barcelona, trying to catch a bit of rest and recovery. We’re also collectively taking some time for reflection on the course experience, what we learned along the way, and capture some ideas for doing things better/differently in future studio courses and workshops.
The 2-week course itself was tremendous. The backdrop of the city itself is always fantastic (though this year’s 35C weather required a bit more hydration). The instructor crew for this year—John Willshire, Andres Colmenares, and Natalie Kane—as well as visiting coaching talent—Susan Cox-Smith and Joy Blundell—gave us a nice mix of structure and creativity, experience and fresh eyes, to guide the students through what is always a challenging process. Elisabet Roselló also joined us to provide local knowledge on field work day, as well as to add to the conversation as we built scenarios. 
The 16 students themselves were, of course, the best part. We were joined by a great mix of curious, clever folks from Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Argentina, India, Greece, France, Canada, and Pakistan by way of the UK. Students brought professional background from management, UX, film and media, design, psychology, and social policy.
**skip to the next section if a recap of the class doesn’t interest you**
In this moment of building refugee crises, post-Brexit miasma and ongoing redefinition of identity, this year’s course looked at futures through the lenses of migration, citizenship and belonging, with more of an experiential focus. We began by immersing the class in new ways of thinking and structuring data and signals about human movement—capturing trends about technological identity, movement driven by climate and politics, emergence of new communities and maintenance of old ones in the face of dispersion, and a wide spectrum of related issues and trends.
The class then took two days to structure and flesh out a common timeline of the next 15 years as a scaffold on which to build a series of loosely connected scenarios. A day in the city looking for signals, evidence and inspiration related to these scenarios—around societal fragmentation, divergence into a global networked class and local work, emergence of new forms of community, and new digital identities—was followed by iterative shaping of narratives, personas and artefacts to form tangible futures the teams could share with each other. 
The outcomes were rich, imaginative, and insightful projects that gave us glimpses into these future scenarios through critical services, artefacts and interactions (see images below).
Refugeen: a near future UN-funded prototype to help resettle refugees from Turkey and Syria into Canada. Refugeen used a mix of native natural language WhatsApp chatbot-based intake and support, biometric identification, and holographic on-demand information.
Pick and Mix: an integration service for frequent travelers using socialization around local food as the central focus.
Better World: a global virtual community using the body as a natural interface that allows members to slip into an AR-like immersive environment. Temporary skin-based wearables provide the gateway connector to user-defined communities.
Hidden Secrets: another AR-based system, providing migrants and travelers a way to access secrets and insider knowledge placed by residents.
SIDI: a post-May biometric digital identity system created by an alt’s Ministry of Digital Identities. This project came with additional artefacts exploring personalized travel for someone passing through the SIDI system. 
Thanks again to the hard work of students and staff who made it all possible, including hat tips to Madeline Ashby and Fraser Hamilton for drop-ins.  See below for pics of some of the student work and the class in action. 

Team timeline construction.
Team timeline construction.
Fleshing out scenarios.
Fleshing out scenarios.
Better World — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
Better World — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
Refugeen — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
Refugeen — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
SIDI — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
SIDI — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
Hidden Secrets — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
Hidden Secrets — Student Project, IED Barcelona Innovation & Futures Thinking
How to Future
We’re shaping a couple of customized How to Future workshops to be deployed in the UK, tentatively in September, for public and private organizations. If you’re interested in having us create one that suits your organization, or want to talk about creating one for a group of individual professionals or small organizations, get in touch with Susan
On The Agenda
Citizenship in the Era of Nation-as-a-Service
A few days before the Brexit vote, I was invited to give a talk at the European Commission’s Connect University Summer School on the topic of digital citizenship. I boiled the 90-minute session down into a post on Medium. Sjef van Gaalen was kind enough to work with me on a short speculative venture into bot-based onboarding into digital citizenship for the talk, which you can read below. 
Thingclash in Action — Phase Change — Medium
A recap of our workshop at Thingscon Salon Eindhoven. 
We’ve been invited by SWIFT’s Innotribe team to bring Thingclash to Sibos, the largest annual financial services conference globally. We’re adapting a special version of the workshop to look at clashes in the IoT around money, identity and security. Look for an after-action report.  

A reminder I’ll be speaking at FutureFest in London next month. The topic is wet, small, abundant futures. Come visit.
Remaking Worlds
The “ultra-unreal” as the new magical realism, China-style.
What cities in the post-Brexit era could learn from a 14th-century trading bloc - The Long and Short
A different look at the resurgent strength of cities. This has been coming for a while (think about the global mayors you can name). 
The Network
Feel the Taste of Freedom!
Philonesia Smartipelago: 4:58 PM Hey future islander! Hope you’re feeling fine. 
At Play on the Field of Ghosts
James Bridle looks at the interplay between sport and data for How We Get to Next.
Mitigation of Shock
Our friends at Superflux have taken a look at technologies to address climate change at a personal scale.
Exit Visa
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A periodic look into research threads on critical futures, strategy, post-normal innovation, providing a look over the shoulder of the team at Changeist. Each issue includes brief analysis, links, updates, and occasional invisible hand gestures.
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