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The Speculative Design Project

The Future Concierge Project

The future can be scary and uncertain but we want to understand the possibilities it holds. Team Toad is working on a “future concierge”. A “future concierge” is anything that helps a client navigate complexity while receiving ESDC benefits.

To help us understand what a "future concierge" is, We’re running a “speculative design sprint”. This sprint uses speculative design approaches defined by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby.  It uses design to address challenges and opportunities of the future.

A Call to Action

This sprint will help us understand what a “good” concierge would be in an optimistic future 50 years from now. It will run over the course of 2 weeks - we'll begin with little more than a big challenge and a multidisciplinary team, and we'll end with a user-tested prototype... fRoM tHe FuTuRe

If this sounds weird to you, you're not alone! We are trying an unconventional approach, and it's taking us into uncharted territory.

We Need Your Help!

When we say we're putting together a multidisciplinary team, we're talking about you! We'd like you to join us, for 2 hours/day from Jan 18-21 and Jan 25-28.

What will you learn

We’re hoping this process will teach you a couple of things.

  1. How to go through a cross-functional design sprint across teams. Let’s leverage ideas and talent across the organization to build something that is useful. Let’s collaborate to create!
  2. How to work in an agile way. Learn how to quickly go from broad concepts to a user-tested prototype using a design process!
  3. How you can use Speculative design in your work to create more innovative products.

Why not use a more conventional approach?

Most future state mapping starts with identifying current client pain points, and then ideating solutions to address those pain points.

That’s a really powerful approach, but it has downsides. It’s fundamentally reactive; all proposed future states are a reaction to the problems of the day. It’s also fundamentally iterative. That’s normally a word that we like because incremental improvement is at the heart of our agile practices. But incremental improvement is not innovation. To truly modernize our approach to benefit delivery we have to be innovative, which means thinking beyond 6 months or 1 year or even 5 years into the future. So join us as we explore and design what our future could look like.

Where do I sign up?

Reach out to Farwa at farwa.farshori@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca , or on Teams or Slack.

We look forward to working with you on this exciting project!