The Future of Human Reproduction
FORESIGHT STUDIO SFIN-6021-001 Presented to Helen Keller and Zan Chandler as part of the course final assignment. RODRIGO BARREDA ASIA CLARKE MOLLY CONNOR SARA QARIZADA April 16, 2019 X
INTRODUCTION 2 OUR JOURNEY
TRENDS & SIGNALS 5 FOUR FUTURE SCENARIOS
TRANSFORMATION 19 DISCIPLINE 27 COLLAPSE 37 FUTURE SCENARIO-BASED EXPERIENCE DESIGN 45 SUPPORTING SIGNALS & INTENT STATEMENT
PROCESS 48 FUTURE SCENARIO-BASED EXPERIENCE PERSONAS
STORKX 51 CUSTOMER JOURNEY
DAY OF BREAKDOWN
EXPERIENCE DESIGN REFLECTIONS
STRATEGY FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD: A CASE STUDY
CONCLUSION 64 REFERENCES 65 APPENDIXES 75
RODRIGO BARREDA Rodrigo Barreda is a creative designer with over thirty years experience, primarily in the social services and arts & culture sectors. Rodrigo brings together skills in advertising, data visualization, experience design and community organization. Currently, Manager of Graphic Design at United Way Greater Toronto, Rodrigo is pursuing a Masters Degree in Design - Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University. Rodrigoâ€™s goal are to expand his design practice and contributions to include the development of business strategies, research for innovation and the creation of user-centered frameworks, tools and processes, that will help individuals, teams and organizations reframe opportunities, develop the capacity to adapt and succeed in the midst of shifts and disruptions and address complex social challenges.
ASIA CLARKE Asia Clarke is an artist, creative director, and writer who is interested in re-envisioning African diaspora futures. She has worked in economic empowerment international development projects professionally for the past 6 years in Canada, Dominica, Trinidad, and Ghana. She has experience in developing community economic development strategy, project management, and entrepreneurship for marginalized populations. She is also an entrepreneur, whose business Wild Moon Jewelry has been featured in major publications such as Elle Canada, Essence Magazine and Afropunk Online. She is currently a graduate student at OCAD Universityâ€™s Strategic Foresight and Innovation program (MDes), and she aspires to be a leading voice in African diaspora futures and participatory foresight internationally.
MOLLY CONNOR Molly Connor is an urban strategist, designer and creative thinker with a passion for participatory community engagement, data analytics, research, design and strategy. Her background consists of community and economic development in Rural Nova Scotia, coupled with 2+ years of experience as an urban strategic consultant and 5+ years in project work across community, industry and large scale government initiatives. Having travelled the world in search of a projects and people pioneering a new way of thinking about cities and community, Molly landed in Australia in 2017. There she worked with The Space Agency and Neighbourlytics, a social analytics platform for neighbourhood development. After a stint in Melbourne working on projects large and small, across local government and industry (and drinking lots of coffee), she has returned to North America to take part in the conversation on her home turf. She is currently completing my Masters of Design at OCAD University in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program, with a focus on social impact, technology and future cities design.
SARA QARIZADA Sara Qarizada is a multi-disciplinary designer, currently living in Toronto, Ontario. She was raised in Canada and Lebanon, and grew up exploring various Middle Eastern and European countries. Experiencing these different cultures and lifestyles has given her a multi-faceted outlook. She believes that every design decision should be purposeful rather than simply aesthetic. Sara has graduated from the York University/Sheridan College Program in Design and found an interest in using design thinking as a tool to combat social issues. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Design program in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University to further explore the power of design in making a difference in society.
The future of human reproduction is of key importance to future human development, but the ever-expanding human population on a planet with finite resources carries with it social and moral implications. This dossier contains perspectives on the social, economic, environmental and political implications of advancements in healthcare, specifically human reproduction. The authors work on this topic has involved two core courses at OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation Masters program: Foresight Studio and Strategy Articulation. Stemming from the author’s initial interest in the Planned Parenthood USA as an organization at the forefront of women’s reproductive rights, we decided to explore possible future landscapes at the intersection of reproduction, identity politics, women’s rights and technological advancements in healthcare for the development of a strategy portfolio. The originally intended audience for this dossier are aimed towards healthcare practitioners and organizations, an audience we chose because we believe that exploring the future of reproduction has policy consequences for healthcare industry stakeholders and the diverse populations of everyday Americans. We also felt that it was important to explore scenarios and stories from diverse perspectives, reflecting different ages, races, political affiliations and social status in order to accurately portray the variety of different opinions that Americans may have on these issues. We acknowledge that there are many opportunities to re-imagine reproductive healthcare in a changing world, from within and beyond academia. The authors would like to thank OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation program professors, lecturers, guest speakers and colleagues who supported our learning process in the creation of this body of work. We acknowledge and appreciate the collaborative, iterative and exploratory process that brought us to a deeper understanding of the changing reproductive healthcare landscape.
The context for this dossier is a consolidation of course-based learning and group research related to the future of healthcare, specifically reproduction. This dossier is primarily an outcome of collaborative course work, which introduced to us many of the key terminologies, ideas, possible
outcomes and potential applications that are part of the interconnected world of foresight and futures thinking. As this dossier was being written, the authors were led through a research-based learning process to bring these ideas out of our imagination:
Introduction to Foresight • Connecting evidence-based insights and creativity-based interactive practices to develop visions of the future
Signal Capture & Trend spotting • Learning to diversify our perspectives and broaden our search for interrelated evidence as signals
Creating Deep Scenarios • Using shared repository of time-based trends to develop scenarios through the use of foresight tools and learning modalities
Dossier Creation & Reflection • Combining Foresight Studio and Strategy Articulation course assignments and outputs for an integrative learning synthesis document and personal portfolio creation
• Pattern finding to develop possible and plausible trends
Scenario-based Experiential Design • Connecting evidence-based insights and creativity-based interactive practices to develop visions of the future
TRENDS & SIGNALS
Our group has brought together a list of news article headlines that signal potential trends related to the future of reproduction:
Declining birth rates in the US • US Fertility Rates Are Collapsing Across The Country, And No One Knows Who to Blame • The historically low birthrate, explained in 3 charts • The US birth rate is still falling
IVF prices becoming more affordable in certain places around the world • 5 Things You Need to Know About IVF Cost in Canada • Quebec’s axing of fully funded IVF leads to increase in multiple pregnancies • Israel’s In Vitro Baby Boom: What Happens When Fertility Is Free?
Fertility technological advancement leads to safer and later reproduction • Scanning embryos for disease • Rising demand for IVF in Asia • Women getting children at later stages 5
IVF technological advancement leads to a surge in its usage • Future of Fertility Treatment: 7 Ways Baby-Making Could Change • Record number of women using IVF to get pregnant • More than 8 million babies born from IVF since the world’s first in 1978 • Reproduction revolution: how our skin cells might be turned into sperm and eggs
The future is female • Haskell: The future really is female, not male – and it’s not fair • What does a society run by women look like? • Will America ever have a woman president? • Quick Take: Women in the Workforce— United States • Sarah Palin Fast Facts • Iceland becomes the first country to legalise equal pay at workplace
Mindfulness, Veganism and Robot-Human Love to create cultural shift in USA • Beyoncé And Jay-Z Want You To Try A Vegan Diet In 2019 • The Mindful Revolution • Robot Love: Why romance with machines is a foregone conclusion • Super Bowl Commercials Warn: Beware of Robots • The Local Food Movement Is Flourishing And Shows No Signs Of Stopping
Surrogacy is on the rise • Surrogacy in the United States • The long wait for legalized surrogacy may soon end in New York • Surrogate babies: Where can you have them, and is it legal?
CRISPR Revolutionizing the Genome Editing Game • Scientists Just Removed HIV from Human Immune Cells Using CRISPR Gene-Editing • Genetic disease healed using genome editing • Has the brave new world of designer babies arrived? • What Could CRISPR Do Tomorrow? • A simple guide to CRISPR, one of the biggest science stories of the decade
Climate change is becoming more pressing than ever before (surprise, surprise) • Climate change: Effect on sperm could hold key to species extinction • Is a vegetarian diet really better for the environment? Science takes aim at the conventional wisdom. • How Has Fracking Changed Our Future? • Climate impacts grow, and U.S. must act, says new report • Watch how the climate could change in these US cities by 2050 • Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages, says study • Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – study • California Goes All In – 100% Renewable Energy By 2045
Social tension in US between groups continues to exacerbate and lead to conflict; fashion and tech respond with solutions • Bulletproof clothing designers say US demand is on the rise • Mass Public Shootings Are on the Rise • America the melting pot? Not so fast • Tomi Fahren is Trump’s Rightful Heir
Rise of anti-rhetoric, fact-driven, opportunistic and pragmatic mindset • From Trump to Brexit rhetoric: how today’s politicians have got away with words 6
IVF and CRISPR Technology offering pre-emptive disease control that impact birth rates in the USA
President Donald Trump’s policy attempts have negative repercussions both locally and internationally
• U.S. Births Dip To 30-Year Low; Fertility Rate Sinks Further Below Replacement Level • What it’s like to have a baby after 45 • Reducing the Spread of Illness in Child Care • Improvements in IVF in women of advanced age • Marc Thiessen: Gene editing is here. It’s an enormous threat • Is Beijing building better babies?
• The Biggest Consequence of Trump’s New Abortion Rule Won’t Be for Abortion • Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to de-legitimize the 2020 election • Why America would lose a trade war with China • Trump advisers fear 2020 nightmare: A recession • Six ways China could retaliate in a trade war
Healthcare Tech and Personalized Care • 23andMe wants to become a drug company, has 13 drugs in its pipeline: 5 notes • Blockchain-based identity: A tool for global innovation • 5 Medical Technologies Revolutionizing Healthcare • IBM Highlights 5 Technologies It Hopes To Pioneer In 5 Years • FDA gives ‘23andME’ the green light for genetic health tests
Local Economies and Co-living Communities in Rural Areas develop as a response to Eco-Revolution • German Co-Living Firm to Expand in U.S. With $300 Million Deal • What happens when your pension fund runs out of money • What will the ‘Sharing Economy’ mean for health care? • 250 more hospitals just joined in on a plan to make their own drugs and the effort could upend the generic pharma business • Want to close America’s rural-urban divide? Digital infrastructure is the key.
Eco-Revolution develops in response to climate change, peak oil; but water scarcity becomes the contested geo-political resource • Researchers use AI to predict outbreak of water wars in the future • Lake Erie just won the same legal rights as people • This report ranks the most polluted cities in America. • Renewable energy will be world’s main power source by 2040, says BP • Recreation counties buck rural depopulation trend
War with Russia • Decades after the end of the cold war, Russia is showing new aggression • World War III simulations show US being crushed by Russia, China • US puts Russia ON NOTICE: Navy warns US willing to be ‘initiator’ as tensions ‘ESCALATE” • US begins work on new cruise missile after pulling out of cold war treaty • US warns of sophisticated cyberattacks from Russia, China
Femtech companies take over the fertility industry • VCs want to help you get pregnant • Frost & Sullivan: Why ‘femtech’ will disrupt the healthcare market • The booming business of fertility • Fertility Inc.: Transforming the business of making babies
Stem cell babies • Reproduction revolution: how our skin cells might be turned into sperm and eggs • New same-sex reproduction technique successful in mice • Same-Sex Mice Parents Give Birth to Healthy Brood • Scientists Create Immature Human Eggs From Stem Cells
Border Communities • Migrants Wait, Hope in Mexican Border Towns • Increase in migrant detentions at US border reveals Trump’s policy failure • In Pictures: Protesters, police clash at Venezuela border towns 8
FOUR FUTURE SCENARIOS
Refusion to reproduce / cost of Child Raising • New research suggests that having kids doesn’t make parents unhappy — but the cost of raising them might • The Cost of Intensive Parenting Is Crippling the Middle Class • It Isn’t the Kids. It’s the Cost of Raising Them
Mars • Five things you need to do to build a home on Mars • Mock Mars Crew Emerges from Dome in Hawaii After 8 Months of Isolation • Practice Mars landings are teaching researchers how to work in space
Educational Raising Facilities (“The Institute”) • Inside America’s biggest facility for migrant teens • Oregon sends hundreds of foster kids to former jails, institutions, not families
Increased ideological polarization and radicalization of political thought • Political Polarization 1994-2017 • Trust Is Collapsing in America
Defunding government and the privatization of public services • Trump Budget Calls for Elimination of Dozens of Federal Programs
Increased degradation is reaching critical levels, making areas of the South and Southwest of the United States very hard to sustain living conditions • Population Density Map Of Usa Photo Pic With Population Density Map Of Usa • Demographic Trends 2010-2060 • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-Environmental Outlook to 2030 Report • Water in Agriculture • Risk of Water Wars risies with scarcity • Refugees International
How may we explore the future of family and reproduction / reproductive rights in the US in 2045? The future of human reproduction is of key importance to future human development, but the ever-expanding human population on a planet with finite resources carries with it social and moral implications. Stemming from our groups initial interest in the Planned Parenthood USA as an organization at the forefront of women’s reproductive rights. our group decided to explore possible future landscapes at the intersection of reproduction, identity politics, women’s rights and technological advancements in healthcare. The persona perspectives in this project are aimed towards the Healthcare Practitioner, an audience we chose because we believe that the future of reproduction has consequences for the future of relationships between healthcare industry stakeholders and the diverse populations of everyday Americans. We also felt that it was important to explore scenarios and stories from diverse perspectives, reflecting different ages, races, political affiliations and social status in order to accurately portray the variety of different opinions that Americans may have on these issues. For this, we used the four generic futures method to develop distinct scenarios, accompanied by a backcasting exercise to organize a plausible timeline and a PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal) analysis to create a robust vision of each future. See appendix for additional research and information as linked to each scenario. 10
Scenario 1: Continuous Growth
Key Points: • IVF is common and free for all & genome editing to correct mutations available to all who can afford it. • Surrogacy becomes a viable and common career option for women. • No more expiry date for pregnancy. • Marriage is no longer common & U.S. is no longer majority white population.
In 2020, population forecasters predicted several demographic trends for the next 25 years that proved to become truth. America in the year 2045 is more multicultural and gender-equal, yet more class stratified society. The gap between the rich and the poor is still marked by race, culture and gender, but it is further complicated by the introduction of AI technology into society. Following the two term leadership of President Donald Trump, a Democratic President is in power again in 2024. This change is accompanied by an ever increasing number of female senators and lawmakers in the country, promising to shift the economy 11
and society towards a more just and equal space. The Government healthcare law known as “Obamacare” is fully reinstated, with an expansion to include funding for non-governmental Healthcare organizations such as Planned Parenthood to provide for the country’s most vulnerable populations. IVF becomes fully subsidized to address the falling birthrate of the American population, and paid surrogacy services becomes a new well-paying employment opportunity for women. The Democratic President elected in 2024 began the effort towards free IVF with updating the healthcare system to offer free one cycle of IVF for women under the age of 43. The contin12
ued advancement of IVF technology led to quicker and more cost-effective methods of IVF, and private-public hybrid healthcare tech firms dominate the IVF industry. This allowed IVF to be completely free by 2032.
and more effective. Genome scanning began to be implemented during IVF; however, this was a luxury for only those who could afford it, as it was not covered under healthcare policies.
Keeping in line with the trend of increase of education of Women and new femalecentric employment opportunities, 2028 becomes the first year that more women in the workforce than men. This further exacerbates sexist tension between men and women, and rates of reported violence against women slowly increases. The #MeToo movement resurges, causing lawmakers to enact more laws to protect women against violence.
Surrogacy also began to become more common as it began to gain more popularity in 2020 after paid surrogacy began to be legalized in more states around the U.S. By 2032, the Surrogacy industry became common practice all over the U.S. Despite its attractiveness and popularity, surrogacy was still an expensive route, so was only accessible to those who can afford it. As employment opportunities became more scarce and AI automation took over most male-dominated jobs (such as truck driving, construction, and automobile repairs), women became more and more powerful in American society.
By 2032, advancement of technology in IVF also increased the success rate of pregnancy in older women who have already had menopause, but they often give birth to children with health complications. With the advancement of technology in the medical world, genome editing to correct genome mutations became quicker, faster, 13
As common with the pendulum swing of American politics, A republican President won the 2032 election, but with a female vice president. At this point, America was in
a recession with social unrest due to high income inequality and increasing poverty. Men who became desperate for economic opportunities became constant donors at sperm banks, and a new form of opioid addiction afflicted many more men than women. The message from this Republican President and vice President is that they would increase manufacturing jobs and resource extraction to bring male-centred jobs back to America. In 2036, an environmental disaster happens because lack of infrastructure maintenance as well as natural gas extraction (also known as Fracking) all across America negatively affects water supplies. The toxins in the water begins to negatively affect female fertility at an alarming rate. The price of water becomes very expensive, and water in rich white communities becomes cleaned quicker than in poor non-white communities. Racial tensions are exacerbated by this new form of environmental discrimination, and civil rights leaders bring
lawsuits to the US Federal government. In 2038, the Republican President dies in office (with rumoured conspiracy) and the female Vice President becomes the first female president of the United States of America. By 2040, social unrest and the promise for equal rights, economic equality and environmental protection leads to female Democratic President to be elected to power, and she serves two consecutive terms. The social climate of America has shifted to more tolerant of true reproductive and relationship choice â€“ LGBTQ+ rights are fully protected by law in every way. Over the past 26 years, a shift of expectations on women occurs, from societal domestic expectations to career focused expectations â€“ and many women make a career out of surrogacy. The normalization of same sex relationship and marriage leads to the downfall of the dominant nuclear family structure, and the education system reflects this acceptance of shifting American identities. 14
Scenario 1: Continuous Growth – 1-800-SURROGACY PERSONA NARRATIVE
Hi, my name is Jack. I’m 48 years old, and I live in Detroit with my wife Suzie. We enjoy the great outdoors, playing golf, the occasional swingers party, and vacationing abroad. We haven’t vacationed in a while, so we are looking forward to the end of my current embryo gestation contract. Making it through the last two weren’t easy, especially since water has become scarce, making everything so expensive. I have to have such a regimented diet which includes a lot more water than I would usually drink, and this puts a dent in my pockets. At least I can write it all off on my taxes. But it is all worth it in the end, when after 3 more months we can take my earnings and jet off to Bali. Being with Suzie hasn’t always been easy given the continued racial tension that finds its way into the arguments of our interracial relationship - but I can say that over time America has become a more inclusive place for our kind of love. In the beginning, she was the breadwinner, having completed 6 embryo gestation contracts by the time we were at our 10 year anniversary. We were living in Detroit, having bought into the gentrification that was going on 2020’s. After same sex marriage and varied gender definitions was legalized, our rights to share property and assets were guaranteed. We felt we were in a safe enough financial and social space to live in our truths. 15
But a few years ago Suzie became infertile, along with many natural women living in our community. The water filtration system in our community had not been updated for more than 50 years, and a build up of lead and other toxins made it into the drinkable water system. Women lost babies en-masse, and this man-made environmental disaster looked to threaten the new way of financial stability for many women. What made it worse is that this was a nationwide challenge, and most negatively affected women of colour who were living on the margins. We became desperate as her surrogacy career was our main source of income - she was the breadwinner. It was a tough decision, but I decided to see if I was still fertile. Years of taking testosterone made me look and accepted as a man in our community, but I have always been open about being a trans-man because I do not wish to erase my transition as part of my identity. Luckily I live in a community that does not request that of me. In the end I was found to be fertile, and so I opted to take on some embryo gestation contracts. If I do a few of these over the next 6 years we might be able to retire well.
Scenario 1: Continuous Growth / Mini Timeline
1-800-SURROGACY 2040 Surrogacy becomes a viable and a common career option for women
2036 Use of stem cells to create eggs for IVF and surrogacy increases & equal pay legislation instated
2028 Age of pregnancy success rates in women increases beyond 40 years old thanks to IVF advancements
2020 Increase in IVF & Surrogacy & paid surrogacy legalized in certain states
Paid surrogacy legalized across the U.S & first tech based surrogacy business opens its doors
2032 Genome editing advancements become commonly available to those who can afford it
Scenario 2: Transformation
Key Points: • Mass migration from urban to rural areas following the beginning of the Eco-Revolution in the 2030’s causes a shift in American political demographics. • Plant-based Local Economies, Co-living Communities and Mindfulness in Rural Areas develop as a response to Eco-Revolution. • Technological advancements in IVF has created a generation of genetically perfect humans. • Republicans elect President Tomi Lahren to protect “real” American humans from perceived genetic threats.
Its 2045, and US Republican President Tomi Lahren has just started her second term. Her landslide win was accredited to her campaign promise to “Make Americans Real Again”, a response to the pro-human social unrest that has plagued America since 2036. American social demography has transformed into more a complex landscape due to historical factors that take place in the preceding 26 years. Despite calls for his impeachment and economic uncertainty caused by President Donald Trump’s erratic 19
nature, the disorganization of the Democratic Party and continued manipulation of the media results in his second term win. His second term is marked by increasing inequality due to Medicaid and Obamacare cuts, loss of jobs due to artificial intelligence, and rise price in consumer goods due to trade war with China. As the trade war becomes more intense, North Korea sided with China and refused to denuclearize, turning its missiles towards Hawaii. The US enters into nuclear standoff with North Korea, and a proxy war with China. 20
Meanwhile on American soil, havoc wreaked. Mass shootings increase exponentially, the price of oil is up to $82 USD per barrel causing fuel shortages, and fertility rates decline sharply as people find it more and more unappealing to bring children into the world. To make matters worse, “Deep Fakes” videos have become so believable that they begin to influence real news because people truly could not tell the difference. A few months before the end of his second term, a video surfaces of President Donald Trump saying “F*^$ the American people, Republican and Democrat! They won’t survive the coming tech boom, we don’t have any energy sources to support them, so we need to find a way to actually harvest them…”. When no Republican leaders speak out against this, mass protests erupt, and finally President Trump has lost favour with his voter base. In the 2024 election, incumbent Republican leader Mike Pence lost by a landslide to Cory Booker. Between 2024 to 2028, America experiences an “Eco Revolution” to lessen its dependency on foreign oil, foreign products and 21
nuclear energy. Mindfulness and peaceful living becomes a cultural trend. To counter all of the mass shootings, bulletproof fashion is most trendy. A gun buy-back program has been instated, and metal from guns are used to fuel new recycled product industry. Several new technological breakthroughs have entered American life, most notably the Domestic Terrorism Algorithm Database. This Database collected personal data from facebook and location services to determine who is likely to become mass shooter, which eventually leads to surveillance of radical white national groups. In the healthcare sector, hospitals have teamed up with tech companies to provide personalized affordable drugs, while at the same time plant based diets have begun to show a decrease in Americans dependency on pharmaceutical drugs. In 2028, Robots started walking among us as a form of mass shooting detection and protection. Democratic leadership win the following two elections due to the amazing prosperity of the Eco Revolution years. In 2028 Cory Booker wins a second term, with a cabinet
that is more than 50% non-white. President Booker won this election with the promise of continued Eco-economic growth, and expansion of equality and rights for all beings - including plant and animal life.
ing and preventative healthcare. Blockchain technology is promised to provide the data security necessary to keep government and insurance companies from accessing these records.
Since the Eco Revolution encouraged local economy, self-sufficiency and mindful connection with the planet, mass out-migration from cities to rural areas created a shift in voter demographics in the midwest and southern states. Millennials finally start having children because IVF has become so efficient and the economy looked to be going up. Women aged at the age of 40-60 who chose not to have children in their twenties have the highest birthrate by 2030, and many of them choose to have twins or triplets. IVF and designer baby technology CRISPR becomes subsidized by the US government to encourage population growth, which makes it affordable and available to all. Brain-Computer Interface technology is introduced into the population en-masse, with chip embedding promised to help people to do pre-emptive disease monitor-
The Eco-Revolution impacts water supplies in rural America, causing water scarcity becomes an impending issue in the 2032 election. Even while facing challenges with its voter base because of water scarcity in rural communities, Democrats narrowly win this election again. A water-linked conflict with Canada starts as companies bid for the rights to tap resources from the great lakes. In 2033, two major events happen that change the trajectory of the next 12 years: Water desalinization technology cause the now republican majority cities on America’s coast to become more powerful, and a new disease outbreak happens in rural communities. This disease only affects “real” humans, as designer and IVF babies are completely immune to this disease. In response, Democratic government initiative begins to ensure all women in their first 22
Scenario 2: Transformation / TRUE Humans PERSONA NARRATIVE
trimester to gene-edit their children. Republican-based Armed militias in sanitary suits start to set up bases on the highways entering New York, Miami, LA, and other cities to protect again what they have nicknamed the “democrat disease”. By 2036, designer babies are now in elementary school, and studies have shown that while they are genetically resistant to most diseases, they are more contemplative of the meaning of life which presents as distant, disengaged, distracted and unable to communicate complex feelings and thoughts.
“Mrs. President? The Canadian delegation of negotiators is at the presidential rotunda, waiting for you. Shall I have our negotiators start the proceedings? Or would you like to holo-skype in?” I snap out of my daydream to see my Press Secretary robot at my door way. I slowly turn around in my big in computerized armchair to face him. I resent that this robot has the job an American should have. “Tell them I’ll have to remote holoskype into the meeting, and please cancel my 2 PM meeting with the new prime minister China. I believe that this new emergency requires all of my attention right now.” Chirper has my phone buzzing nonstop. My aides believe that I should not activate notifications on my phone, but without them I would be disconnected from the voter base that brought me to power. Those are the people I care for, not these pathetic left-wing protesters outside of my window. They don’t know that their chants sounds like music to my ears.
Enter Republican candidate Tomi Larhen, a mother of “real” American children who will fight to stop the government for editing babies. Her supporters believe that gene edited children do not act normal, and may become dysfunctional adults. Her voter base was primarily in cities and their suburban areas, which have become republican strongholds after the Eco Revolution in caused widespread migration from cities. Her government strikes down animal and plant life protection laws as a response to the high price of food caused by water shortages, and attempts to remove government subsidies for IVF and CRISPR. She also promises a basic income pilot project for Americans, especially ones who live in cities, who have now lost 90% of jobs over the last 20 years. 5
SEND FEMA TO THE FARMS! DEMOCRATS DESERVE PROTECTION! ALL AMERICANS ARE REAL AMERICANS! Many of them have brought their humanoid fake children t o the protest, thinking that I would have sympathy for them. They thought that CRISPR was going to give them perfect 5
children, and now they have a generation of kids that are just strange. The only sympathy I have is for the real humans, the real American humans whose lives were at risk before I came to power. Although the oval office has seated men for the nearly 400 years American history, the past two decades has seen the transformation of American politics, some things for the better and some for the worse. While I can give the left thanks for bringing energy stability through the eco-revolution, we all know that progress is a two sided coin. They ran away from the cities, bringing their “mindfulness” to Rural America en-masse. But their failure to foresee the stress that the EcoRevolution would put on scarce water resources caused the social unrest that would eventually bring a Republican woman to power… I, Tomi Lauren, the first female president the United States of America. They say every generation leaders has their own specific challenges that previous generations never could have dealt with. Our country’s challenges are like none ever before: water war with our long time ally Canada; the outbreak of a new disease in these “free love” rural communities (I like to call it the democrat disease), and the migrant settlements that have breached the southern border. Thank God for armed American militias that have taken matters into their
own hands to protect our cities. And now today’s crisis: left wing extremist attack the Real American healthcare facility outside Atlanta Georgia, taking several doctors hostage. We will have the swat teams and FBI drones on this matter quite quickly… but what this may lead to is a trend of leftist armed groups attempting to take the resources from precious Republican cities. They committed themselves to “mindfulness” in rural communities, and now cry out for the resources Real Americans and their real children have managed to create for themselves. Oh how the tables turned.
Scenario 2: Transformation / Mini Timeline
TRUE HUMANS 2032 New designer babies are born with disease resistance, and government attempts to pass legislation to mandate IVF/CRISPR as a new way of pre-emptive vaccination. Local food economies in rural communities are thriving.
2023 Price of oil steadily increases causing economic recession and challenges for population. Social pressures combined with racial and xenophobic movements leads to increase in mass shootings.
Anti-war ideology and high cost of products leads to minimalist culture shift, with Veganism becoming a cultural norm. Rural digitalization begins and human populations start to shift back to living in rural communities.
Republican President Tomi Lahren begins her second term in power, and imposes a moratorium on Designer Babies and IVF. Water conflict begins with Canada, as water desalination technologies begin to make coastal cities more habitable than middle America.
Continued rise in rural populations due to city density and outbreak of new disease; no cure is developed except that designer babies are immune. Initial signs of soil erosion in rural America becomes apparent indicating widespread stress on environmental resources. Water trade agreements with Canada becomes a national concern.
Scenario 3: Discipline
Key Points: • US birth rates decline to critical number, due to rising childcare costs • FemTech companies offers readily accessible egg harvesting and fertility services, eventually paying women for eggs. • Hostile takeover of femtech companies by government in power as they hold to eggs that will save the future US population. • The cost of raising a child in the US is so prohibitive that the government is forced to open state run raising facilities, known as The Institute, to raise children in “The American Way”.
On the political level, things get out of hand in 2022 when the US went to war with Russia over confirmed accusations of Russian interference in previous US elections. The effects of this war, coupled with an aging population, continued rise of educated women, and the environmental and economic implications of social unrest resulted in a societal change: People were refusing to reproduce. In 2026, Birth rates at an alltime low and a crisis ensued over the end of pension plans, Medicaid and social security. Meanwhile In the mid 2020’s femtech com27
panies, such as Carrot Fertility and Fertility IQ pioneered financially accessible egg harvesting, supported by tech elites Facebook and Apple promoting egg harvesting through employee health packages. These companies made huge advancements in the mainstreaming and accessibility of IVF and harvesting of viable eggs, eventually pioneering the creation of artificial egg and sperm cells, by using any human stemcell. The rise of stem cell reproduction into the mainstream changed the game. Now, not just women were having babies, 28
but anyone who wished to. New family structures rose from this new freedom of choice and, for a short time, we saw a slight reversal of the downward fertility trend in the United States. There was a sense of hope and new freedom on when, how and with whom a person chose to reproduce. The ticking clock that used to accompany women was gone, as anyone could have children at any point in time. However, the real trouble started in the early 2030’s when it was revealed that the tech companies offering low-cost IVF, human egg harvesting and stem cell reproduction were tracking the biodata of every child born. This sparked outrage and effected birth rates across the United States. By 2033, the US birth rate dropped again as people began to bring legal action against tech companies. Meanwhile, Americans were still feeling the effects of the Trump-inspired Nationalist movement and tech companies were blurring the lines between government and private sector. As the effects of smart cities, automation and 29
AI were felt across industries in the United States, mass layoffs and ensuing unemployment contributed to the heightened restriction to immigration and the overall declining birth rate. The cost of living, childcare and post secondary education continued to impact the rising cost of raising a child, which had risen to such a high degree that only affluent city dwellers had access to the resources, support and financial stability to raise children. As birth rates continued to decline, the United States pension fund reached emergency low levels and a state of emergency was called. During this time, the birth rate was so low, it became apparent that femtech companies held the key to the future population of the United States. Another factor influencing the social landscape in the 2030’s was the increase in the immigrant population along the US-Mexico borders following the past conflicts in Venezuela and Mexico, which has destabilized those economies. Previous administrations had responded by increasing border se-
curity and imposing stronger immigration barriers to entering the by creating a border buffer zone to detain illegal immigrants. The implication of this decision in 2019 meant that by 2035, immigrant communities had set up border communities along the Mexico and Canadian borders. The government, led at the time by the new democratic party, had decided enough was enough. Tech companies had taken over the United States’ most valuable resource - their future children - and the US government had decided it was time to step in. In response, the government launched a dark attack on associated tech companies, fully supported by the American people. The government raids tech fertility facilities and confiscate over 1,000,000 fertilized frozen embryos. Finally, the US government was back in possession of the solution to their population problems. They started a patriotic initiative to encourage American families to sign up to raise these fertilized frozen human embryo. What they did not count on was that no one stepped forward
to voluntarily raise the children. They then offered financial incentives of to raise an embryo. Again, very few stepped forward. The cost responsibility of raising a child was still too high for Americans, man woman or non-binary, to step in. Finally, in 2037, the government decided the only option was to invest in state run child raising facilities. These facilities were modelled after the facilities in the border communities buffer zones, and came with some of the same challenges - namely the separation of children and parents. The US government infiltrated the border towns with undercover agents to convince families that the child’s best future was to be raise by the Institute, alongside “real American” children, giving the border children the opportunity to be fast tracked to American residency cards and eventual citizenship. Embryos were taken from the storage facilities and gestated in 3D printed wombs. When born, they are taken to state run facilities known as “The Institute” where they are raised in “the American way”, with 30
Scenario 3: Discipline / The Institute PERSONA NARRATIVE
strict propaganda and educational tools. When born, each child is matched with a virtual family unit who is “responsible” for the child, with the expectation that they speak once a year on the child’s day of birth. At 14 years old, the youth is conscripted for 3 years of work-camp on Mars to familiarize them with Humanity’s next breeding ground, before attending a reintroduction camp where youth finalize their training on the outside world through augmented reality and virtual reality training. By 2045, the first set of these children are 8 years old. Based on the successful discipline of the children in facilities, the US government has announced that the entire education system will be reformed to ensure all american children are educated in such facilities.
I really didn’t want to know. The thoughts that came faster and faster and faster and I couldn’t escape them. What did it all mean? As I did whenever I couldn’t make sense of the world, I initiated my magic box and my mouth soundlessly said the words under my breath. Breath in, breath out. Touch, bird beak, touch, button, touch, rose petal, touch, blue seashell. By the third time, I had slowed my breath. My heart rate scale, glowing on on my inner right arm went from red to orange and, finally, a restful blue. “everything ok?” Morton asked, my inner arm glowed purple. I slowly closed the lid of the box. Turning towards the wall, I curled in on myself and covered Morton’s words glowing on my skin. I thought back to this morning’s lesson and then, later, to Morton’s teasing words “Haven’t you ever thought of what’s out there?” Out there was somewhere we were not allowed. I was angry at Morton for bringing it up. Mrs. Kaplan had told the 8th years about “The Outside” last year, in our first outward preparation class. She made it sound like a scary place, but I didn’t want Morton to think I was stupid so I told him I knew all about it.
Morton is my friend. I like Morton because he told me the truth when I asked him questions, like why all the fish in the lake swim counter clockwise. He’s older and knows more about the world. We were lying on the chicken coop roof, facing the lake, with the late afternoon sun warming our faces. I initiated Morton and asked him about what Ms. Kaplan had said and he laughed, “of course you’re going to reproduce, that’s why you’re in here you know - that’s why Òyou’re all in here!”
purpose and today’s lesson, and Morton’s comment, had given me a peek into what that might be. That there was a bigger purpose, some large plan I’m apart of but don’t know anything about. Mrs. Kaplan had told us that we would start reproduction training next year, to be ready to reproduce when we returned from Mars. She says it’s our duty to America. I’m only 8! I just want to stay here with Morton and Ms. Kaplan. I don’t know what’s happening Out There and it scares me, like some big monster waiting just over my shoulder. My heart rate monitor flares orange and I initiate my magic box again.
I was uncomfortable talking about it and I felt sick to my stomach, but in a good way. Somehow I always felt that way around Morton, like I wanted to crawl inside his world and stay there and be warm and safe and he would take care of me, like he always had. But when I told Morton this he laughed and said that I would find some nice girl who would have lots of babies and they would be raised in places just like the institute. I turned over, Morton’s words pulsed through my arm, asking to be answered. I put him on dark mode. It’s not like the institute is a bad place. I like Morton and Ms. Kaplan. Ms. Kaplan always tell us that we’re special and we have a larger 33
Scenario 3: Discipline / Mini Timeline
THE INSTITUTE 2026 Birth rates at an all-time low and a crisis ensues over the end of pension plans, Medicaid and social security.
Birth rate crisis increases, causing concern and political unrest
In 2037, the government decides the only option was to invest in state run child raising facilities.
2025 IVF and genetically modified children become more normalized. 3D printed wombs become a normal part of western birthing practices.
2024 In the mid 2020â€™s femtech companies pioneer financially accessible egg harvesting, supported by tech elites Facebook and Apple promoting egg harvesting through employee health packages.
2022 Things get out of hand in 2022 when the US went to war with Russia over confirmed accusations of Russian interference in previous US elections.
2045 2035 The US government decides it is time to step in. In response, the government launched a dark attack on associated tech companies, fully supported by the American people. The government raids tech fertility facilities and confiscate 1,000,000 fertilized frozen embryos.
By 2045, the first set of these children are 8 years old. Based on the successful discipline of the children in facilities, the US government has announced that the entire education system will be reformed to ensure all american children are educated in such facilities.
2036 Tech companies have taken over the United Statesâ€™ most valuable resource - their future children.
Scenario 4: Collapse
Key Points: • Environmental deterioration, contamination and climate change contribute to infertility reaching clinically critical levels. • First black woman elected president of the United States. • Self-proclaimed “Second American Republic comes to power and establishes the “National Digital Registry” mandating the implant of micro chips.
The political system in the United States has collapsed. A new political class has emerged in the midst of this crisis. A monolithic political and economic elite made up of “Libertarians” and radicalized sectors of what used to be the Republican and Democratic Parties. This political movement has come to power following a corporate-backed military coup, supported by the U.S. armed forces and IT corporations, who saw their interests threatened when Kamala Harris’s administration nationalized large segments of the energy, IT and agriculture industries. During the selfproclaimed “Second American Republic” regime all forms of political and grass-roots organizations are outlawed. 37
Public services, including infrastructure development, housing, education, energy, transportation and healthcare are funded by corporate conglomerates and administered by seven designated regional governments in and around urban centres only. The public sector as we know today (2019), does not exist. Regional administrations are lean and efficient and their “user-centered development” of product and service design has made the administrations quite effective. The “Regional Administrations” enjoy growing popular support, primarily among the population living in urban centres.
A key piece of legislation that the “Second Republic” administration imposed in 2031— one year after rising to power—is the new “National Digital Registry” (NDR). The NDR is a public law bill, which legislates the collection, use and management of citizen’s data for use in the public interest. The NDR allows the regional governments access to a constant stream of up-to-date data of individuals via an implanted chip or wearable technology. The wearable is used in children from birth to their first birthday. When the children turn 1, the chip becomes mandatory, if you wish to receive the benefits of access to public services. NDR technology (wearable and/or chip) provides data on all individual activities and current status of employment, health, reproductive capacity, etc. Many support the NDR because the services are provided “free of charge” or via corporate funded infrastructure and services. This has also in turn effectively done away with the public tax system in the United States.
Despite the administration’s growing popularity, an approximate 20% of the population living in the U.S. resisted the NDR public bill and have decided to not use the mandatory NDR technology. The majority of these individuals have left the urban centres to live literally “off-the-grid”. They constitute semi-legal, self-administered communities known and the “Numaruns”. The Numarun communities have no access to public services. They are located across the U.S., with a stronger presence in the environmentally devastated areas of the South and Southwest U.S.A.—present day Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Texas and Florida. In this scenario, human reproduction in the United States faces three major challenges. An increasing level of infertility in both men and women, a growing incapacity of humans to physically and psychologically adapt to the effects of environmental degradation and climate change, and a polarizing social values. In this scenario—
in which the social, economic and political institutions and processes that had shaped liberal democracy and neoliberal economic development have collapsed—people have grown less tolerant and nihilistic, opting to surround themselves with people that think, feel, look and act like them. Life has proven to be unfair and tough, and most people are prioritizing on trying to create a world for their loved ones and others like-minded to support each other and prosper. Politics, ideology, changing the world, the system or institutions is considered naive and futile. Bringing children into this world is beginning to look more as a wonderful dream, afforded only by a few fertile ones, than and a responsible and viable aspiration. An overwhelming sense of guilt and impotence fills the heart of the few who still wish to procreate.
Scenario 4: Collapse / Digital Dictatorship PERSONA NARRATIVE
Saturday, March 18, 2045 It’s my birthday!! I got so many things to talk about. It feels like life gets so crazy when you hit 16. My sister had warned me, but I didn’t think it was going to be this intense. I miss her so much, I wish she and my parents were talking; perhaps then she could have made an effort to come to see me for my birthday. Yeah, things are not good, I can’t even mention her, or remember her in front of my parents, specially my mom. I can’t believe it has already been two years since she was in my place and left home. I don’t know how my parents can’t forgive her for opting to register. I don’t know much about her now, but I’ve heard she is doing well, that despite all the discrimination people have against the Numaruns, she’s been able to find work and now has access to so many things. Imagine, hanging out with real people, learning new things in the city, seeing a doctor, eating fancy food, buying nicer clothes. Chicago must be so cool. Sophia was always more rebellious than me, and lucky too. Booky, something has changed. Since that group of medics confirmed that I was infertile, I’ve started wishing to get out of here bad, and yes, register. Fuuuuckkkk.... Perhaps I could look for Sophia and help her raise a child when she 41
or we are ready. I could even have access to PGD if I register, and have my own child if I ever wish to. I would even be able to work and perhaps even study. I would love to go to university one day. It would take me sooooo long, but I’ve heard the Second Republic has just created a study program for newly registered Numaruns. I know, they’re always trying to get us to join their cause. Anyways, I think it is five years and then you can register at Chicago University after that. Imagine, I could study something like Wind Sciences or Silico-genetics and become an Engineer like mama. I know... mom and dad would be torn. But what am I supposed to do? Stay here, surviving, always conspiring, always hiding, sticking it to the man. I love my community... their kindness, their love, their hope. But isn’t studying and having a family a form of resistance too? Woman, my chest hurts, from just thinking what my mom and dad would say or do if I were to leave, like Sophie. I know they mean well, but we truly have no options here. Not anymore. Jamestown or even Bismark have nothing to offer us. I do have rights too, don’t I? Manuela, Shaquile and Gerson are thinking it too. We can’t all be farmers for the “Urbans”. I am sixteen now. Oh man, I am scared. I am excited and scared. I’ll tell you how my first day or adulthood went after my date with the girls. Love you Booky. You and I can survive this. Amaya
Scenario 4: Collapse / Mini Timeline
DIGITAL DICTATORSHIP 2028 IVF technology reaches 100% success rate among people 35 years of age and younger and 50% among people between 35-60 years old.
2030 A military coup ends the Kamala Harris government in 2031, a new administration selfproclaimed “The Second American Republic” comes to power.
2031 - 2045 “The Second American Republic” establishes the “ National Digital Registry” mandating the implant of a registry chip which allows the government to provide efficient services to all its nationals.
2020 Steady decline in birth rates.
2024 Kamala Harris is elected first woman president of the US.
2031 - 2045 Chemical contamination of water, air and crops raises levels of infertility to clinically critical levels, the Harris government responds by creating a national network of eggs and sperm banks.
FUTURE SCENARIO-BASED EXPERIENCE DESIGN
On April 9 our team facilitated a future scenario experience for a group of twenty peer students, professors and guests. The activity took place over an approximate thirty minute span. In the process of preparing the event, the team utilized various methods and tools, such as; further exploring how the researched trends and signals would influence a future service/product, developed what a “customer” experience of a future company (StorkX) would look and feel like, established a clear objective or intent for the exercise and developed prospective customer “personas”, all of which we outline further in this section.
Revisiting our Scenarios Starting with the intention for final presentation, we decided we wanted to offer a provocative and strange experience that explored families and reproduction in new ways
2 Experiential Design Fiction Brainstorm SUPPORTING SIGNALS
Declining birth rates in the US.
Our group developed several prototype ideas, including: Sex education in a digital dictatorship, demo of a implanted pregnancy monitoring chip, and match-making app for surrogates IVF and CRISPR Technology offering pre-emptive disease control that impact birth rates in the USA
Femtech companies take over the fertility industry.
3 Developing our Experiential Idea After choosing the designer baby / 3D womb experience, our group split the deliverables, created a workbook schedule and met regularly to update on progress. 4 Preparing for Presentation Our group mapped the customer experience in order clarity audience’s experience. The StorkX brand, app, video, brochure and 3D womb prototypes were completed.
To provide an immersive, participatory and plausible designed fictional experience based on our scenario work on the future of reproductive healthcare in the USA in 2045.
Executing our Experiential Future Arriving at the room for set up, ensuring photo and video documentation, and getting into character to practice the StorkX experience prior to audience arrival. The experience ran smoothly with constructive and positive feedback.
FUTURE SCENARIO-BASED EXPERIENCE PERSONAS
Claudia is a 29 year old lawyer living in downtown Toronto, where she owns a two bedroom condo. Since graduating law school , she has focused on her career and has had the fortune of meeting various financial and professional development goals she had set for herself early on in life. Claudia has been employed by the Provincial Government for six years now, and thus enjoys the benefits and financial stability her promising and fulfilling job offers her. Claudia is single and has recently been seriously considering having a baby on her own. She was raised by a single mother and despite knowing first-hand the hardships her mother had to experience to provide for her and her sister, feels that she is inspired by the special loving and nurturing relationship they have always had and continue to build. Claudia would love to build a family of her own, but is not interested in having a partner and she is concerned about the limitations that becoming a parent may bring to her professional life and future. Her mother has offered her unconditional support and so Claudia is seriously thinking of contacting a company, such as StorkX that offers gene design, insemination and wombing services.
Leigh and his partner Robert have been together for 24 years and have always wanted to have a child. They are both healthy and financially stable, and despite having all the social and economic conditions to provide for a child their applications have never been approved. The greatest challenge is that adoption in Canada falls under provincial jurisdiction and conservative bureaucrats have historically not been favourable to same-sex couples adopting. Leigh and Robert live in a small farm house in Woodstock, Ontario and have recently heard of companies in Toronto and Hamilton offering insemination and wombing services. They have been seriously considering this alternative as a possible way to make their dream of building a family together come true. The best part of all is that “birthing companies”—as they are known— fall under federal jurisdiction and the federal government has established full rights to these and other services for same-sex couples. If all goes well, Leigh and Robert may be able to start their genetic design process in a couple of months, until then there are many aspects they need to come to an agreement on, starting with the gender of their future baby.
Welcome to StorkX, where you can increase your child’s chances of leading a healthy, balanced and beautiful life… Set in 2045, StorkX is a reproductive healthcare tech start-up in the “True Humans” world. Founded in 2035 by Dr. Asia Clarke and colleagues, StorkX offers advanced CRISPR technology as an affordable gene editing service. As a response to continued population decline and increasing infertility rates in the USA, the US Government create subsidies for tech start-ups that aim to address this challenge. Thus allowing for the creation of a new sector in the healthcare industry, and StorkX is one of many gene-editing healthcare start-ups offering similar services. While IVF and surrogacy remain human-carrier options for families, new 3D printed organ technology allows for human babies to be gestated in 3D printed wombs at StorkX facilities. This option proves to be attractive to especially to women who are infertile, women whose careers support their families and non-nuclear families who want to be able to raise children. Additionally, given the reduced utility of traditional antibiotics and global warming induced diseases, new diseases afflict the US population, particularly vulnerable children. Families are eager to ensure their children are immune to such diseases, however ethical implications persist as minor side effects are associated with the editing of specific disease gene receptors. Furthermore, after 10 years in operation, scandal erupts over StorkX as studies show that many children who have been gene edited have stoic, disengaged and distracted personality traits. The “True Human” protest movement begins as a response to the ethical challenges raised, and reminiscent of protestors outside of Planned Parenthood centres today, StorkX centres are becoming spaces of conflict. The protestors aim to “Make Americans Real Again”, signalling the addition a layer of social hierarchy and complexity in this transformational future. 51
First meeting Consultation, walk though the process. Initial deposit due.
Second meeting Talk about DNA extraction procedure and adjacent needs and services provided through StorkX. Interview with doula. Second deposit due at this point.
Third meeting DNA extraction procedure with participating parents.
Week 8 Prenatal visit (Two months).
Week 16 Prenatal visit (Four months).
Week 24 Prenatal visit (Six months).
Week 41 First appointment with StorkX Pediatric Team.
Week 42 Last visit with assigned pediatrician and evaluation if future servuces will be required, needed and/or desired
Continued StorkX Pediatrician appointments as scheduled.
GESTATION PERIOD Fourth meeting DNA Editing session and 3D womb fertilization procedure.
Week 32 Prenatal visit.
Week 36 Final prenatal visit. Begin positioning baby for extraction.
DELIVERY Week 40 Birthing day, the baby is extracted from the 3D Womb. Baby is sent home with parents. Final deposit due.
“StorkX did a great job of normalizing a potential future that is really quite hard to believe. The attention to detail including the setting and ambiance of the room and the juxtaposition of a 3D printed womb and celebratory polaroid made the experience feel very plausable. Coordinated eye makeup was a great addition too!”
DAY OF BREAKDOWN
Participants arrive As they enter the space were the experience will take place, they can hear the chants of anti gene editing and “wombing” protesters
“Joyous Day” / approx 4 minutes Participants are organized into families and take their seats in the “waiting room”, where they are greeted by a StorkX doctor who helps contextualize the experience
DNA is being prepared Participants go back to the waiting room, where they are told that they will soon start the fertilization process
The StorkX App / approx. 16 minutes Each family is called up in groups of four, to work with a StorkX doctor who helps them decide which genetic characteristics they desire for their future child
The 3D Wombs The wombs are rolled out and each family is called up one by one to decide who will do the honours of fertilizing the family womb
Fertilization / approx. 10 minutes The “parents” are handed a test tube containing their edited dna and proceed to pour it into the womb. The family then poses for their first family picture
- Samantha Matters, Student.
“The StorkX experience was really immersive! The team really balanced the strangeness of the process of artificial womb insemination, with projecting that this would just be a normalized and ceremonial moment in the future.” - Jacquie Shaw, Student.
“I loved the incredible atmosphere StorkX constructed. From the chanting protesters to being greeted with a lyrical “Joyous Day”. Their attention to detail and mastery of worldbuilding made for an extremely immersive experience.” - Andrew Walls , Student.
EXPERIENCE DESIGN REFLECTION
Our group was overall pleased with the quality of our presentation, based on audience participation and engagement with the artifacts we developed. We were able to facilitate conversation about the future of reproduction as it relates to human centred service design. Our group used foresight based research methods (environmental scanning) and frameworks (causal layered analysis, PESTEL analysis, four generic futures generation, backcasting) to create robust and plausible narratives to support our experience design. We made these decisions based on our own affinity to specific tools shared in the Foresight Studio learning environment, along with our own desire to more fully understand the range of implications of the trends we identified. The use of these tools proved effective in provoking deep experience of the future through the StorkX designed intervention, achieving our intended impact. One piece of feedback we received is that the audience had brief moments where they did not feel fully immersed in the process, that being after they had selected their child’s genes and gone back to the waiting room. We would remedy this challenge in the future either by running the experience with a smaller group of people, or adding to the waiting room experience by creating additional StorkX commercials to run on the waiting room screens. Another piece of constructive feedback is that some members of the audience would have liked access to the full “True Humans” future scenario text, timeline and trends in order to better understand the future context to determine which genes they should be choosing to best equip their child for the future. We would address this in future experiential design by offering a copy to audiences as an experience synopsis. In retrospect, we feel we offered a well-executed and thoughtful experience that moved audiences to consider their own place in the future of reproduction. 57
STRATEGY FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD: A CASE STUDY
Foresight practices provide a multifaceted approach to strategic planning. As we explore the possibilities surrounding the future of reproduction in the United States, we would like to provide an opportunity to leverage our foresight work into a real world example.
Planned Parenthood is the leading provider of sexual health services in the United States. After more than 100 years in operation, Planned Parenthood has maintained its role as America’s health care provider, educator, political advocate, and global leader in women’s reproductive health but it’s future is at risk. Planned Parenthood was founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have access to accurate information and compassionate care to support their life’s choices. Today, Planned Parenthood has expanded to serve communities outside of its original target audience, a reflection of pragmatic and insightful organizational strategy. Planned Parenthood is increasingly faced with political instability, social complexity, potential financial disruptions, and the diverse needs of Americans seeking healthcare. In analyzing Planned Parenthood’s present state, we were able to identify gaps between the integration of values and reinforcing relationships between initiatives in Planned Parenthood’s current strategic portfolio. Balancing emergent thinking with long term goals is important in the development of innovative strategies, which is why we have combined foresight methods with internal and external analysis to develop more robust strategies. In the following pages, we 61
aim to offer a comprehensive and integrated set of choices; ones that increase Planned Parenthood’s flexibility to respond to emergent strategic signals. We look forward to the potential implementation of these strategies as Planned Parenthood moves from “Care. No Matter What.” to “Care. No Matter Where.” We developed these strategies using tools and frameworks from innovation strategy theory and foresight methodologies, including: 3 Horizons Futures Mapping, Backcasting, 10 Types of Innovation, Ambition Matrix, Core Competencies Analysis, and Innovation Roadmap. Through the use of these tools we were able to synthesize research data, diagnose current strategy and analyze current organizational capacities to identify areas for growth. As a result, we have outlined a collection of initiatives that Planned Parenthood would be able to implement in the next 10 years. This Innovation Strategy Portfolio is intended to support efforts toward economic uncertainties and increasingly effective family planning methods. In this world where does Planned Parenthood fit? Our Innovation Strategy Portfolio is about choices. While these choices align with the core values of Planned Parenthood, these choices also outline a new vision for Planned Parenthood: One that is more inclusive, self-sufficient and digitally integrated. 62
FUTURE OF REPRODUCTION: CONCLUSION
Concern about the future of the human race is not new to the world of foresight, but new and diverse perspectives on the future of reproduction contribute to the overall understanding of the role that future healthcare industry stakeholders will play. Possibilities are available for reproductive health care sector initiatives, many of which depend on investment, progress in science and technology, political will and social values. Although scientific interventions in human reproduction is often considered an ethical grey area, technological advancements are moving at a rapid pace, making reproductive health care an area ripe for disruptive innovation. The progress made in human reproduction technology must take into account factors such as political, social, environmental and economic drivers and implications - factors that are inextricably interrelated. The analysis of future trends leading to synthesis through scenario generation and experiential design are also linked to creating effective strategy options for reproductive healthcare stakeholders of today. As illustrated in our strategy exercise on Planned Parenthood USA, the use of signals and trends captured in foresight exercises are crucial to illuminating market opportunities for transformational growth. Connecting strategy back to our experiential design, we imagined StorkX as a potential future initiative of Planned Parenthood, connecting current trends with potential future market opportunities and customer needs. This exercise proved to be a testament to the utility of strategic foresight and innovation - a discipline to which we ascribe and aspire to push the boundaries. The extent to which the current trends and signals point directly to any one of our our future scenarios remains unseen, and we do look forward to further discussion provoked by the insights offered in this dossier. 63
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Appendix A - Backcasting: Scenario One CONTINUOUS GROWTH
Appendix B - Backcasting: Scenario Two TRANSFORM
Appendix C - Backcasting: Scenario Three DISCIPLINE
Appendix D - Backcasting: Scenario Four COLLAPSE
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