ProtoPolicyAsia August “Futurology Workshop”

ProtoPolicyAsia hosted a half-day “Futurology Workshop” on 16 August 2019 at iLabs Makerspace at Sunway University, an extension to the “Champions Workshop” and “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members” held in July 2019.

The workshop was attended by Champions from the previous workshop, students, and Sunway University academics. The workshop aimed to introduce its participants to theories and practice of future through a curated series of activities to impart participants with some future thinking skills. The workshop ended with a game play as a microsimulation of the process of future thinking.

Mapping Trends and Signals

The workshop began with the Mapping Trends and Signals led by Ringo Harrison. This exercise continued over the duration of the workshop, prior to the final activity, where participants were asked to map their understanding of futures in a cumulative exercise.  Participants were divided into two groups and tasked with developing two maps on categories, signals and trends, which ends with the development of policy recommendations.  It was at the end of all lectures that the participants consolidated their maps and presented their findings.

Futures “Lightning Talk”

The next session involves a series of Futures “Lightning Talk” by four invited speakers who are academics from Sunway University; Distinguished Prof David Bradley, head of the Centre for Biomedical Physics ,  A/Prof Lau Sian Lun, head of the Department of Computing and Information Systems, A/Prof Gopalasamy Reuben Clements, co-founder and vice-president of Rimba, and Dr Goh Yi Sheng, senior lecturer at the Department of Art & Design.

Prof Bradley’s talk discusses “Inhabiting Hostile World” and shared his expertise on radiation physics to a broader consideration of technologies for dealing with a  hostile radioactive world. A/Prof Lau discussed, through the “The Future in ICT, about changes across time, its affect in communication that included a take-home message: “let future ICT connects us, but not control us.”  Biodiversity conservationist, A/Prof Clements used repeat of a dystopic past in possible futures to jolt participants to consider more seriously, the  “Future of Forests” by using the motif of the computer short-cut keys, “CTRL-ALT-DEL” to present how the present could be reset to create a forest-friendly future. Dr Goh introduced participants to the “Future of Design” by bringing AI to the design of human connectivity. The presentations were interjected with 2-minute Q&A before the speakers came together as a panel, at the end, to position their respective lectures within the context of the future of policies.

Different Strategies of Future-Thinking

The next session was led by Dr Clarissa Lee on “Different Strategies of Future-Thinking”. The session was divided into five sections which are, foresight approaches, emergence vs. disruption, timelines and scaling, futures in policy, and ethics. The objective was to inform participants with existing methodologies of foresight to scaffold the lightning talks session.

Gaming the Future

Ho Yi Jian led the last session,“Gaming the Future” not merely to field-test the prototype of a game designed to expose players to the experience of speculative design, but also served to consolidate the overall learning process.

For more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

ProtoPolicyAsia July “Champions Workshop” and “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members”

ProtoPolicyAsia successfully hosted a two-day “Champions Workshop” on 1-2 July 2019 followed by the “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members” on 3 July 2019 at Sunway University. These workshops were follow-up workshops based on the Introduction to Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop held in April and May 2019.

Champions Workshop

17 participants “Champions” from government agencies, and community-based organisations and non-government organisations attended this interactive workshop held in Sunway University. The aim was to train the Champions’ on participatory speculative design, to engage participation, and also to co-design with the facilitators for community members. Champions learnings from Day 1 and 2 will be put to test on Day 3, when the community members were brought in to the workshop.

The workshop started with an opening address by Dr Yong Min Hooi, who explained the overall project aims and specific expectations in the coming 3 days.

The two-day workshop was facilitated by Andy Darby and ProtoPolicyAsia Lead PI, Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, both from Lancaster University. On Day 1, the Champions were introduced to Speculative Design (SD) by letting them create their own speculations of themselves. Andy led the session by stimulating the Champions’ mind in defining design and SD followed by provocation on present and futures. He introduced PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) as a method to integrate SD at their workplace. Andy also introduced best practices in facilitation for Champions will need this skill in the subsequent workshop. On Day 2, the Champions practiced on exploring provocative solutions for their identified issues. They were then split into 7 pairs to work on their plan for the day after. The facilitators were also split up to support each new pair to guide and prepare them for the next day’s session.

We also pilot-tested the SD boardgame at the end of Day 2. The boardgame (spearheaded by Dr Clarissa Lee) is aimed at introducing SD in a fun engaging manner and to allow meaningful feedback to the game developers.

Co-designing workshop with Community Members

On 3 July 2019, 20 participants from the general public attended the “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members”. 18 were senior citizens and 2 represented the Person with Disability community. These 20 were divided to specific pairs and we had between 5 to 6 people per group. As per yesterday’s pairings and support from one facilitator, the two Champions introduced SD and facilitated their group members to build a future solution to a current/future problem. The Champions worked hard at explaining what is SD and how best to address specific needs within each community, while managing individual differences. At the end of the session, each group presented their day’s work “prototype” and explained the importance of their prototype(s) to the crowd. The Champions were debriefed by the facilitators on their performance and expectations on future workshops.

The 3-day workshop for the Champions has been gruelling and tiring, but to which the Champions demonstrated their knowledge and skill remarkably. Seeing the prototypes (although it was made from play-doh) helped Champions to ‘see’ possible and preferable outcomes.

What’s next?

We will host a two-day “Futurology Workshop” and “Pre-Prototyping Workshop” to be held at Sunway University in August where the Champions will refine the prototypes developed with the Community on 3 July. We aim to showcase some of the prototype(s) in the upcoming public dissemination events.

We look forward to seeing more participatory sessions, and welcome the general public to view our prototypes.

More details to follow and for more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop

ProtoPolicyAsia team successfully conducted a two one-day workshop on Introducing Speculative Design for Policy-Making on April 29th and May 2nd in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total number of 44 participants attended the workshops and they were from various government agencies and representatives from community-based organisations and non-government organisations.

Workshop introduction by Dr Yong Min Hooi of Sunway University.

At the beginning of the workshop, participants were given a brief background on the research aims followed by watching the Speculative Design animation video as a brief introduction to speculative design.

Dr Lim Shiang Cheng from United Nations University introducing the Sugar Neutraliser Prototype to stimulate the discussion for the Speculative Café session.

We had the Speculative Café in which participants sat in small groups of 3-5 with a facilitator to discuss the SD concepts using the Sugar Neutraliser prototype that was created in previous ImaginAging workshops. After a short break, participants worked on one of the main pillars in SD; problem ideation/definition. Here, participants reviewed each issue with a specific time frame and finding specific themes and moving onto fast prototyping for solutions.

Group work session using Speculative Design in identifying short-term, mid-term, and long-term problems.
Group work on problem framing stage using Speculative Design.

They were reminded of the categories which were featured in the video, which were “Possible”, “Plausible”, “Probable”, and “Preferable” in providing a solution for their identified problem.

Group work on solution testing stage in deriving to a prototype.

What’s next?

We will host a two-day “Champions Workshop” to be held at Sunway University on July 1st & 2nd. The aim is to train the participants specific details on speculative design and how to be a successful facilitator.

To enable them to practice what they have learned, the “Champions” will run a co-designing workshop with community members on July 3rd. This is also to be held in Sunway University.

More details to follow and for more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop

ProtoPolicyAsia team will conduct a two 1-day workshop on Introducing Speculative Design for Policy-Making in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 29th April 2019 and 2nd May 2019.

On the day of the workshop, the program is about:

  • envisioning partnership opportunities for government and civil society to improve the quality of life for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities in urban settings,
  • identifying barriers and facilitators to these partnerships, and
  • beginning the process of creating solutions together.

At the same time, the workshop aims to equip the participants with tools and approaches using participatory Speculative Design to envisage problems and solutions that are not merely about working around the most expedient solutions, but also to anticipate future problems and potential solutions along a range of timelines, from the short-term to the longer-term, while thinking of how these solutions could build upon each other.

Workshop flyer featured below: