Workshop on Speculative Futures, Government and Policy Strategy Conference, Insitute of Design, IIT Chicago

in Publishing & Appearances

The need for reform within governments and public institutions across the world has never been more acute. As the relationship between the governing and the governed gets re-balanced, governments are forced to think of new ways of delivering on services that are more responsive to an even more demanding electorate. This is especially true of emerging economies of South and South East Asia, where the scale of developmental challenges that beset nations, is grossly mismatched by the knowledge and capacities that public institutions have to address those. While Governments take stock of this widening gap between expectations and their capacity to deliver, other developments in the field of social innovation, technology and media point to new ways in which these challenges may be overcome.

Ayush hosted a workshop at the Strategy Conference to examine some pertinent challenges of our times whether it pertains to health, environment, financial inclusion, energy or food security. Participants were asked to reflect on a diverse set of issues and challenges from their respective contexts. Through an exercise of design fiction (modeled on Stuart Candy's Reverse Archaeoology and Time Machine), and taking inspiration from the opening session of the conference on trends shaping our societies today, the group arrived at speculative futures that demonstrate how potential solutions reposition and reimagine the role of governments vis-a-vis the general public.