REIMAGINING THE FUTURE OF ADOLESCENCE

A participatory workshop that explored how technology could positively transform the experience of teenagers


As part of the 2017 EDIT Festival (Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology), Idea Couture and M/I/S/C/ Magazine held a workshop centred around adolescence, and the positive role technology could play in the lives of children as they navigate formative milestones. It was based on "Virtual Firsts," one of five themes found in M/I/S/C's award winning issue, The Future According to Women.

 
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Overview

Technology is typically designed with adults in mind. And, with “bro culture” so prevalent in Silicon Valley, much of what is distilled down to us and our children is designed by (and often for) a very homogenous group of people. 

This begs the question, what would tech look like if it were designed with—and for—a more diverse audience?

What if digital innovation could be used as a means to create more positive realities?

What if we could create safe online spaces for young people to experiment and express themselves?

Workshop Design

During the workshop, participants were asked to re-imagine how young people Relate, Communicate and Play. In groups, they designed future products, services and experiences that help kids through 1/ the first day of school, 2/ the first time learning about sex/sexuality, and 3/ the first time questioning one's identity.

See below for summaries of each focus area, as well as the worksheet provided to help guide group discussions and ideation.


1/ RELATE

Imagine a middle school movement that rethinks the experience of making friends and relating to peers.

What could a digital platform inspired by Michelle Obama's statement
"when they go low, we go high" look like?


2/ COMMUNICATE

Imagine the sex ed class of the future.

What's the Khan Academy of sexual education?


3/ PLAY

Imagine a digital sandbox for self expression and character building.

What does the Minecraft of identity development look like?


Workshop participants— coming from diverse backgrounds —developed and shared a wide variety of products, services and experiences that could positively impact how children relate to themselves, each other, and technology in the future. One group, who were strangers prior to the session, left with a concept they felt was viable enough to develop further once the session had ended.


Completed: 2017

Team: Mira Blumenthal, Laura Dempsey, Esther Rodgers, Rachel Min