Future of care: a methodological note

Dear FutureCarers, thanks for agreeing to participate to the call of February 4th. We at Edgeryders are acting as de facto conveners, so we thought it is our responsibility to offer a skeletal example structure of how the project could be unfolding. Please treat this as completely tentative, and don’t be afraid to shoot it down if you have any better (or simply different!) ideas. The goal is not to pre-empt the project, but to transmit to you the sense of concreteness that we have when we think about Future of Care in the Hands of Hackers.

We are going to:

  1. Make sense of what it means to give/receive care in the 21st century, and how communities could underwrite new ways to do it. In collective intelligence terms, we are doing collective sensing and sensemaking.
  2. Develop a prototype of (at least) one community-powered care solution. It could be tech (build your own control interface for your wheelchair) or more social (try inter-generational co-housing as an alternative to the “sensors-on-the-old-folks” approach). In collective intelligence terms, we are making decisions (on what to develop), co-designing, deploying and collecting feedback.
  3. Carry the results of the sensemaking debate and the experience from the prototype into a sort of policy proposal; an exercise to imagine the Future of care in the hands of hackers at scale, with all of the nasty political, financial, ethical issues this entails. In collective intelligence terms, we are co-designing, but doing so at scale.

To do this we operate in layers. We build:

  1. An online debate layer, moderated and constantly harvested for shared understanding of the issues (via online ethnography and other tools). Who debates? An emergent Future of Care community we grow starting by the preliminary work done by Edgeryders and others in 2014. The harvested stuff is fed back to the debate for efficiency and inclusivity (summaries are friendly to late-comers). This is mostly Edgeryders + SCIMpulse.
  2. A prototyping layer. This is not a website, but one or more physical spaces where the prototyping happens, with appropriate hosting and facilitation. I imagine Politecnico as the leading partner here, but I guess everybody will want to be involved, at least a bit.
  3. A system-level design layer, working on the policy proposal. This is not debate, but design by collective intelligence. I imagine a wiki, as a first approximation, but we could look into more complex design environments. I imagine the Stockholm School of Economics as the leader on this, with a robust contribution from Ezio's service design wisdom.
  4. A collective intelligence harvesting/feeding layer. This is our technological system. It lives on top of all three interaction environments (online debate, physical space, design environment), and helps collective intelligence by aggregating what is being said and done and feeding it back to the community. Ways need to be found to make the aggregation methods and results transparent and simple to read for the community, like visualization. I imagine LABRI to take the lead here – so we can expect our approach to be skewed towards network science.