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Case

New Days:
Provocative Scenarios Can Improve How we Age

Are we about to enter a future with meal pills, euthanasia apps, and a CareGel replacing the human touch? These elements are all present in the radical future toolkit we co-designed with partners in the project New Days. The toolkit acts as a framework and conversation starter when addressing systemic problems and opportunities around aging and care. It’s relevant for anyone who dares to ask: What kind of world do we want to grow old in?

The demographic development calls for radical solutions for our welfare system. It’s more than just a conversation about a labor shortage within the care sector. It’s a development that imposes both systemic problems but also new opportunities. Using scenario design, we challenged the imagination of a range of actors in the public welfare sector. The process helped them put their preferred future into words, pictures, and fragments and realize what kind of future they want for our elderly and what to change today to make it happen.

The Results: Your imagination is the change creator

The project’s purpose was to contribute with new perspectives on aging and solutions for how seniors live – and how the systems around them interact.

  • The New Days Future Kit and future fragments
    Based on a series of workshops with project partners and relevant actors in the field, we developed a toolkit to reframe how we think about care and aging. The toolkit introduces future scenarios, physical objects, and fragments, materializing different possible futures. The toolkit works as a framework and conversation starter for anyone working with care and aging. You can try the toolkit in both Danish and English here.
  • Ripple effects in the municipalities
    After participating in the workshops and working with the toolkit, the municipalities adopted and further developed the methodology. Many of them used it to reframe their conversations at the political level. This resulted in new tangible experiments for reinventing the systems and solutions seniors and the elderly interact with.
  • Providing visions for a health-tech strategy
    The Southern Region of Denmark specifically used the New Days Future Kit as inspiration to think differently about their core strategy for sustainable technology implementation in the healthcare sector and their role and position in the development.
  • Exhibition at Design Museum Denmark: The Future is Present
    We have most recently been part of the exhibition The Future is Present at Design Museum Denmark. Here, you can get a taste of how we use futures design to work strategically with our imagination. The exhibit had more than 150,000 visitors from June to December 2022. It runs till December 2024.

Except for the results mentioned above, the toolkit has been used to explore and initiate local experiments in municipalities, organizations, and companies. You can use it, too – just reach out to us (see options below).

The Challenge: The existing systems around aging are broken

The demographic development and the increase of seniors mean that the welfare services we have today need to change significantly. But investing further in systems that are fundamentally broken is neither sustainable from a human nor financial perspective. The challenge cannot be reduced to a shortage of labor. It is systemic, complex, and intertwined. We need to act radically differently.

That requires a multifaceted approach that includes not only technological innovations but also policy changes, new financial models, and social interventions.

"When the dialogue is set in the future, it is easier to make space for each other"

Karen Lindegaard

Program Director, Danish Life Science Cluster

care gel
care gel
care gel

The Approach: Reimagine the challenge and explore alternative answers

We gathered relevant stakeholders in new constellations by working mission-driven and with scenario-based design as the central methodology. Through several workshops, they explored common mental models for possible futures. The participants co-created scenarios so specific in their shape and content that they can be used as a framework to start debates, political dialogues, and innovative development processes.

The toolkit and scenarios are the starting point for initiating local experiments. This method allows our partners to think radically differently about the questions they should be asking when exploring opportunities for intervention within domains of care and aging.

You can read more about how we work mission-driven here.

About the project

New Days was an experimental and co-creative initiative with a vision of influencing the future. We used future scenarios to discover new markets, develop new approaches, and create future health solutions with our partners.

DDC – Danish Design Center, Danish Life Science Cluster, and Mandag Morgen took the initiative to gather an ambitious partner group consisting of Copenhagen Municipality, The Region of Southern Denmark, Aarhus Municipality, Aalborg Municipality, and Gladsaxe Municipality. The partner group financed the project, and we facilitated it.

The project ran from Spring 2021 to Fall 2022. 

"We are idling in the presence. Working with future scenarios is one of the best examples I have seen of us moving beyond our status quo"

Lise Schou Andreasen

Consultant, Copenhagen Municipality

"Working with the future creates ideas about a world that can be different from what we know"

Herle Klifoth

Chief of Health and Rehabilitation, Gladsaxe Municipality

Get the publication here (in Danish)

Engage with the future and take action

If you are interested in changing your organization through futures design and scenario design, we’ll gladly help you. We tailor the specific event to your exact needs and situation.

Reach out to Sara Gry Striegler to hear more about your options.

Talk: Listen to the Futures

Book us for an inspirational talk and step into our scenario universe. The talk can be part of a conference or an independent event, and it can be physical or virtual. This event is a great reference point for future discussions in your organization and a first step in understanding how future scenarios can support mission-oriented innovation and create value in your work.

Workshop: Touch the Futures

Use a half or full day to gain new perspectives on your work around central challenges related to the future of aging and care. We’ll invite you to experience the power of scenarios through relevant, sensory experiences and exercises to foster new perspectives on challenges and/or opportunities you are working on. The workshop can be physical or virtual.

Transition kick-off: Scenario-driven innovation process

Learn how to use scenario design and our mission framework to set a new purpose and direction for your organization.

Sara Gry Striegler

Director of Social Transition

Mail sgs@ddc.dk
Phone +45 6110 4778
Social LinkedIn

Do you have questions?

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