Alternative future timelines

Following in-depth research around changing attitudes to trust across a range of industries and aspects of society, the team envisaged three diverging timelines. These alternate future scenarios trace differing paths from the present day to the year 2030, shaped by society’s reactions to various landmark events.

Society 1

Decentralised & Transparent

1

Major government data leak

Leaking of highly classified government information opened the floodgates towards a full transparecy movement

2

Human rights issues leaked

The increased interest in government data leads to the uncovering of a major human rights violation by a high-ranking politician.

3

Politician campaigns for election on transparency issues

A number of politicians use this opportunity to denounce government secrecy but not without promoting their own agenda. In a bid to restore trust in government and show solidarity with the transparency movement, a Politician vows to radically increase transparency.

4

First 24 hour live-stream of politician’s life

To prove their investment in the cause, the politician launches the first ever 24h live stream of their life. The unapologetic and authentic portrayal of a government official measurably heightens citizens’ trust in the government and a fully transparent, data-driven society is born.

Society 2

Centralised & Curated

1

Major government data leak

A significant data leak exposes deep-set corruption and dishonesty in the government, leading citizens to lose faith in their elected leaders.

2

Rise of monopolies

Big businesses convince the susceptible population that they are more capable of running the country than the failing government, forcing politicians to slowly relinquish control of key public services and undo monopoly laws.

3

The Corporation takes over

Large companies begin to merge and become even larger. Within a year, one company, The Corporation, owns 90% of the market share and becomes the go - to destination for virtually everything, from food to medical needs.

4

Introduction of Personal Data Capture Devices

Trust in The Corporation grows steadily and consumers are proud to let a dependable brand manage and improve their lives. Citizens agree to wear newly designed data capturing devices that pass on all their personal information to The Corporation in exchange for even more personalised services.

Society 3

Distributed & Autonomous

1

Major government data leak

Leaking of highly classified information and subsequent data hacks affect government and all major corporations. Many people lose money, others personal data. Nobody believes any longer that large institutions and infrastructures can keep information and property safe and secure.

2

Financial crisis

In a state of panic, citizens start pulling their money from banks and other financial institutions, which creates a devastating financial crisis.

3

New communities

Without any centralised power, citizens can either go it alone or form small, independent communities. These newly established intranets along with other “off the grid” systems, work without the interference of large institutions.

4

Crowdsourced living

Communities now rely on open source projects and the trading of information and assets as currency. People learn new skills and hack together fixes for day to day problems. Communities run their own energy grids and produce their own food.

To accompany the Trust/2030 project we have written a series of articles published on Medium.com, sharing our thoughts on some of the wider topics surrounding trust that formed during the research and design process.

The Evolution of Trust

How has human history shaped our relationship with trust?

By Joshua Leigh, Lead Visual Designer – Method London

Trust Today

What affects trust in our society today?

By Joshua Leigh, Lead Visual Designer – Method London

The Future of Trust

Who are we going to trust 10 years from now?

By Joshua Leigh, Lead Visual Designer – Method London

Design Process

Society is constantly evolving and so are our routines and actions. To understand how trust may change over the next decade, it is important to consider the various forces that shape our daily lives. In collaboration with Hitachi, Method’s London Studio embarked on a 3 month engagement that used desk research, expert interviews and conceptual models to understand what society might look like in the year 2030.

Research

Analysis

2030 Assumptions

Research synthesis

Hypothetical 2030 societies

Imagined 2030 artefacts

Six drivers of change

To understand how trust may change over the next decade, it was important to explore the ways in which our lives and society are evolving. Six forces shaping society were considered as major drivers of change:

Governance

Economic

Technological

Social

Human

Environmental

Subject Matter Expert Interviews

Interviews were conducted with experts from different businesses, cultures and professions to find out what role trust plays in their area of specialism and how this might change in the future. The insights gained from these expert interviews were collected and mapped onto the Drivers Framework.

Interview partners included: HUED, facebook, Anatomy, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Google, Greater Good Studio, Imperial College London, Kaiser X Labs, BDP, Factmata and the Capistrano Unified School District.

Analysis

The data collected from desk research and expert interviews were collated and clustered into key themes and trends. Themes that appeared consistently and across multiple sectors were extracted and grouped into larger macro themes.

2030 Assumptions

The desk-based research and expert interviews led to a set of predictions showing what role trust might play in our lives in the year 2030. These predictions were created as provocations to challenge assumptions about the future and drive intriguing design responses while considering the human and emotional impact they might illicit.

Synthesis

Over the course of a two-day workshop, the 2030 assumptions were discussed and prioritised based on how closely they aligned to Hitachi’s business interests and how compelling/thought-provoking they were.

The prioritised assumptions were then plotted against a scenario framework to find common themes and groupings amongst them.

Hypothetical 2030 contexts

Based on the prioritised assumptions/predictions, initial visions of 2030 began to emerge.

Various aspects of the societies were explored, such as the kinds of products and services that might exist in 2030, what lifestyles people may lead and what aesthetics might be celebrated.

Design responses

Three possible future visions of 2030 were created. The types of everyday objects that citizens carry with them were considered and conceptualised. Each object was designed to communicate an aspect of how people live in their society and convey their aspirations and concerns in daily life.

Production

Once distinctive artefacts were defined for each 2030 scenario, production of these imaginary objects commenced.

Materials were carefully selected and aesthetics were decided upon to communicate an additional layer of information about each society. Visual communication and tone of voice were designed to further communicate the nuances of each 2030 society.

Collaboration

Method has partnered with Hitachi’s Social Innovation Team in Tokyo to explore the future of trust. Trust/2030 is a speculative design project, commissioned by Hitachi, aiming to explore what societal trust might look like in the future.

Joshua Leigh Lead Visual Designer, Method

Yumiko Tanaka Lead Interaction Designer, Method

James Steiner Lead Interaction Designer, Method

Camille Brunel Visual Designer, Method

Thomas Wagner Interaction Designer, Method

Yoshitaka Shibata Service Designer, Hitachi

Takuya Akashi Service Designer, Hitachi

Masahide Ban Interaction Designer, Hitachi

Ryo Fukumaru Interaction Designer, Hitachi

Rina Maeda Interaction Designer, Hitachi

Method is a strategic design firm based in London, New York and San Jose.

Method creates value and impact through the design of meaningful brands, digital products, and service experiences. Our work enables organizations to stay relevant and transforms their ability to make, adapt, and grow.

Hitachi is a Japanese multinational company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

This project was led by Global Center for Social Innovation at Hitachi. Using a technique called Vision Design, Global Center for Social Innovation focuses on proposing future visions as tentative plans for discussions, instead of proposing Hitachi’s existing technologies and solutions.