This workshop is for people who know a bit about precision medicine and health equity. Are you unsure about your participants’ background? You may want to preface this activity with more background info. If you like this, check out the oracle for transfeminist technologies by Coding Rights. Their work is a major inspiration for this workshop.
You will need these files to run this particular workshop:
Images from these two files will appear throughout the rest of this workshop guide. There is also a Google Slide deck for this activity. There will be versions of this deck in PDF and OpenDocument Presentation formats in future versions.
Make sure there are tables, chairs, pens and markers available for small group work.
Give each participant a pre-filled name tag. Let them know not to put the name tag on until the activity starts.
The names should be nouns that aren’t typically used as names. Example: Titanium, Alloy, Redemption, Starstruck, etc.
Let the participants know what they’re about to do:
They will go through a role-play activity. They are going to take on a new job and a new name, but they have the same life experiences as they do now. They will use their life experiences to inform they way they perform this job in their role-play.
In this activity, they will develop a design for a new health product. It might not look like any health product they’ve ever seen before. Other people might not even see it as a health product. That’s OK.
This activity will stretch their imagination. They will think about health in uncommon ways. They will put values of joy and community-building at the center of the conversation. Those two values aren’t usually at the center of conversations about health. So, it might feel a little strange.
You might want to let the participants know what the goals of the activity are:
To think about community health, not just patient or consumer health.
To practice questioning unfamiliar technologies’ impacts on health equity.
To have fun and think about public health at the same time.
Role-play Outline and Script.
Let me be the first to say welcome to Uncommon Wireless Utilities. We are a health tech startup at the forefront of the field. We are set to change the way we think about health, medicine, and humanity. And we’re excited to have you here today!
After years of research and development, we’ve perfected the Oracle Deck. And today, you’re playing the role of beta testers. With the help of this deck, you will look into the future world of your descendants. You’ll see the joyful times ahead of us. More importantly, you’ll also see products for us to invest in now. We’ll watch a quick orientation video and then we’ll get started.
Build community and spread joy. Leverage the data-driven techniques of precision medicine.
Phase 1: Object; Card 2: Principle.
Draw an Object card and a Principle card.
Take 10 minutes to brainstorm a design for such an Object that can fulfill the design prompt. Keep your Principle at the center of the design. Don’t get distracted by the details. Think about this product existing 100 years from now. There will be parts of this design that will confuse you. You will not know exactly how it works. (After all, how would you explain something like a smartphone music subscription app on to someone in the early 1900s?)
Phase 2: Value.
Draw a Value card to add to your table.
Take 15 more minutes to continue your brainstorm. Incorporate the Value you just drew into your design. Give your design a name and get ready to write it up.
Phase 3: Design Write-Up.
Take 5 minutes to fill out the design write-up form. Write a paragraph description of the object. Make a quick illustration of it as well. Remember to include the name of your design and the cards you drew.
Phase 4: Gallery Walk.
Take 10 minutes to look at the rest of the groups’ design write-ups. Use sticky notes to leave comments and questions. What do you like about the design? What confuses you? How do you imagine this effecting health equity?
Tell everyone to take off their name tags. You might want to summarize the ways that these designs effect health equity. You might want to reiterate the goals of the workshop and discuss whether you met them. The direction you take these closing comments is up to you. But you should at least thank participants for their time and energy.