Osmosis – Find value in your time. Find time for what you value.

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Osmosis –
Find value in your time. Find time for what you value.

Osmosis is a service that helps young people focus their attention on what really matters to them, using aspirations as a lens to understand what beliefs and values are essential to increasing agency.

MA2 – Team 11

Declan Kickham
Timothy Worms


WHAT? 

Tell us what the concept is about. What are you designing? What are the key benefits?

A service that helps young people discover what deeply matters to them and focus their passions on pursuits that best align. When this alignment is achieved, users will gain insight from past experiences, gain newfound agency over future direction, and inform present decisions towards improving their wellbeing. The service must be cyclical as the alignment process is continuous and changes over time as belief systems shift and pursuits become more or less specified. The service will offer multiple touchpoints of access, digital and physical, allowing for low or high amounts of interaction by the user in order to establish and uphold a continuous relationship. By allowing space for young people to document and explore in tandem with our service, we will also build useful anonymised data sets to better understand the interactions between humans and machine.

WHY? 

Tell us some of the key findings of your background research and what is the problem you are trying to address.

We are trying to address young people’s lack of agency over their decisions and life direction. Modern technology typically creates shallow interactions with users, keeping their attention on the ‘now’ with little regard to the future. Yet, our research found that motivations are more often driven by what a person “ought to” over what they “have to”, resulting in a desire for deeper interactions. These deeper interactions will create insight for development of future technologies that focus on interactions designed for humans.

Young people seek purpose and pursuit, but rarely understand how underlying belief systems (subconscious) influence their decisions without their conscious knowledge. As abstract concepts are difficult to comprehend, this is best done through visualisations of ideas/data.

Habit change does not go deep enough. Systemic change for improved wellbeing cannot be achieved without reflection on decisions within the context of time.

People want to see results after minimum effort, so it’s important to give them quick wins early on to stay invested in a long term service output. As well, they expect multiple points of access to a service, and it cannot rely on digital solutions alone.

Young people need a safe space to comprehend external influences and clarify internal discussions before they become overwhelmed to such a degree that they recognise a need to seek therapy. There then needs to be a limit to the scope of our project depending on resources: if we don’t have a therapist on staff, then we would need to identify the exact point to recommend where to go for proper support.

WHO? 

Tell us something about your users and key stakeholders involved.

Our primary users would be young people between the ages of 20-24 transitioning out of school into a career, or from prior work into a career. This moment is of particular importance as it occurs just before the Quarter-life Crisis, when young people typically lose past structure in their lives and they seek new avenues of help.

Stakeholders would be:

Psychologists – as an entry point to their services, ensuring young people who could most greatly benefit from seeing a therapist would be prioritised.

AI experts (data scientists) – building a collection of scaled data/insight into beliefs that could be used to train future algorithms.

University – an addition to career and counselling services that can be scaled beyond the individual.

Alpha – as a potential service-tool that could be plugged into other services in the realm of wellbeing that would benefit from insight into beliefs and values (finance, relationships, physical health, etc.).

WHEN? 

Give us an idea of the future scenario where your project will be working. 

By 2023, we anticipate that large entities such as corporations and political bodies will have fully leveraged technology to manipulate and undercut the beliefs and values of the populace for financial or political gain. In order to protect themselves, young people will need to become acutely aware of obvious external manipulation, but also track how internal beliefs and values are created and how they shift over time due to less obvious influences.

In the context of professional career, a young person might be exhausted after years of studying in school, and feeling unrest at the prospect of finding a job in their field after graduation. They might be facing a misalignment between what society has deemed as important (financial benefits, community respect) instead of what they personally deem as critically important (helping others, spiritual satisfaction). As they apply to numerous jobs that don’t align with their passions, their confidence will likely suffer and they’ll feel like a failure. Our service would be able to help them clarify those passions at a point of intervention before these feelings compound to critical mass over time.

In the context of relationships, a young person might feel compelled to choose a partner that best meets the expectations of society over what they personally desire. Hooked by the instant gratification of online dating technology and the ability to find someone anywhere at anytime, they are unlikely to explore their latent needs in depth. Instead, they might fall back on a less meaningful definition of relationships. This potentially could spiral into years of relationships that fail to truly make the individual happy, no matter the effort they put in.

WHERE? 

Tell us if you have thought of a specific location where to prototype.

We believe further prototyping would yield useful results from:Engineering students near graduation at several universities in London (likely starting with Imperial). We anticipate these students would be particularly focused on the completion of their programs and direct next steps to finding work.

Art students near graduation at several universities in London (perhaps UCL or Central Saint Martins). We expect they would be more focused on the passion behind their studies and future aspirations.

HOW? 

Give us an idea of your strategy, your process, your prototyping plan and the next steps.

Our initial next steps would be to focus on prototyping the human-machine interactions at the different depths proposed in greater detail (plug-in, ChatBot, journal).

As well, we would connect to machine learning experts to better strategize about data collection and new areas of interest in which we could create useful data sets.

Once the touchpoints of the service are tested in greater depth, we would then want to test:

Longform prototypes to test a fuller cycle of the service (30 – 60 days) with psychologists that we could reach out to throughout to help define a transition point from our service to their contact.

General interest in our service through A/B testing, better defining the message to young people and what precisely they respond to most.

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