Backcasting material

18 Oct 2010 - 12:38pm
4 years ago
3 replies
1621 reads
Eva Miller
2009

I'm looking for any great materials out there about using backcasting as a participatory design technique. I've reviewed Matthew Milan and Sam Ladner's 2007 presentation:

http://www.slideshare.net/mmilan/backcasting-ia-summit-2007-session-presentation

Anything else people would recommend? I'm especially interested in seeing actual examples or even a greatly simplified example of a backcasting session meant to illustrate how it works. Any step-by-step coaching tips would be great, too. I'll be guiding some folks through this very soon...

Thanks,

Eva Miller, user experience designer

WebMD Health Services

Comments

18 Oct 2010 - 2:05pm
chrischandler
2008

I would contact Matt directly, I attended one of his workshops and he had lots of references (mostly from other disciplines of course.)

-cc

Sent from a mobile device.

On Oct 18, 2010, at 12:36 PM, Eva Miller wrote:

> I'm looking for any great materials out there about using backcasting as a participatory design technique. I've reviewed Matthew Milan and Sam Ladner's 2007 presentation: > > http://www.slideshare.net/mmilan/backcasting-ia-summit-2007-session-presentation [1] > > Anything else people would recommend? I'm especially interested in seeing actual examples or even a greatly simplified example of a backcasting session meant to illustrate how it works. Any step-by-step coaching tips would be great, too. I'll be guiding some folks through this very soon... > > Thanks, > > Eva Miller, user experience designer > > WebMD Health Services > >

18 Oct 2010 - 3:05pm
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Some online sites with examples and details.   http://forlearn.jrc.ec.europa.eu/guide/3_scoping/meth_backcasting.htm   http://www.slideshare.net/mmilan/backcasting-101-final-public  (this looks like an elaboration fo the link you listed.  It has more details on the method - 82 slides versus 32).

  Wikipedia has a page with a bit of background.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backcasting   http://nform.ca/tradingcards/backcasting  flashcard of backcasting   There is a Springer book out that describes various methods of futures research including  backcasting. https://springerlink3.metapress.com/content/h8163751624698w1/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=v12wxifje552kd32q3wnkf45&sh=www.springerlink.com

  You might want to look at "futures workshops" as well.   Chauncey

  On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 3:36 PM, Eva Miller <evamiller@gmail.com> wrote:

I'm looking for any great materials out there about using backcasting as a participatory design technique. I've reviewed Matthew Milan and Sam Ladner's 2007 presentation:

http://www.slideshare.net/mmilan/backcasting-ia-summit-2007-session-presentation [1]

Anything else people would recommend? I'm especially interested in seeing actual examples or even a greatly simplified example of a backcasting session meant to illustrate how it works. Any step-by-step coaching tips would be great, too. I'll be guiding some folks through this very soon...

Thanks,

Eva Miller, user experience designer

WebMD Health Services

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20 Oct 2010 - 7:13am
Sam Ladner
2008

Hi folks,

Matthew and I presented that wayyyy back in 2006, I think. Backcasting comes from John Robinson, who is an environmental researcher. He works at UBC, used to be at the Sustainable Development Research Institute, which is now called The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability and is a bit of a strange fish, frankly.

Robinson was a little tired of people lacking imagination about what a particular environmental policy might effect, in the long run. And in environmental studies, that's a really long run. So he came up with a visioning exercise to imagine the future, as if it were already here and we were looking backwards at how we got there. Instead of "forecasting" he suggested "backcasting."

It's not a crazy technique, but really built on cognitive projection, something I do frequently with interviewees. "Imagine you've already finished the ideal registration process. How would you know you'd finished it? What kinds of info would you have provided?"

So backcasting is similar but we've used it specifically in groups. The key is to remember that this is a facilitated session, not a form you fill out, or even a process you simply "phone in." We used it together to help a large financial services client imagine a platform (and a world!) in which they had achieved what they wanted to achieve. We helped them synthesize many disparate qualities of this future world, and they clustered into three, distinct outcomes. We got them to name those outcomes. Then we pretended to look back and asked, "What did you have to do to get there? What pitfalls did you avoid? How did you avoid them?"

The idea is to get really specific about those potential pitfalls, and to come up with techniques to avoid them. "Vectoring up" we called it, because of the distinct diagram we use on the wall.  check out Matthew's preso for that.

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