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The Parliament of Species

Aim

The aim of The Parliament of Species is to allow citizens to co-create futures while engaging with the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by providing an online platform for experimentation and collaboration. The goal of this project is to open up the complex challenges of AMR to citizens through different global perspectives and to provide an opportunity for scientists to engage with citizens about the causes and impacts of AMR.

Motivation

The motivation behind this project was to create an online space that allowed citizen to build upon each other’s ideas and collectively imagine possible futures together. The main inspiration for this project was the game exquisite corpse in which participants take turns to collectively draw a picture. 

Stakeholders

Researcher, Department of Social Work, Malmö University 

The Research Institute of Sweden (RISE)

The Public Healthy Agency of Sweden

Strama

Role

Research

Concept development

Prototyping

Time

8 weeks (2020)

Tools

Figma

Miro

Collaboration

Alexandra Veskoukis

Anaëlle Beignon

Leyla Allendes

Love Lagerkvist

Veronica Giraldo

The Parliament of Species

The Parliament of Species is an online platform for citizens to co-create policies based on scientific projections about the future of AMR. As AMR is a complex issue that affects not only humans, the citizens participate through the different perspectives of Aqua, Fauna, Flora and Homo Sapiens.

 

The citizens build upon the scientific projections and previous participants’ policy proposals allowing ideas to evolve through different perspectives. The polices are archived in the platform and display the citizens’ perspectives, values and  knowledge on the issue of AMR.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global issue that threatens the effective prevention and treatment of infections cause by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. (World Health Organisation)

AMR is an increasingly serious threat that impacts humans, animals and the environment and requires collective global action.

Design process

01 Research

Research into AMR, speculative design methods and social innovation. Interviews with stakeholders and researchers. 

02 Ideation  

Sketching and prototyping ideas and concepts for collaborative platforms.

03 Workshop

Online workshop with stakeholders to create scientific projections for the platform.

04 Prototyping 

Developing lo-fi and hi-fi prototypes of ideas and concepts.

05 Testing

Testing lo-fi and hi-fi prototypes with citizens and stakeholders.

06 Outcome

Designing and creating the online platform.

Ideating 

This project was initially inspired by the collaborative game exquisite corpse in which participants take turns to collectively draw a picture. We combined this technique with the future of AMR and developed concepts for games that allowed participants to build upon each other’s ideas to create an imaginary future. 

 

Throughout the ideation process we considered different mechanisms such as collaboration, temporalities, characters, narrative and ‘playing boards’. In order to encourage participants to imagine futures, we iterated and prototyped different forms of timeline narratives that guide the participant through the narrative future of AMR step by step. 

As AMR is a global issue that impacts humans, animals and the environment and requires collective global action, we experimented with role playing as different entities (Aqua, Fauna, Flora and Homo Sapiens) while prototyping the ideas.

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Exquisite corpse

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Timeline narrative 

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Timeline narrative

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Journey mapping

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Role playing entities 

The concept

The ideating resulted in a concept for an online platform in which participants co-create global policy proposals in response to scientific projections about the future of AMR.

 

The participant choses to represent an entity (Aqua, Fauna, Flora or Homo Sapiens) and is provided with both a scientific projection about AMR and a policy proposal that has been created by a previous participant. The goal is for the participant to either modify the previous policy proposal or create a new policy that considers the well-being of their entity.

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Journey mapping

Stakeholder projection workshop

The aim of the projections are to create a catalyst for citizens to imagine possible futures that are grounded in science. In order to create scientific projections for The Parliament of Species platform, we created and facilitated online workshops with scientists and researchers specialising in AMR.

The workshop was conducted using an Miro, an online collaborative whiteboard, allowing multiple stakeholders to collaborate including researchers from: The Research Institute of Sweden (RISE), Strama, The Swedish Health Agency and Malmö University. 

The task for the participants was to fill in a timeline from 2021 - 2040 with predictions based on their existing knowledge about the impacts of AMR relating to the themes: water, plants, animals, economy, public health, food industry and policies. 

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Projection workshop timeline

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Projection workshop themes

Prototyping 

We combined the exquisite corpse method from the ideation process with the projections from the stakeholder workshop to develop a series of prototypes for participants to build upon each other's ideas in response to the scientific projection.

 

In lo-fi prototypes 1 were tested with citizens in order to test the concept of policies building upon each other. In lo-fi prototype 2 an additional stage was added which asked participants to evaluate how the policy created by the previous participant affected their chosen entity (Aqua, Fauna, Flora or Homo Sapiens). The hi-fi prototype was created in Figma and was tested with both citizens and the stakeholders to evaluate the overall experience and usability of the policy-making.

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Exquisite corpse

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Lo-fi prototype 1

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Lo-fi prototype 2

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Hi-fi prototype

Visual identity 

After finalising the functionality and experience of the platform, we developed the visual identity of the platform, such as a colour scheme to represent the entities and logo for The Parliament of Species. 

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Outcome

The outcome of the project is a live website that allows for citizens to co-create policies about the future of AMR through different perspectives. The website contains: an introduction to AMR and The Parliament of Species, the history of the future, the policy-making tool and the archive of futures that contains all of the polices and scientific projections.

 

The website also contains coloured bar at the top of the screen that represents the well-being of the entities based on the participants' assessments of the polices. The coloured bar changes in real time when a participant assesses a policy as either having a positive or negative impact on their chosen entity. 

Here is a step by step overview of the journey flow to create a policy:

01 Welcome to the Parliament

The landing page sets the context of the future in 2030 in which the entities (Aqua, Fauna, Flora and Homo Sapiens) are collaboratively tackling the global impacts of AMR.

02 The History of the Future

The History of the Future guides the participant through the key events of the near speculative future up until the present context (2030).

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03 Choose your Entity 

The participants then chose which entity (Aqua, Fauna, Flora or Homo Sapiens) to participate as in the Parliament of Species. The entities are presented as characters with key facts about what they represent and how AMR can impact them.

04 Assess Policy

The participant is provided a scientific projection and a policy created by the previous participant and assesses how the policy impacts their chosen entity.

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05 Policy Proposal

The participant either modifies the previous policy or creates a new policy that positively impacts their chosen entity in response to the scientific projection.

06 Archive of Futures

The policies and the policy assessments are archived in the Archive of the Future and are categorised by the theme of the scientific projection - Births, Covid-19, Environment, Fish, Food Industry, Surgical Procedures. After creating a policy the participant can explore the polices and how they evolve over time.

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