Multi-Lifespan Timeline

Method Overview

Designed to help technology practitioners imagine the changes that could occur in society in the next 100 years and how their product might contribute to a changing society during that time range. This method can be used in conjunction with the Multi-Lifespan Co-Design method.

Example of a completed multi-lifespan timeline referenced in the publicly available academic paper.

Getting Started

Materials: Butcher paper (160” width x 36” height), tapes, and markers

Participants: Team

Steps (from a publicly available academic paper)

  1. Create a large scale timeline on a butcher paper (160” width x 36” height).
  2. Create 25-year intervals stretching 100 to the past and 100 years to the future.
  3. Demarcate the timeline into two rows – one for social events and the other for technology events across the years.
  4. Paste the timeline to the wall or place on a long table.
  5. Populate the past 100 years with sample social events and technological innovations that occurred in the given society.
  6. Next, engage the participants to brainstorm ideas for the future society and technology. Encourage them to specify the time ranges of when each event might occur.
  7. Evaluate the ideas and use that as the basis for future innovation.

This methods microsite is based off of analysis which is available in a preprint manuscript. Feel free to review our methodology and other details! We welcome your comments and feedback ! Please also use this form if you would like to suggest a method as an addition to the collection!