Value Scenario

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Method Overview

Value Scenario intends Support critical, systemic, long-term thinking in current design practice, technology development and deployment. Value scenarios draw upon stakeholders, pervasiveness, time, systemic effects and value implications to develop provocative sketches of the future.

Framework of ethics used


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What is Value Scenarios

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Stakeholders: Following Value Sensitive Design, value scenarios help designers envision a range of effects of a pervasive technology, both on those who are in direct contact with a technology (direct stakeholders), and on those who might not be direct users, but whose lives are affected by various interactions around the technology (indirect stakeholders). Pervasiveness: A value scenario presents a vision in which a technology has become widespread, spanning various geographic regions, cultures, social classes, and other contexts (e.g. school, work, home, car). Time: Rather than focus on short-term effects, value scenarios take into consideration what the world might look like five, ten, or twenty years after a technology has been deployed. Systemic Effects: Value scenarios explore the multi-dimensional interactions among technology, psychology, society, culture, and the environment as use of the technology becomes pervasive over a period of years. Value Implications: Finally, drawing on Value Sensitive Design [7] and aspects of design noir [6], value scenarios help envision not only positive effects of technology, but also its darker consequences. We suggest that careful consideration of a diverse range of influences, including the negative, should be a key component of the design process. The suggested use case for value scenarios We have two suggestions for when value scenarios might be used. The first is during early strategic planning of technology development projects before time and money is invested. Secondly, value scenarios could be used as touchstones during policy-making discussions and the public discourse that surrounds them.

Further Reading

See: Nathan et al 2007; Nathan et al 2008; Czekis et al 2010; Woelfer et al 2011; Yoo et al 2013a