Wisdom of Caring and Empathic Practice

Peter Jones Design for Care, Sensemaking, Strategic Foresight

For over 10 years (at least since the 1997 Dorothy Leonard article Sparking Innovation through Empathic Design) design research has advocated the practice of empathic design, listening closely to customers and learning from their behaviors to innovate for unspoken “needs.”  We might consider this common knowledge at this cycle of practice, or even “common wisdom.” The U of Chicago Wisdom Research project discussed recent research in medical education indicating that medical students significantly lose empathy starting in 3rd year: “Are our medical students failing “Wisdom 101”? The interpretation suggests the possibility that the education process somehow drives out naturally occurring empathy in young physician trainees. The consideration is also drawn that empathy itself – perhaps defined in a range of nuanced ways – is inherent in wisdom. Yes and no … and maybe. My response to the article (edited for context). This is reflective of medical school itself. There are different purposes for the phases of medical education. Third year is the first full clinical clerkship year. This is the year students follow each specialty into their rotations and observe …

Imagining Canada’s Future

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Strategic Foresight

Canada’s research council for social science and humanities, SSHRC, funded six regional panels to understand and imagine possible futures for the country in a global context through the next two decades.  Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University led a panel for the Southern Ontario region, in partnership with University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Ryerson, Windsor and York universities and our combined intellectual communities. The panels were charged with defining their Top 10 challenge areas for which future research strategies would be applied. Each regional panel employed a different methodology, some of them grounded in public engagement to explore the futures question, some (like  OCADU’s) were based on a foresight method. This week SSHRC research leads and panel leaders attended a two-day scenario workshop in Ottawa led by Scenarios to Strategy on the same focal question. The workshop employed the classical scenario method for a large group of senior stakeholders, 36-40 people over the two day period.  The focal question was aligned to the same research remit, identifying the future challenges for Canadian society in 20 years that …

A collective failure of moral imagination?

Peter Jones Civil media, Human Values, Strategic Foresight

Let’s summarize this week’s headlines with an eye toward the moral hazard now acceptable in every consequential context. The Masters of the Universe have disavowed risk entirely, so, apparently, are we asked to forgive and forget the debts to humanity owed by the amoral 1%. Lagarde says with respect to Greece “I am not in a negotiation or renegotiation mood at all.”    The IMF has nothing to negotiate, reality will take over. LIBOR-gate: Local Governments Which Entered Into Interest Rate Swaps Got Scalped   And our officials probably knew interest rates were going lower (I sure did), so they were forced by financial culture to buy swaps that were manipulated, which resulting additional payments beyond interest broke community budgets and destroyed US jobs.  JPMorgan Chase Manipulation Scandal Raises Specter Of Enron What else is new? Is every thinking American worn down too much to even care? Should hospital CEOs willing to sacrifice safety (and accept a “just above average” standard of care) be held accountable for endorsing malpractice? Or is this acceptable management practice now, as it cannot be argued against …

Technology Will Not Save Healthcare

Peter Jones Design for Care, Service Design, Strategic Foresight, Strategic Innovation

The near term (Horizon 2) promises exciting and provocative proposals for the envisioned role of emerging technology in health services. Personalized medication. Concierge medical advising for the masses. And iPads (or whatever they become) for everyone. In Dr. Eric Topol’s The Creative Destruction of Medicine there are fantastic ideas for the possibilities of technology and their envisioned disruptions to current quagmires. The future doesn’t happen all at once, of course. We must fit these ideas into a larger frame of human need, cultural fit, and institutional services design. Personalized medication might be the easy part. Personalized medicine requires changing business models, which means changing practices, not just technology. Technology is not an independent disruptor, and always has unplanned (but not necessarily unforeseeable) consequences. Sometimes the consequences are to make some current trends stronger. Technology integration is not a democratic process. Policy, power bases, and financing interact with any technology in a system as massive as the US healthcare system. Mobile will not Save Healthcare One point I keep seeing is that mobile technology will have a transformative effect on patient engagement. …