How do you help people quickly see others clearly?

 
This is merely one kind of lens. What would an experiential prototype look like that helped people see others in sharper focus -- faster? (Photo by Flickr user jaqian)

This is merely one kind of lens. What would an experiential prototype look like that helped people see others in sharper focus -- faster? (Photo by Flickr user jaqian)

Prototyping is meant to happen quickly when you apply design thinking. It's supposed to happen quickly so you don't spend a lot of money -- whether in the form of actual cash, or time -- on that the idea. 

How might we help people easily ascertain who another person is without bias, stereotypes and traditional shortcuts, so they make media that best articulates another person's experience and affords their life the respect and decency it deserves?

The rules are simple. It's the execution that's hard. So, I am trying to figure out how to create an experiential prototype that will help others see others better. How might we help people see others more clearly and more quickly? How might we help people easily ascertain who another person is without bias, stereotypes and traditional shortcuts so they make media that best articulates another person's experience and affords their life the respect and decency it deserves? The experience needs to get participants to answer the following questions: 

  • What is your media consumption experience?
  • What is your media making experience? 
  • How does media inform your view of yourself?
  • How does media inform your view of others?
  • Does media help or hurt your ability to be more inclusive? 
  • If it hurts, how might it help you be more inclusive?
  • How does media influence your ability to be more or less inclusive?  

Participants in this experience would need to solve for helping others, and it's my hope that answers to these questions will let them share their experience and, in so doing, better empathize with others. Think of it as a bit of a deep-empathy exercise. It's as if you were helping people sharpen their empathy ability like focusing a camera lens.

I wrote the following in a notebook the other day: 

This is about identifying and designing for blind spots. Fill the blind spots and make sure people have an understanding that they don’t see others’ experiences until they are ‘in’ them.

So, I need to design that experience. Scratch that, I need to design the prototype of that experience and test it. I need to get people to answer these questions ... and I need to do it now. 

 
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Emi Kolawole

Emi Kolawole earned her B.A. in international relations and theater studies from Wellesley College and studied abroad at both the Panthéon-Sorbonne and the National Theater Institute.  She joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org in November, 2005 after working as a news researcher for Congressional Quarterly on issues of defense, foreign policy, intelligence and homeland security. Previously, she was a production assistant at PBS's "NOW With Bill Moyers," and worked in the Washington area office of a defense contractor.

In addition to her work as a staff writer and researcher for FactCheck, Emi was the host, writer and video editor for FactCheck.org's weekly video feature "Just the Facts!"  She is a level 1 certified Final Cut Pro editor and earned her master's degree in producing for film and video at American University. She also led the fact-checking review effort for "UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation."

Emi served as the associate producer for "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill & National Journal." In June 2010 she joined the Washington Post as a producer for PostPolitics. She served as the founding editor for Ideas@Innovations (now "Innovations") and co-host for the Post's daily news program "59 Seconds." In 2011, Emi was named a Young Global Shaper by The World Economic Forum. In 2013 she was listed among The Grio 100, was named a French-American Foundation Young Leader and accepted an invitation to become the Editor-in-residence at the d.school at Stanford University. She has served for the past three years at the d.school, most recently as a senior media designer working on the media experiments collaboration between Knight Foundation and the d.school. She is currently the founder of the media and design consultancy Dexign LLC.