Analyse your last year, design your next five years.

On January 1st I stopped “holidaying” and started an exercise to design my life for the next five years. It was the best thing I ever did.

One thing that is rarely mentioned is that designers are genuinely optimistic people. We have to be. We never know exactly where we’re going, but we have a vision. We often don’t know how to get there, but we get our hands dirty, and we know that somehow we’re going to get there.

As future-crafters, possibility is certainty, just another job to be done (although sometimes not an easy one).

What if we could apply the same principles we use to design products, services and business to our own lives? What if we could unite intention with serendipity? What if we could explore possibilities of our desirable futures?

We would like to welcome you in 2018 with this exciting, and let me say, not so easy exercise that we learned from Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in the book “Designing Your life”.

Odyssey plan exercise.

What: Design 3 different versions of your next five years.

Why: We often believe that we only have one life ahead of us. Understanding that we have the potential of exploring multiple futures, or multiples lives, can help clarify which path to choose.

Ok, but you might be wondering why the heck do I need to design three versions of my next five years?

The future is only a perception of what might become, a reality that hasn’t happened yet. This enables you to explore different paths, before committing to a single one.

The theory behind future scenarios says that there’s not such thing as a single future, but many possibilities that might unfold. As authors, Bill and Dave, write on the book “There is no one idea for your life. There are many lives you could live happily and productively.” 

How: The Odyssey Plan is a graphic representation of three possible alternative lives you might live over the next five years.

Your first Odyssey plan should be the development of your life that is already in route. A desirable one, but something closer to what you already have in mind.

The second plan is something like a plan B.

The third plan is a wilder alternative for your next five years. For this one, imagine that you have no restrictions, you could have all the money and resources in the world.

Use the template below from the book “Designing your Life” as a guide. You can download it here.

We hope you enjoy this exercise and that you can kick off 2018 designing an amazing life!

“Designers don’t think their way forward. Designers build their way forward.” 

– Design Your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

You can check the book and all resources here:
Juliana Proserpio

Juliana Proserpio is an entrepreneur and educator. She is the co-founder of ECHOS, an innovation laboratory and its business units: School of Design Thinking – a school that puts innovation in practice; Design Echos – innovation projects; and Descola – online courses that transform learning into a natural and pleasure experience.

Over the last years Juliana has worked to develop an innovation ecosystem in Brazil and now in Australia to foster social innovation and design thinking. She works as a leader in projects in the areas of health care, construction, internet of things and as an educator to grow the concept of innovation for good.

As a speaker, Juliana creates awareness around the subject of innovation and the design of a world where we want to live in. She has been invited to talk at several events such as the Global Innovation Summit in San Jose, California an at TEDxMaua in Sao Paulo. In 2015 Juliana became a judge at the first William Drenttel Award for Excellence in Design.

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