Up Close and Personae

At the end of every digital economy or smart city policy or strategy is a human being.

That human being could be your family or friend.  Sometimes even your foe. Regardless of who he or she could be, we have a basic responsibility to ensure that the technologies we use as part of that policy or strategy, help to make their lives at least a little better than before.


In Living Digital 2040: Future of Work, Education, and Healthcare, we took that responsibility seriously. That was why we chose to focus on work, education, and healthcare. All three are very human and social institutions that we all experience every day and at seminal stages of our lives.

Work, education and healthcare also build our capacities to pursue flourishing lives, and are where many of our most meaningful relationships are formed. For many of us, they even define a big part of who we are: from the past, in the present, and into the future.

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 10.59.00 am

All these explain why you can use personae (aka personas) as an alternative way to navigate the content in our book Living Digital 2040: Future of Work, Education, and Healthcare (see above picture)

The personae help you get up close and personal with the scenarios, issues and recommendations in the book. You can thus relate to the future, and see yourself in context, especially how you can tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities coming your way. Our hope is that we can do our part to help you thrive in what many pundits predict will be a highly disruptive — even dystopian — future.

When you get up close with the personae, you might notice that we have used personas with a twist.



Contrary to common practice where each persona is fleshed out in detail, we simply defined each persona by life stages according to approximate ages. And the details are instead fleshed out as narratives across the book, according to the different roles each persona might take in work, education or healthcare.

We did this to ensure we were consistent with our focus on social institutions “that we all experience everyday and at seminal stages of our lives” (see our third paragraph above). We also did this because we wanted to break a few rules in how we use current design tools and methods.  We wanted to push at the boundaries.

After all, how can we be a book about the future if we don’t stretch what is possible?

You can read more about how we broke a few rules — so that you can get up close and personal with the personae, ideas and recommendations — in Living Digital 2040: Future of Work, Education, and Healthcare (available from World Scientific Publishing’s website and Amazon at Living Digital 2040: Future Of Work, Education And Healthcare).

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