Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Anticipating Shared Futures: Emotion, Connection & Relationships


Cite this article:

2021 EPIC Proceedings p 337, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation—Unprecedented. Unprecedented. Unprecedented. How often did we hear that word at the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic? But was it really unprecedented? We’ve been warned for years that a pandemic was imminent. We know the world has been devastated by them in the past. So why did we declare Covid-19 unprecedented? And why wasn’t there a shared anticipation of it?

Reflecting on an idea that was first sparked while working as a bungy jump operator, this PechaKucha explores how facts, figures and predictions are not enough when it comes to helping people anticipate and embrace the unthinkable. This discovery is layered with the grief I experience for a way of life I’ve never lived and the feeling of hope that comes from a futures project that is not about creating something new.

Keywords: Futures, Food, Storytelling, Emotion, Connection, Relationships

Sarah Heffernan is an award-winning designer and researcher based in Ireland. A curious and thoughtful person, she is happiest exploring and loves connecting people, places and things. Embracing futures thinking and storytelling, she likes to delve into the unthinkable and seeks to understand how future scenarios might feel. As Chapter Lead of This is HCD Ireland, Sarah is extremely grateful for the past, present and future stories she gets to hear and share as part of that community.

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