Re-imagining the future of a 100 year old student organization
The future doesn’t exist. We are only ever living in the present moment. However, we have the ability to imagine multiple future scenarios and actualize them through the decisions we make today. In June of 2018, verynice partnered with ASUCLA to conduct research around, and facilitate the creation of futures that the organization could explore. The Associated Students UCLA was created when UCLA first opened its doors back in 1919. Even in the very early years, ASUCLA meant student government, student publications, and student services such as a bookstore and cafeteria. Today, ASUCLA has evolved into four entities that collectively make up the largest student association in the country.
FACILITATOR & STRATEGY
FACILITATOR & PROJECT MANAGEMENT:
Florencia Di Sarli
Our team began by conducting an environmental scan of trends in higher education within 4 main areas: Materials, Food, Culture, and Environment. This gave us the broad strokes to understand the factors affecting ASUCLA presently, and what it could mean for the organization in the future.
In parallel, verynice’s Strategists designed two half-day futures workshops that took place during ASUCLA’s yearly Board retreat. The first workshop focused on understanding the past, present, and future context of ASUCLA in order to generate multiple inspiring future visions. Our team introduced participants to strategic foresight frameworks and crafted activities to collaboratively ideate around new and exciting visions for ASUCLA.
In the second workshop, we prioritized which visions were most appealing and then brought them to life through prototyping. verynice brought an assortment of fun materials to help participants get crafty, and brought in experts to help facilitate the innovation process. Prototyping is a low cost way to test ideas and refine them before making long-term financial investments. They can also be a low risk way to gauge interest and support for an idea. During the workshop, each small group was asked to present their ideas and solicit feedback from the larger group to help refine the concept before the final presentation.
The workshops resulted in three vision statements and four experiential prototypes to help propel ASUCLA forward into exploring multiple preferable futures. We’re excited to share that ASUCLA has published its new vision here, which was a direct output of our work together.