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People die with unfulfilled dreams. What if we told you it doesn’t have to be that way? We present Bucketlist. It’s now or never.

Photo of Alberto Minelli
10 28

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Bucketlist is a service that helps people approaching death and those around them create an environment where death is a trigger for action and an incentive for living life at the fullest until the end. The moment in which a person realizes that there is a deadline, is the ultimate moment to focus on what really matters and have no regrets. Death is what makes us truly alive.

Bucketlist is a service that has intention of using already existing data and research related to this topic in order to provide the best set of information for the people involved. The person approaching the final days in life has a chance to design his or her own list of wishes and dreams that remained unfulfilled until this point. With the help of this service, the person in question can understand in which order to follow the list for the best experience depending on the disease, its progress and other variables. The most important variable among them is the possibility for the person’s loved ones to be able to help complete this list in the best way they can. Let us explain this through an example.

Hank is a 53 year-old man with a terminal cancer. During his treatment his doctor advised him and his family to try the BucketList service. It works through an application and what Hank needs to do is to provide data of his state and disease, as well as what are his wishes and dreams he never got around to. This will generate Hanks wish list, which is organized by the system in the order of priority depending on his state. Another point that the system provides is feasibility of this list according to the budget and other variables. 

Once Hank completes his list, his family, friends and relatives get notified. Now they have a chance to be involved in the the hardest time of his life and help him make his it less heavy by sharing the burden. These people will be able to help him in the best ways they can and share some of his wishes with him. 


What we want to achieve with this service is to provide a new way to see moments before death and demonstrate how precious they are. That time should not be taken as a tragedy, but as a meaningful conclusion to someone’s life. We want to help people accept death and embrace it as a normal part of life, include family and all loved ones in the final adventure and be grateful that they have enough time to say proper goodbye and on their terms.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Step 1: Interviews with doctors and patients. Step 2: Talking with families about the list their loved ones did and see their reactions (would they help? Would this make them feel more involved into sharing the patience burden?) Step 3: Application prototype (linked to a web platform)

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Phsicologists; Sociologists; Doctors; Patience and families (with experience and also who survived the experience) Designers; Developers.

Tell us about your work experience:

I work as a User Experience designer in a digital communication/strategy consultancy (DigitasLBi). Thanks to my bachelor in Interior Design and my master degree in Service Design I got familiar with Design Thinking techniques and methodologies.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


Join the conversation:

Photo of Abiola Oyebanjo

Thank so much @Alberto . I don't think this bucket list will be bad for even those who are not even facing end of life. However, they need it more. I believe we can make this more innovative.  We can find common areas of needs where humans are likely to miss out of and help these people make better choices as they write on the list. The reason is because many at this point might not have their neurons triggered in areas that might be necessary for their happiness. SO i suggest we use familiar pictures, images or videos in which ever format we are presenting the list to them. Well done  

Photo of Alberto Minelli

Thanks Abiola Oyebanjo 

There is definitely more space for the service to grow, and in the ideas refinement phase we could consider all this point in order to shape the service itself.
As the topic is very emotional, using such elements (and a really good storytelling, let's say) can be a very good point.

Thanks again for the comment!

Photo of Hongbo Guo

Wow Alberto I think it is a great idea! It is definitely going to make the person whose life is about to end leave the world with less regret. I do have only one concern about it: some bucket list wishes might be unrealistic. How do you balance fulfilling the person's dream and keeping it practical and operable? Are there any ground rules?

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Alberto and everyone!
Great idea and I love the Candy Chang art piece that you used as the image!  Great piece to get one thinking about this topic.
Echoing  Anne-Laure Fayard  comment, Joanna posted an amazing Inspiration post.  I found it really moving.  It was about exactly this - helping to fulfill wishes at the end of life.  In the article the folk were at the very end of life.   What I found so humbling was that the wishes were pretty basic and not hard to fulfill, so why not do more for more folk?  Thanks for posting this Idea!  It can enrich the lives of many.
Linked is the article about the Dutch program Joanna mentions in her post.  How can this scale up and "out?"

I think Hongbo's question on how to keep this Bucket List practical and also operable is great.  Thoughts?   How will wishes be facilitated?  I wonder if in addition to family, might volunteers be involved?  In the Netherlands program there are paramedics/ EMTs that are assisting so that patients can have their wish, and if medically necessary be transported safely. Not sure if that is part of the regular paramedic service in the Netherlands.  Cool if it is!!!   It seems like an amazing effort and role in end of life care.  In the US there are a variety of organizations that run ambulance services. (Where are you located?)  The service might be government run, in NYC it is sometimes the Fire Dept. that comes as a "First Responder" to an emergency medical call.  There are also many volunteer ambulance services in communities across the US.  They provide an important and vital service, as volunteers. 

Looking forward to learning more about your ideas for prototyping! 
Good luck developing "Bucket List."

Photo of Alberto Minelli

Thanks for the wonderful feedback Bettina Fliegel 
Let us answer you point by point:

"so why not do more for more folk?"
This is exactly the aim of Bucketlist.

"How will wishes be facilitated?"
This is a point that we still have to explore in depth. The wishlist and the wishes are triggers that connect people and make them talk about the topic from another perspective. The way those wishes will be facilitated and come true is still an open discussion.

"I wonder if in addition to family, might volunteers be involved?"
Involving already existing organizations could be a very nice possibility for our service in order to start, grow and have a human touchpoint (I am from Italy, and I could get in contact with some associations). 
First, we deeply need to understand what is the best way to use Bucketlist to educate people and change their mindset when it comes to death. This is why we need a lot of research and prototyping with people in that specific situation, their families and the doctors who follow them.

We hope we did answer your questions and made things clearer!
Alberto and Teodora Tasić 

Photo of OpenIDEO

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard


this is a great idea that reminded an inspiration posted by Joanna!c-77a149e3356b492fe6eb10cb63c085f8

I'm wondering how you are envisioning realization: is the idea that family members and friends are made aware of the wish and can then try to find ways to realize the wish of their loved one? or are you providing them with some support in finding ways to realize the dream?

In the article posted by Joanna, I thought it was interesting that the wishes were often very simple things. (that will be an answer to Hongbo's fear of too wild ideas).

Looking forward to seeing this idea evolve.


Photo of Alberto Minelli

"I'm wondering how you are envisioning realization: is the idea that family members and friends are made aware of the wish and can then try to find ways to realize the wish of their loved one?"

@Anna-Laure Fayard, that is exactly what we are thinking right now.
You see, there is a problem in breaking the barriers between people when it comes about this kind of topics.
The idea is to change the perspective on this subject by creating an environment in which people can be active and talk about it in a less "dramatic" way.

I always use this as an example: there are people that after the acceptance phase start even betting on their sicknesses (i.e. people betting on their diabetes glicemia level) and creating a kind of game out of this. The point here is the same: death happens. It is up to us to make it more sustainable, and the only way we can do it is to "live the approach of death" with a different approach and behaviours.

This doesen't mean that we laugh on death. We only make it become something more natural and less scary. At least 'til the last minute. 

Photo of christina

Alberto I think your idea would work well with Jim Rosenberg's idea: Mortality Coaching and my idea end-of-life coaching!

Photo of Alberto Minelli

Thanks Hongbo!
We thought as well about this critical point. I guess that according to some tests and prototyping experiments we could solve this concern thanks to the data we collect.
But also we might design the service by creating categories which guide the person through the list filling, so they don't get to far with their "creativity".

Also, we wanted to stay a bit open on the idea in order to not drive people on the concept we have in mind.
This is still a brainstorming phase and we should be as open as possible in order to shape the idea at its best. There are many things we need to study more in detail. That is why we need the support of the whole community!
In the phase of idea refinement i am quite sure we will discuss about this topics more in details.

I hope i answered to your question :)