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My Life's Story

Leave your loved ones a collection of stories and artifacts that you'd like to share with them as your legacy.

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

My Story is for families, both those who are passing on as well as those who remain behind. So often, we avoid talking of the end, and consequently leave much unsaid. Creating a 'leave behind' life's story, beginning at an early age, will give loved ones and their extended families a deeper connection with ancestors, and provoke reflections on the value of relationships and the importance of life choices.

We all hope that when we reach the end of our lives, we'll have the opportunity to tell our loved ones things we have wanted to tell them, answer their questions, and leave behind cherished memories. But too often, the illnesses responsible preclude the ability to communication as fully as we might have hoped, or with a mindset colored by the imminent nature of our end.

My Life's Story is a lightweight, free-form autobiography, creatively curated by every individual to leave to others when they pass on. It's a nudge, from early days, to begin curating those pieces of your life that you will look forward to sharing as you approach the end. 

It will be a joy for those you leave behind, to be reminded in ways that were important to you, of how you valued your life's experiences. And it will be a comfort to you that you were able to share more than you ever could if you left it until it was too late.

My Life's Story is a collection of stories, artifacts, photos and videos that represent things you want to share, in ways that appeal to you to convey them. It's guided through a suite of prompts, templates and inspirations, but is otherwise completely free form, anything goes in terms of format.

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

Recruit a number of individuals at various stages of life to put together a quick curation of stories and artifacts they might like to pass along to others. Experiment with ways to tell stories that represent important moments you think you'd like to share later.

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

Prototyping different modes of balancing structure with creative flexibility in prompting people to actually create My Life's Story for themselves rather than pass it off as a nice idea for someone else to do.

Tell us about your work experience:

I've had a long career in the Federal Government, innovating under the radar as a clandestine design advocate. A design amateur, I've worked with pros who are the best in the world, and picked up a thing or two.

This idea emerged from

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I'm adding this concept now, even though the challenge is over. It was an oversight on my part, but I still thought it was worth going through the exercise to have it 'on the books'...