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Vykarious

Connect with people around the globe who will cross off the bucket list items you cannot, and will share their experience with you.

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

Vykarious has two main groups of users.

I. The ill or elderly who may no longer be able to fulfill dreams they have, who may be feeling a loss of connection, and who want to lead a mission.

II. People seeking to forge connections with the ill or elderly, who are driven by adventure, spontaneity, and humanitarianism.

This platform would transform the traditional bucket-list into a dynamic journey towards fulfillment and deep human connection.


CONTENTS

Vykarious: an Overview

The Human Connection

User Experience Map (video & still)

Preliminary Feedback

Potential Partnerships

Inside Scoop

A Brief Note

Acknowledgements

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VYKARIOUS: AN OVERVIEW

Vykarious is a platform allowing users to open their bucket list to the world.

It stirs up spontaneity in both the asker and the completer of a given action. Simply dancing in the rain, or doing yoga in the Rockies, or whatever the "ask" may be enriches the lives of both parties involved. 

Vykarious provides a way to meaningfully connect with other people and influence lives even from the hospital bed. For those registered as Vykings, it provides adventure and a powerful, living memory that transcends political and cultural borders. 


THE HUMAN CONNECTION

The driving force behind Vykarious is human connection. It has the potential to forge unexpected friendships, but also strengthen bonds between family members. In speaking to people whose parents were aging and less mobile, I realized that the "bucket list" or "if you could do one more thing" topic was somewhat unchartered. In other words, many sons and daughters do not really know what their parents or grandparents want (I learned about my father's desire to visit a woman who helped raise him in Calcutta just last week). Vykarious is a platform to not only open this dialogue, but allow these dreams to come to fruition. 


THE USER EXPERIENCE MAP


Video

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Still

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PRELIMINARY FEEDBACK

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Other feedback:

"Through my volunteer experience in the senior community I have a greater understanding than most of the difficulties seniors deal with in the later years of life. Senior homes can often be lonely and filled with repetition. Most of the seniors I’ve talked with are always intrigued by my travels. Unfortunately most seniors are limited in mobility and often talk to me about things they’ve either done in the past or things they should have done.  I feel Vykarious is able to tackle this notion of the "should have's” and “could have's." By offering that connection through the wonders of technology, Vykarious seems like something Seniors can get excited about."

-Kevin Gondres, Senior Graphic Designer, McCann Echo & Volunteer in senior living homes, New Jersey


"I can definitely see this working...consider senior living homes and palliative care centers, because there is sensitivity in hospice environments, since those are for the last few days of life."

-phone call with Morgan Meinel, RN, New York 




POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIPS

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(Please note that these partners have been identified, not approved/contacted).


  • AARP - useful for PR, media, and awareness
  • The North Face - outdoors/adventure companies such as North Face, Patagonia, REI, etc. could provide gear and/or sponsorship to Vykings
  • McCann Health - a health-oriented agency could pursue branding, development, media, distribution
  • Twilio - development of in-app capability of live voice/video 
  • Expedia - travel companies such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak could help with funding or travel arrangements
  • Southwest - airline companies could be interested in facilitating travel
  • Amazon - distribution of platform partnerships
  • Samsung - gear VR for virtual reality incorporation
  • Apple - computer/iPad donation to assisted living homes
  • dji - drone camera footage for adventure capture
  • Theta 360 - lightweight, cheaper optionf or 360 images
  • 360 fly - more rugged, weatherproof option for 360 capture in 4k


INSIDE SCOOP

just a little peek into the process

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A BRIEF NOTE

I would like to note here that my grandmother, Mohini Teotia, who largely inspired this project, passed away on July 25th. As one of the first female pediatricians in her region of India, she touched many, many lives throughout her incredible time on Earth. Vykarious is dedicated to her.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The incredible team at McCann Echo, a McCann Health Agency listened to and believed in this idea, dedicating odd hours and lunch breaks to brainstorming sessions and whipping up work to breathe more life into Vykarious.

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

Simply talking to and/or surveying a range of people who could be potential users of Vykarious has been a great first step. Then, testing it (after an app build!) with residents in an assisted living home and residents of the community could be a start, and as people in the comments have suggested, among families or tightly-knit groups. This would help us understand what a satisfying "outcome" to the connection for both parties may be, how this varies, and if people love it!

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

The UX/UI are underway, and we have clearly identified target users. What would be most helpful is understanding in which systems this can be implemented from the Mission Leader's side, and how to get prototypes into these settings while maintaining sensitivity to privacy, technology, and health. Advice or even personal connection to settings where this may be feasible would be most helpful in the present stage.

Tell us about your work experience:

Recent college grad (B.A., Studio Art and B.A., Medicine, Health & Society) looking to change the healthcare experience through human-centered creative thinking.

This idea emerged from

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Team (7)

Vibhu's profile
Luke's profile
Luke Waldrum

Role added on team:

"SERIOUSLY CREATIVE | Luke has been involved in concepting, developing the storyboard, and pulling together the right people to help with the more tangible work. He also has simply been inspiring and supportive in general."

Lenny Tafro's profile
Lenny Tafro

Role added on team:

"FOWARD-THINKING TECH LEAD | Lenny worked on concepting/brainstorming, and had a clear vision for the role of new tech in this platform. He believed in Vykarious from the start."

Neil's profile
Neil Tenzer

Role added on team:

"AWESOME UX DESIGNER | Neil visualized the flow of the webpage/app and created the wireframes that were then designed and displayed. He has also been incredibly thoughtful, invested, and dedicated."

Matt's profile
Matt Sakdalan

Role added on team:

"INCREDIBLE ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIST | Matt helped with forming the first team meeting, and helped with brainstorming. He also created our user feedback surveys, and has been supportive and kind throughout."

Sarah's profile
Sarah Moran

Role added on team:

"QUEEN OF GRAPHIC DESIGN | Sarah is the reason why the interface and data looks beautiful! We brainstormed a color palette and mood, and she brought it all to a really easy to visualize platform, far beyond what I had imagined."

Tristan's profile
Tristan Henry-Wilson

Role added on team:

"KING ANIMATOR | Tristan made the animated UX map, managing to make a polished and beautiful product in a serious time crunch. He can also rock a bowtie."

71 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Lisa
Team

Wow! The more I read about this the more impressed I am about the type of ideas that can generate a worthy cause. I hope that since it has started you’ve had continued success and valued testimony from those engaged in the adventure and I’m hoping the platform has grown to meet the needs of all those Vykings out there.

Photo of Joel Nicholson
Team

Hi Vibhu, I hope Vykarious is going well. I'd love to be a pilot Vyking when the product launches. Have you heard of the guys from The Buried Life? They would 100% love to be a part of this project, or at least promote it.

I'm currently involved in another challenge, and we are undergoing the refinement phase. The IDEO team sent me your page to use as a best-practice reference point, and I must thank you as I leveraged your highly structured layout and graphical appeal as best as I could.

If you have any feedback on my idea, I'd love for you to have a look.

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/future-of-highered/refinement/don-t-teach-subjects-teach-skills

I do have a question about Vykarious. Are you thinking of monetizing through sponsorships of bucket list items? I could see a similar model take shape to Open IDEO, and how they get interested parties to sponsor the challenges. For example, maybe a group of elderly people from around the world have 'Sandboarding' on their bucket list, and you could get Tourism Namibia to sponsor the item.

Photo of Bridge Mei
Team

I love this idea, there's so much opportunity for where this could go.  A short film was made in cooperation with REI that is very much in the same spirit as Vykarious.
http://blog.rei.com/paulsboots/

As an avid backpacker, I know there is already interest in doing things like this in the hiking/backpacking community, it would just be a matter of organization and consolidation of existing one-offs.

Excited to see where this goes!

Photo of Eric Herman
Team

I have a mother who has Parkinson’s and was interested to read about your 76 year old “retired teacher.”  A title my mother holds too - she is 80 years old.  I like the spirit of your idea, but practically speaking, my mom, who was fairly technologically literate can not use technology any longer.  Parkinson’s has an “executive functioning” dementia component to the disease.  Simple tasks like remember how to use the phone or remembering peoples names is difficult for my mother.  My suggestion is that you look at the demographic that would interact with “Vikarious” and make sure that it’s demographic appropriate.  If you’d like to talk further let me know and I’d be happy to clarify.

Photo of Dawn Gross
Team

Vibhu, I so love Vykarious and am eager to stay engaged. Any chance you will be in San Francisco for the Re:Imagine EOL week Oct 24-30? http://www.letsreimagine.org/#endoflife

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Dawn Gross I so, so wish I could be there! I am unfortunately in Cleveland for the week Please keep me posted! I may also be able to have a friend go in my stead, if that is possible. If there is anything else I can do, let me know! Feel free to reach out to me directly via facebook or email (vkrishna108@gmail.com). 

Warmest regards, 
Vibhu

Photo of Colin Willox
Team

Really, really love this idea. I recently lost a grandmother (who quite enjoyed traveling), and the other grandmother is living in a home. I can imagine that using a GoPro or something similar to live-stream the experience (or parts of) would be very nice and more absorbing than a recount afterwards. 

I once took care of a man with MS for half a year. I can say that even though his body was disabled, his mind and desire for adventure had not decreased. We used to go for drives in the van (me driving) just to get out and about. Sometimes we'd go to Crissy Field, one of his favourite places in San Francisco.

For those who are more severely impaired, or for locations further from home, this idea sounds quite nice :)

Photo of Philipp Unterreiner
Team

There has been a TV Commercial by Vodaphone in 2014, called "Bucket List" where a teenage girl goes to travel the world with a tablet in order to video-stream her experiences to her grandpa. It's basically the same idea – you could use the spot as your video prototype: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sBZUDrCpsY

Photo of Krisztian
Team

Wow. My mind was blown by this idea when I glanced through it. I sincerely wish Vykarious existed before my Grandpa passed away. This is truly incredible, Vibhu!
A couple of things came to my mind (in random order):

- it would be worth a shot to think about integrating realtime social platforms ie. Periscope into the experience. This way these elderly people would truly feel like they are part of the experience.

- there are more and more technologies and software that focus on connecting elderly users to the internet, often with functionalities that increases their ease of use, such as larger icons, buttons, a physical keyboard, etc. Might worth a shot to discuss the option of Vykarious becoming a default installed app on these devices

- finally there is a guy in Australia, called Sebastian Terry who I think would be an incredible spokesman. He wrote the book '100 things'  http://100things.com.au/ which is about his experience realizing what life's worth and concentrating on achieving these goals he set himself. He is an extremely compassionate guy, great public speaker and does an incredible amount of work for charities.

Good luck  with your idea, I hope it will be the success it deserves.

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Krisztian Thank you for all of your feedback! Much appreciated. I have heard of Sebastian Terry and agree that he is a powerful voice on these topics! Thanks again for your comments :)

Photo of Dawn Gross
Team

This is a beautiful vision. In addition to the potential partners you've listed above, I would encourage you to explore the nonprofit dedicated to patients and families living with ALS "Team Gleason." If you are able, watch the documentary. I think it will resonate and inspire. https://www.google.com/search?q=gleason+movie&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#mie=e%2Coverview%2Cgleason%20movie%2CH4sIAAAAAAAAAONgVuLVT9c3NEyqKi7MLcuJf8SYzi3w8sc9Yam4SWtOXmOM4OIKzsgvd80rySypFPLiYoOyVLgEpVB1ajBI8XOhCklJCUlwCeon5-fkpCaXZObn6adl5uQWizIwNNjzAAAEZY9HewAAAA

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Hi Dawn Gross Thank you so much for the link!! A physician I have been speaking with actually recommended the same film to me yesterday as well! :) Looks like I'll have to watch! Thanks again.

Photo of OpenIDEO IDEO
Team

Congrats on being a Top Idea, Vibhu! It's been absolutely inspiring to see how you've developed Vykarious to reimagine the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones. What an amazing journey it has been. In the coming weeks, we'll be making an official announcement to celebrate you and the other Top Ideas of the End of Life Challenge.

In the meantime, we would love for you to share your story in the upcoming End of Life Impact Phase. The Impact Phase is a space where the OpenIDEO community can share updates on how our projects are progressing beyond the challenge. For reference, here's a template for writing an Impact phase story:http://ideo.pn/1U9DrSN Well done Vibhu!

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Vibhu Krishna , Congratulations on making it into to the Top Ideas! So happy to see this. Please don't hesitate to let me know how I can be of further help and assistance! :) 

Photo of John McGeehan
Team

Hi Vibhu Krishna ! More props and kudos! Every person I have shared this idea with "got it" immediately and agreed "What a great idea!"  I'm happy you found sympatico folks to flesh out the idea with. My sincere gratitude to you and love and prayers to your grandmother for inspiring you in this. What I like best is energizing and helping relate people at different stages of life. Best wishes on the unfolding of this potent, vital idea!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Thank you very much John McGeehan  :)

Photo of Tracy Blackwell
Team

Wow! This is an incredible idea, Vibhu! How wonderful to inspire compassion and connection between generations in such a meaningful way. To honor the passions of those at the end of their lives and fuel the spirit of caring in others represents humanity at its finest. We genuinely believe in the power of this idea!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Tracy Blackwell thank you so, so much for your kind words and your support :) 

Photo of Jim Rosenberg
Team

I know I already commented a while back to say I love this idea, but just wanted to do it again :-) I really love the empathy and connection the service could create. My thoughts are with you and  your grandmother too.

Jim

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Jim Rosenberg great to hear from you again! Thank you for your thoughtfulness. :)

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Vibhu Krishna , it is absolutely remarkable to see how Vykarious is evolving! I echo Jim Rosenberg 's sentiments about how this has such great potential to inspire empathy and connection amongst one another. I would participate in a heartbeat. Please accept my sincere condolences for the recent loss of your grandmother. I can only imagine how proud she was of you and the love and light you bring into this world. My warmest thoughts are with you and your family :)

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Thank you so much for your kind words and your support during this process Morgan Meinel !  

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

We love the updates Vibhu! It's so great to see the Vykarious platform mockups:) Are you still in the process of updating the content for these sections? — THE USER EXPERIENCE MAP, PRELIMINARY FEEDBACK, POTENTIAL PARTNERSHIPS INSIDE SCOOP

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Shane Zhao Thank you! And yes, this page is still very much under construction. Consolidating all of the work we've done the past few weeks! :)

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Shane Zhao contents are filled in! 

Photo of Alexandra Nana-Sinkam
Team

Vibhu Krishna  I am late to game here but wanted to provide quick thoughts (I don’t have much experience in healthcare myself, though recently had a grandparent who passed and am familiar with the EOL hospice experience from a family member perspective. Also a student/practitioner of human centered design myself).


This idea is amazing! Serious kudos for such a wonderful concept/ prototype, and beautiful homage to your grandmother.

You mentioned that you’re looking for feedback on UI, and best ecosystems to test prototypes of the product:

-The typeface and coloration of your mocks draws up whimsy/wanderlust vibes, I think it fits the value prop of your mission very well. Awesome.

-Love the personalization of profiles and connection within the app between Vkyings and Mission Leaders (instant message/video chat, great)—seems like max fulfillment comes from knowing who you are supporting (or who is supporting you) and having a platform of communication between the two.

-Ever considered testing this first with families who are registered for at home or hospice care? This might be a nice bridge environment if you’re able to engage in a high touch manner with a single family and ensure sensitivity/privacy as you work with them to test the product (run into less ecosystem issues of privacy/legality than testing within an elderly home or community). Saw a few comments hypothesizing that starting within an inner circle (kids, grandchildren), before pitching a bucketlist across a broader community, might be more effective—this would give you latitude to test that specific concept too.

Additional feedback:

-Really touched by the goal of opening dialogue between those passing and their loved ones  – creating a framework that works to address the anxiety/discomfort of death within families might be my favorite by-product of the application.

-One idea re: call to action to share via social media: consider adding a mechanism to ensure sensitivity, given the delicate context of EOL. Social media threatens to dilute the intimacy of the experience, though I imagine vykings will be very proud of their connection to their Mission Leader, and may want to share these experiences with their close network. A potential work-around: include a pop up reminding a vyking to be mindful/sensitive as they click to share via social media? 

-Really interested to see how the “capturing” component of this experience might manifest—real time video messages from Vyking to Mission Leader, journal entries (combining written word with some visual articulation), inviting other “viewers” (maybe family members) into memorialization of the bucketlist)? Awesome opportunity for partnerships (gopro, Instagram, vsco, iWish app, etc).

Look forward to observing how this evolves. Best of luck!!

Photo of Jamie Whittaker
Team

Hi Vibhu! I'm in love with this idea. It would be so interesting to see if the moments could be captured using 360 degree video and then uploaded to YouTube or Vrideo where a recipient could watch it using Google cardboard to have an immersive VR viewing experience. Best of luck to you on this inspirational project! PS: I adore the title "Vykings" for the adventurers. Will be watching to see what happens with this incredible idea!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Hi! Yes--I think the VR application for this would be amazing! :)

Photo of Jamie Whittaker
Team

The Theta might be a good camera for the VR application: https://theta360.com/en/
Soooooo excited to see where this goes!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Jamie Whittaker good call!!! Thank you!! :)

Photo of D'vorah
Team

Hi Vibhu!  This is such a poetic idea!  I think there are many people in all stages of life who would be interested in your idea.  
Here's an additional link you might be interested in  http://petapixel.com/2012/03/05/virtual-photo-walks-make-photography-accessible-to-people-with-disabilities/
I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

D'vorah thank you so much! what a lovely link

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Hi Vibhu! I wanted to quickly share some feedback we recently received from our sponsors and advisory panel: "We love how this idea truly sparks living, focuses on storytelling, and are excited to learn more about how exactly it happens and how it will be marketed. How do we make sure people know about this? We love how this is essentially crowdsourcing adventure. What if it started with the person's immediate circle, like children and grandchildren, and then they shared it upon completion, inspiring others to do the same? We're curious to learn more about whether it's fulfilling for the person who is ill/dying and think that the personalization of the activity would be an important part of that. We're intrigued by what the reverse of this might look like: What if when people entered retirement, young people had them go on adventures they don't yet have time for?"

It also reminded us of this wonderful book: http://www.workplacegallery.co.uk/publications/33/ 

We Look forward to seeing your idea evolve during this last week of the Refinement phase!

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

And another piece of inspiration, passed along by Chris Waugh from Sutter :)
https://youtu.be/RsOioSfPC6Y 

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

LOVE this!! Joanna Spoth 

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Calling the openIDEO community! We are seeking feedback from healthcare workers and residents in nursing homes, assisted living homes, and palliative care centers. You do not necessarily have to follow this survey, but we are aiming to gauge interest in leading a mission, understand what types of missions people may want, and how you see this working! Healthcare workers/volunteers especially in these environments would likely facilitate implementation of Vykarious, so we would love your input based on your observations! 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QRTW32L

Morgan Meinel John McGeehan Jim Rosenberg James Senior Nancy Rapport 

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Hi Vibhu Krishna ! This seems like a great way to receive feedback.  I will pass this along to others in the healthcare field. All the best to you :) 

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Thanks Morgan!! :)

Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

We'll also pass it along to our contacts at Sutter!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Thank you Joanna Spoth 

Photo of Morgan Robison
Team

Vibhu Krishna could you, now or down the road, work with a company like GoPro to sponsor these projects.  Many companies would be interested in working with the individuals to create powerful ads.  Unsure if you would want to move in that direction as it could easily be exploited, but giving people the access to video their experiences of completing challenges and chatting (ideally visually) with the recipient.  This could even span to children in hospitals, knowing someone is rooting for them all the way across the world. 

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Hi Morgan! We have definitely been considering this and even the potential for VR to be involved as this develops down the road. Thank you for your input!! :)

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Hi Morgan Robison ! Definitely, we are thinking of potential tech partners down the road to incorporate footage from these adventures. Lenny Tafro our Tech guru and I actually sat down today to pinpoint these companies :) Thank you!

Photo of Amruta Byatnal
Team

Vibhu Krishna , I think this is a great idea. I lost my father recently, and I can think of so many things he had wished to do. I'm wondering if the idea can be extended to what the person might have wanted to do in the future - so that she/he knows that their presence can be felt through the Vyking who is signed up long after they are gone. I understand this to benefit both the person and her/his family who are going through the 'end of life' phase together. I'm thinking of this in more long term sense -and something which is beyond just one experience though I understand this would involve a longer commitment from the Vyking . For eg., my father was an amazing singer and he had planned to take singing classes after he retired. His life didn't last long enough for him to be able to fulfill that wish. But I would imagine it would have made him very happy to know that someone else with a similar passion was going to pursue it for him. Taking Pearl Sequeira 's idea forward, you can open this to people from the marginalized community - so that it sort of functions like a scholarship and your loved one's passion lives on in someone who really needs the funds to pursue their dreams. As you build the prototype of your website/app, maybe it will be interesting to see if there is an interest in this version of Vykarious? Let me know if you need any help fleshing this out, or to brainstorm about possible avenues to try it. I'm happy to help! Best, Amruta

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Vibhu Krishna , this is such a wonderful and creative idea! As a Palliative and Hospice Care Nurse, I interact with many individuals who are quite ill and bed bound and often express their wishes to be able to experience life again beyond the hospital room. Caring for a very diverse population in NYC, many of my patients express their wish to return to their native countries to visit and/or die, but are unable to because of their life limiting illness. How awesome it would be if they had the opportunity to experience that through a creative avenue such as your idea here.
You had mentioned that you would potentially prototype your idea in a Palliative Care setting. Have you found a specific facility in which to do this yet? This may be an ideal population of people (versus a hospice facility) because typically the prognosis of palliative care patients is longer, meaning that there could potentially be more time to plan and carry out whatever may be on their bucket list. Perhaps you could also consider reaching out to local nursing homes?
I'm happy to assist and/or offer insight into any questions you may have. All the best to you! 

p.s. I would love to do yoga in the Rockies! :) 

  

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Thank you so much Morgan Meinel 
I will keep you in the loop as things progress--I really appreciate your help.

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Morgan Meinel Hope you are doing well! We have been able to work out some details this week. I was hoping to be able to speak with you to learn more about your take on this. Would you be willing to help provide insight into how this may take shape in a care setting such as the one you work in? Thanks you! :)

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Vibhu Krishna , I am well! I hope you are too :)  Thank you for reaching out to me! I would be more than happy to help provide some insight. Are you thinking over the phone/email would be best? Looking forward to connecting!

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Hi Morgan Meinel phone would be best! How/when can I reach you? :)

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Vibhu Krishna , sounds like a plan! I'm available to speak over the phone tomorrow, 7/17 in the morning or evening time (EST). Let me know if that may work. Looking forward to speaking with you! :)

Photo of Vibhu Krishna
Team

Yes Morgan Meinel --morning (now until noon) works for me! How can I reach you? Please feel free to message me directly on facebook as needed--I'll try to find you too!

Photo of Morgan Meinel
Team

Vibhu Krishna - Just private messaged you! Looking forward to talking with you :) 

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Vibhu! Here are some key questions and milestones we encourage all idea teams to consider in the Refinement phase:

1. How might this idea address the unique needs of the target audience you're designing for?
2. Clearly summarize the value offering of your idea in 1-2 sentences
3. Communicate your idea in a visual way with user experience maps http://ideo.pn/UX_Map
4. Identify assumptions that need to be answered in order to validate your value offering: http://bit.ly/1Oi8ZHu
5. Collect feedback from potential partners and users to answer the assumptions you’ve identified.

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 07/12" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of Madeline Duhon
Team

Hi Vibhu, 

This is a wonderful idea. It brings a smile to my face to hear the concept of connecting those who see their timeline to complete a bucket list item diminishing with someone who will complete the mission for them.  

I could also imagine applications for this concept emerging from other circumstances aside from individuals approaching end of life. For example, what about people who have moved away from a beautiful or exotic destination before they had the chance to complete that one hike, or see that one sunrise? Or what about people who have simply missed their window, for example are too old to complete a trail race marathon but would love to see a friend, family member, or complete stranger fulfill that dream? Or what about someone who wanted to become a fighter pilot or some other profession, but in her day could not due to being a woman, but would love to now that the profession has opened up to all genders? 

I could imagine all these people who feel that the moment has passed them by, but would still love to see someone else have that experience, benefit from this platform and the chance to be connected to an adventurer. 

In any case, I love this idea, and would love to have the chance to be a Vyking myself sometime! Best of luck!

Photo of John McGeehan
Team

Vibhu,
This is for me an exciting and rich idea that can energize and delight many people!  There is something here that taps into deep human interconnectedness (Interbeing in the word coined by Thich Nhat Khan). As a volunteer who regularly interacts with those who are very ill and confined after a lifetime of movement, I can see there is a lot of pent-up desire and wishes to travel, to do things, see people, places. And I personally know one or two Vykings! For example, here is a friend, Paula Wood and her team of 4 women who are participating in the Mongol Rally road race: a 10,000 mile, 2 continent road trip in 2 "crappy hatchbacks"!  http://www.welivemongolrally.com/

I'd like to help you test out your idea to strengthen it, and really hone in on the value proposition to both participants. Given access to a sample group from each, what small, lightweight tests can we run to get their feedback and begin to really prove your idea?

I like the additions others have suggested, and they may or not work in the context you've created. What they show to me is how your idea is sparking other, related ideas. But stay focused and keep your concept tight. 

I'm also reminded of when I traveled to visit my father's relatives in Ireland.  In a way I was making the trip for my father (who had died a dozen years earlier). Like others of his generation, he was so focused on establishing himself and his family as immigrants in the US, he wasn't able to travel until late in life. But the great aunt and second cousins we met loved that the next generation was seeking them out, returning, in a way, where our parents couldn't.

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Hi Vibhu! I wanted to pass along a piece of inspiration from Chris Waugh, on the Sutter Health Design & Innovation team, related to your idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wQQh5tbSPw&feature=youtu.be
Looking forward to seeing your idea evolve during the Refinement phase!

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Awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing this

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I adore this idea, Vibhu.  It has so much potential in creating connections in the face of disappointed dreams, and in building community within the context of leaving that community.  As a riff off of Elizabeth's comment, I'm wondering if the Make-a-Wish Foundation might actually be interested in sponsoring development of this concept?

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Thank you so much Ken! That's a great idea, some sort of collab/partnership with them could be amazing.

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Vibhu - this is such a beautiful idea, and I had questions similar to Ken's above. My main question reading this was "This sounds GREAT... so where does the funding come from?" Make-a-Wish or a similar organization sounds ideal. I wonder if things like this could be combined too... could one child's wish check off another person's bucket list? 

Another thing I love about this is the potential for connecting strangers. You mention in your original post that you would want to do this for your grandmother. This is a gorgeous sentiment. In addition to participants who are family or friends, I could also see something like this being an opportunity for complete strangers to create a unique bond. Everyone longs for deep connection; so in addition to fulfilling a bucket list, how wonderful it would be to give the gift of social connection! 

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Absolutely brilliant idea, Vibhu! 

I'd like to add equity-diversity lens to this idea. I live in Toronto, Canada. Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC), an amazing community organization, has a marginalized youth program called, 'Travel for Change - Outer Limits Program'.  "This program is designed to provide Canadian youth with a life-changing experience that translates into real skills and helps with personal development and long-term life plans." (http://www.scaddingcourt.org/travel)

In building Vykarious, I request you to consider  marginalized members of society - especially those living in poverty - to participate as 'implementers' of dreams? May be it is someone in their community, or someone of influence? Other than Make-a-wish Foundation, could there be other travel partnerships to reach out to? e.g. G Adventures & their Foundation, Planettera, National Geographic, airlines, financial institutions, etc?  How could their journey be documented and shared via official channels (Facebook, Instagram, G Adventures/National Geographic blog), thereby promoting the product?

Is there an opportunity to also help with developing career pathways? e.g. The ask is 'Travel  the Nile' and the implementer has an interest in 'science journalism'.  Could this trip help them build a portfolio, and build meaningful relationships with those outside their community?  Could the asker receive 'hand written letters' (a dying art, but nonetheless a powerful storytelling tool) that could potentially be converted into a travelling museum exhibit in local communities? Could the implementer have his/her story shared in high-impact publications like Scientific American, Nature, etc.  (On a side note, for the first time in my career, I am witnessing a paradigm shift  in funding to basic research, with disparities research in cancer being a focus. The opportunity to be inclusive and create a 'pull' for talent to address disparities in health could become a vital platform for health system change via Vykarious).   

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Pearl Sequeira Thank you so so much for this feedback--very helpful. You're right that media and documentation of these narratives will be key and should be multi-platform. I also like the idea of it being empowering for both parties participating. Thank you! I'll keep all of your suggestions in mind as I continue refining this.

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Vibhu - GREAT to see you in the challenge. This idea rocks. Reading it, I got excited about the potential for my interests to overlap with those who are aging and carry out some bucket list items for them! I can't wait to hear what your grandma, and other elderly folks, think. As you collect user research, feel free to compile insights in a document (or pictures of Post-its), synthesize it, and upload your findings in a document! Can't wait to see this evolve.

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Joanna Spoth thank you so much for the advice and encouragement!

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I like the idea!  Thanks for sharing.  I was wondering if it might include going to a place where someone lived in the past to see what is there now, taking photos, sharing with the person who made the request?   Or sharing via video chat while there?  Both?  Are you thinking along these lines?  A friend of mind went to a small village in Poland while visiting that country, for this reason, to retrace the steps of an elderly woman she met in NYC and befriended during Hurricane Sandy.  She was not ill but was unable to make such a long journey.  I think it was very meaningful and special for both.  
What are your thoughts on how to connect parties for Vykarious?   Technology and social media will serve younger people well here but the older folk may not manage as well.  Thoughts? 

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Hi! Thank you!! That is definitely an important point. The "mission" could be anything the elderly person may have wanted to do in their lifetime (which includes visiting their place of birth or re-tracing their path). 

As for the sharing, I think there would be a mobile/tablet app version of this, allowing the vyking and mission leader to videochat, call, and message one another, as well as share photos, etc. This opens the door to additional communication (letters, meeting in person, and so on) should the parties desire.

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Bettina, I really like your idea as an adjunct to Vibhu's, i.e. create community both in the context of vicarious bucket list activities but also with regard to life review...

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Great idea Vibhu!
Wonderful way to dissolve barriers and foster meaningful connections through unique experiences.
Working in Hospice Palliative Care, seeing adults as young as 18 facing end-of-life, would suggest opening this up to everyone. In essence, a "Virtual Make a Wish"?
Wonderful concept! 

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Thank you so much!! Yes--the age range could definitely be really broad for "mission leaders" and "vykings."

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Very nice idea!! But what about a network to help you really do your wish list of "to do's" before you die? Like an open Make a Wish Foundation, leverage by the goodwill of the participants of the network? 

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Really fantastic idea. I can imagine friends and family signing up along with others to do missions for the person they love who is dying. It would feel like a way to be with that person when you can't be right there, a gift you can give.  I can imagine the system using things like Facebook Live or other live 1:1 or 1:many streaming tools so the person who is dying can take part too. Great stuff.