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Going Deep

A series of provocations to encourage deeper connection in life. Don't wait 'til it's too late to really get to know the people you love.

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

This idea is designed for people who have loved ones they are with every day and others who they rarely see. This idea is designed for anyone who wants to feel closer to the people they love. This idea is designed to replace the anxiety of having loved ones pass away with comfort that you knew them deeply enough to carry on their spirits. This idea is designed to replace the fear of dying alone with a sense of acceptance in knowing that there are people on earth who truly know you.

When I think about my loved ones dying, one of my biggest fears is whether I ever really knew them. When I think about my own mortality, one of my biggest fears is whether anyone will have really known me. 

End of life stories are often about people discovering things about their loved ones in death that could have brought them closer together in life, or wishing that they had more time to get to know their loved ones. While we can't always have more time together, we can make the time we have together more valuable.  The goal of this idea is to bring people together in life to make death more peaceful, with the added bonus of making life more enjoyable, too. 

In fostering open and honest communication in life we can ease anxiety and unknowns in death. Through a set of provocations or questions, we can have better conversations and encourage deeper connection with the people we love. This idea could come to life in many forms: an app that sends you a deep question every morning to build into your daily conversations, a place for people to anonymously share moments of connection, a place for people to privately share deep thoughts and questions with loved ones, different sets of questions to get to know different people in your life (grandparents, parents, significant others, friends), an open challenge to hold deeper conversations and place to record them, a place to track moments of connection and great conversations (with who, about what, where, how you felt).

How might we naturally encourage more interactions that lead to deeper connection with our loved ones? 

Inspired by The 36 Questions that Lead to Love and StoryCorps

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

- send a deep question to the last 10 people in my text inbox - every Monday pick a deep question to weave into at least 3 conversations that week - every night, keep a log of the 3 moments that day that I felt most connected

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

- When did you most feel connected to another person and why? A shared experience? Feeling vulnerable? Feeling safe? Learning something new? Having your personal beliefs challenged or evolved? Being a good listener? Being listened to? - What is keeping you from having deep conversations with your loved ones? Awkwardness? Apathy? Distraction?

Tell us about your work experience:

I build relationships professionally at IDEO in San Francisco and personally, through conversation, writing, photography, and travel.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


Join the conversation:

Photo of Garrett Lee

This is a powerful idea!  Have you thought about how you might generate prompts that inspire meaningful conversations and connections?  From your research so far, have you found any favorites? 

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