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Living Legacies

A platform where people can detail the legacy they would like to leave and others can assist in carrying them out after death.

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

So much of life is about completing our purpose before we die and (often) leaving a living breathing legacy. But life is never so predictable and while death means the absolute end, in today’s society it doesn’t have to be. Living Legacy creates community in the hardest times by creating a positive and intimate way to grieve loss. Our platform is a snapshot of the person intended legacy and an ask to have a final task to be completed by by their family, friends or strangers after their death.

The Living Legacy is a storytelling platform that helps people young and old fulfill their lifelong legacy. It begins with a communal activity, a way for those interested in this collaborative idea to come together through a shared experience. They discuss the legacy and, whether together or on their own, the individual uploads his/her individual legacy onto the platform. Legacies can take many forms: an event, a movement, or even a small action.

At this point, he/she assigns an ambassador who is in charge of reporting the death and generally keeping an eye on the legacy. Then

Once the time has come for an individual, the ambassador reports the death and the legacy is made public for anyone to fulfill. During the process, the platform will help families connect with potential candidates and help provide a way to get involved. The legacy can be fulfilled by a family member, friend, or even stranger.

The participation of the family can play a vital role in seeing the legacy through to the end and in some cases even help with providing closure. In the end, we want to help bring people together, those with similar ideas and passions in order create legacies that will not only last for one lifetime but in some cases many more.

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

Our first step is research to better understand our user and test some hypotheses we have around end of life legacies. We would like to speak with people from different age groups to ask what legacy means to them. We want to discover what would be most meaningful to them and to have an in-depth discussion about how they might hope to see it carried out. We then need to speak with altruistic-minded folks in the community to find out how they might help people fulfill their legacies.

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

Everyone is going to die. We would like to poll the community and get feedback on how to streamline the idea of leaving our legacies in other people's hands. What would this method say to future generations? We would also hope to hear if there are any other avenues for participation in our proposed idea that could have overlooked.

Tell us about your work experience:

Our team has members who work in design, entrepreneurship, marketing, writing and publishing, and education. Each person has a background in different types of design, be it UX with digital products, service design, graphic design or design education which gives us a broad perspective.

This idea emerged from

  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter


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