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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.


Vykarious: an Overview

The Human Connection

User Experience Map (video & still)

Preliminary Feedback

Potential Partnerships

Inside Scoop

A Brief Note




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 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. 





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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 


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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


just a little peek into the process

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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.


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

  • An Individual
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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."


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lisa

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.

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