Speaker Jorge Camacho

Biography

Jorge Camacho is a strategic designer, foresight consultant, researcher and lecturer. He is a co-founder of Diagonal: a research, design, and futures studio based in Mexico City. He is also a Research Affiliate at Institute for the Future and a founding member of Plurality University Network (U+).

Jorge studied an MA Cybernetic Culture and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at the University of East London. As a researcher and lecturer, he’s interested in design practices that aim to drive social change such as design futures, systemic design, and transition design. He currently teaches systems and futures thinking at the MA Design Studies and the Design of Tomorrow program at CENTRO and the MA Strategic Design and Innovation at IBERO Ciudad de México. He’s lectured at Academia Mexicana de Creatividad, EGADE Business School, and h2i institute (Madrid).

He has worked as creative director, strategist, and director of innovation at various companies including Flock (currently Isobar Mexico), Google and Uncommon. He has led projects in product and service design, as well as strategic foresight, for international companies such as Coca-Cola, Nissan, Ab InBev, Visa, Gentera, as well as public organizations such as Mexico City’s Laboratorio para la Ciudad.

Talk

Acá nos tocará vivir: Insights from an ethnographic futures project in Mexico City

In Mexico, as in other emerging countries, looking inward to discover our identity almost inevitably coincides with looking into the past. It is only there — whether in the distant past of our pre-Hispanic history, in traditional stories or in the ‘golden age’ of nationalist modernity — that we find the clues to our identity. The reverse movement seems almost equally inevitable: to imagine the future we have to look outward, to other places. It is there where we find an inexhaustible source of images of the future: modes of development, dazzling technologies, and global utopias. However, the combination of both movements has always left a gap that we have not been able to fill: How would other futures look like if they are imagined from within?

In this talk, I will present the results and main insights — both philosophical and methodological — of Acá Nos Tocará Vivir, a project developed by Diagonal (a research, design and futures studio based in Mexico) in collaboration with a group of families from barrios populares of Mexico City. Using ethnographic field research, co-design processes and diegetic prototypes, the project attempts to generate alternative images of everyday life in Mexico City roughly three decades into the future.

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