Nomadic Welfare

In this exploratory field of inquiry, we are investigating future systems and services for welfare and wellbeing based on a nomadic perspective. We use norm creative multidisciplinary approaches to create knowledge on design and future transformations.

Many systems in societies are built on conditions that were prevailing during the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the systems were deliberately designed to change conditions to what was believed to be better, given the current understanding of that time. We may now see that differently. In many societies this means that healthcare systems, school systems, etc. assume that each person spend most of their time during a year in one place, and during a lifetime does not move from place to place more than a couple of times.

However, in a world where more than 50 million people are in constant move, and where 20th century ideas about society and citizens not necessarily apply, we should be able to imagine alternative futures.

Developing service design and design for policy

In this endeavour we imagine the welfare and service systems of a society where being nomadic is the norm. Where individuals, families, groups and collectives move around, across many kinds of borders. This is what we call nomadic welfare.

For a society this will require shifts in mindsets, ways of working, and current modes of governance. For example, the term displaced possibly comes into another light, the way in which policies discriminates between refugees of war and climate refugees, as well as requiring pluralist and multiplicity perspectives and action.

The nomadic as a norm, also raises challenges to design, e.g. on ideas of how designing works in or for systems, on fundamental shifts between services and rights, as well as on the role of design in policy development. The nomadic already is an integral part of welfare law, migration policy and development of social innovations and civil society engagement in transformative service developments. Yet, these are mostly added and adapted to what is currently there, rather than being a new, or alternative, fundament.

Our inquiry is directed towards new knowledge on designing, as well as the actual imagined alternatives.

From 2021 the research work has been put on hold.

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