Experiential Futures & Community Resilience on Earth & Beyond

Filmed on December 12, 2019 in San Francisco

Ksenia Benifand, M.Des. at our "Community Talks & Holiday Party" series.

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Ksenia Benifand
Futurist and Design Strategist

Experiential Futures & Community Resilience on Earth & Beyond

As humanity undergoes a profound societal renewal, we are also on the verge of becoming interplanetary species. This period of massive transition offers an opening, a liminal space, to explore the values and mental models that we are collectively designing our future upon. Based on my personal experience as a community organizer, an experience designer, and an analog astronaut, I will share how humans can re-imagine and manifest new stories about how we choose to live on Earth and explore new worlds beyond.

Ksenia is a social researcher, futurist, and systems designer. Over the last decade, she has been working with multinationals, governments, start-ups, and non-profits connecting strategic foresight work with on-the-ground social impact & behavior change. Her research and work spans across many areas including sustainable development; mental health; community-based healthcare; Circular Economy transition; and community resilience for climate adaptation.

Ksenia has spent her life and professional career navigating liminality - the space between what was and what could be. This has deepened her understating & embodiment of ontological design & the complex interconnections between individuals and their contexts, cultures, and relationships. As a futurist, this has also inspired her curiosity to investigate these dynamics through an embodied speculative futures lens. This inquiry has recently led her to participate in analog astronaut Mars Simulation missions, where diverse multidisciplinary teams are subject to living in isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environments. Space is the ultimate unknown, and our attempt to study human behaviors in analog conditions can teach us about our human needs, limitations, and capabilities to adapt to new environments.