IDEO CoLab Designathon

Design Brief: Create the next digital wallet for your digital assets.

The team, made up of a Product Design Engineer undergraduate, Nicolette, from Stanford University, Natalia, a first-year Ross MBA student, Manny, a recent MBA graduate from Wharton, and myself, explored the obvious 'digital assets' (photos, music, passwords, etc), but ultimately decided to move forward with the idea of 'contracts as digital assets'.
During the brainstorming phase, we identified secondary assets: stakeholder's emails and text messages. Example: When signing an apartment lease contract, a prospective renter (stakeholder 1) might ask the agent / landlord (stakeholder 2) questions via text message about whether or not pets are allowed, how repairs (without specifying the nature / type of repair required) will be handled, etc. The agent / landlord assures the prospective renter that animals are indeed allowed, or that the landlord will take care of repair expenses.
Such exchanges are, at the time, deemed inconsequential and the fact that it is not explicitly stated in a contract can be easily overlooked. Months later, the agent / landlord learns that the renter has been living at the apartment with a dog and cat. the agent / landlord is unhappy about this and demands $300 / month + back-payment of previous months that the renter kept animals at the apartment. The renter is also frustrated and upset because he thought that they had agreed that animals were allowed.
By collating these nonverbal exchanges between relevant stakeholders and official contracts into the digital wallet, the renter is now empowered to stand up to the demands of the agent / landlord and both parties are better equipped to open a dialog towards amicable resolution.

The Process

After some amazing house-made granola from Bi-rite, networking with fellow makeathon participants, and a giant tournament of rock-paper-scissors, the team worked through the IDEO Design Thinking methodology to understand end-user context and identify 'how might we' create impact.

The prototype:

Adding a contract:

Next Steps...

We explored ideas of how AI and the Blockchain could be incorporated into the management of one's contracts. I also really liked the teams idea to use natural language processing to develop a sort of internationalization of each contract in order to provide non-native english speakers, for example, an opportunity to read and truly understand their contracts. Based on an IDEO Guide's comments, I would like to further explore how the idea of these contracts could be enacted and enforced through the implementation of smart contracts.