At first glance, the verbs “To Use” and “To Utilize” seem to have the same meaning, however, you cannot deny that nagging feeling that there is a subtly loud difference in their respective connotations. Now in most cases, a user is one who is consistently dependent on external forces for their wellbeing; a scenario where agency is exchanged for survival. On the other side of this mindset, is the utilizer, someone who always strives to take the reins when defining their life’s roadmap.
A User Is Addicted.
A Utilizer Dictates.
A little appreciated trend within human civilization, shows that technology’s exponential nature tends towards highly accessible modularity over time, and at its limit, can be fully harnessed by the layperson. As an example, a number of larger mainframe computers pale in comparison to a single nanometric processor. In addition, gold bars turned to bank notes, and now a burgeoning landscape of digital currencies. From learning, locked away in imposing & restrictive institutions, to a vast accessible inter-network of free flowing information.
Technology is a force that enables evolution by drastically decentralizing autonomy; it is simply a phenomena that cannot be stopped.
If you ponder the implications that a confluence of these trends can have on a population, especially within its young, there exists so much that is NOT dystopian in nature like most of us have grown to assume.
At one point, Hartford, Connecticut was (and perhaps might still be) known as the city with the third best representation of the United States’s demographic population; the closest microcosm being its southern neighbour New Haven, Connecticut. It is safe to assume that a snapshot of our civic sector closely mirrors that around most parts of the US.
Now with a focus on our youth population, we witnessed the negative impact that the recent pandemic has had on their future prospects. At the onset, caring minds had the kind-natured idea to disperse laptops, all to plug them back into their classrooms. However, access was limited by the lack of a simple internet connection; worse, we somehow think that an archaic “one-size fits all” educational model made for the peak of the industrial era, is still relevant.
In this picture, our Youth, your children, are simply “users”…now there goes that nagging feeling again….
A little known, yet soon-to-launch, concept called Junity reimagines personalized exploration at scale through a medium that the younger population is well versed in and one that is already connected…all packaged in a potentially disruptive twist.
In this era of smart devices, moreso smartphones in their current form, and someday a wearable device, applications are the best way for most of us to access what we care about on the go. In this model, Junity provides youth with the access to, and awareness of, a wealth of local opportunities they can harness. These are provided by grossly underutilized local resources who are yearning to provide said valuable opportunities to them and gives counselor archetypes (not those solely within the current educational sphere) the ability to provide them with ongoing support.
This introduces a level of self education through continuing and iterative self exploration, based on a youth’s predefined yet moving interests, strongly bolstered by a “Harness To Earn” model. This gamified, or recognition driven format rather, will reward each youth with experience points in the form of cryptocurrency tokens; the Junity Coin.
The utilitarian possibilities within this token-driven mini-economy turns all we have known on its head, because they can be rewarded for a positive engagement with their environment in an immediate format that could create powerful economic value outside the Junity platform.
The current system bleakly promises “make an investment and personal sacrifice now and maybe you will be rewarded later”, the new trend in technology reinforces the intrinsic value of each youth’s time and through this iterative personalization-at-scale, greatly increases the likelihood of future success across various sectors.
Imagine we graduated with capital as opposed to debt, with surety instead of trepidation; think of the wonderful possibilities. This model invites the youth to become functional members of their local society and that at large, unencumbered by archaic forms, at a much earlier life stage.
In this picture, our youth create, they define, they are NOT users, they utilize, they harness, they explore and much more.
Learn more about Junity here.
Chizi Uwaga is a designer at heart and has strong experience in software service product design, strategy, and management. His background in mechanical design engineering provides him with a nuanced intuition where hardware and software technology products align.