End of life planning survey

Natalia Shipilova parentsThis week we hook up with Hyper Island student, Natalia, to share her end of life planning survey

She wants to know if you’d put in time and effort to pass on your life story. Or do you expect Facebook to do that?

Natalia shares her thinking

“In the last 20 years the world has changed, transformed by the digital revolution and advances in medicine and technology. In 2014, the population reached 7.2 billion. Half live an urban life. By 2050 the population is estimated to reach 9.7 billion with 7 out of 10 opting for city living. 232 million people are on the move: more than ever before.

Urban growth and the funeral industry

“The funeral industry is undergoing dramatic change due to urban and economic shifts.

  • Burial ground is due to run out in the next 30 years.
  • Funeral costs are rising and with that, pre-payment services are on the up.
  • Alternatives practices for burial, cremation and disposal are emerging: Resomation, natural burial, multi-storeyed graveyards.
  • New markets have appeared: have your ashes ‘planted’ with a tree; turn ashes into a diamond, ring or fireworks; create fingerprint jewellery.
  • Digital media is gradually becoming part of the funeral experience. Obituaries printed in newspapers have online counterparts so that families and friends far away can read death notices and express condolences.
  • Videos and slideshows now appear in monitors at funerals.
  • Memorial web sites give the opportunity to pay tribute in photos, words and gestures.
  • Websites enable users to capture, store and pass on family history.

“In everyday life, many of us share our photos, comments and thoughts freely. What about our digital legacies? How will we be remembered? Do we want to be remembered? What will future generations learn about us from what we leave behind?

“The goal of this study is to understand the current value of digital technologies and see what part creative thinking, art and nature can play a part in funerals, tributes and memorialising. Will digital legacies become the norm? The practical, doable footprint for the next generation? Does thinking ahead and making plans improve our ability to take responsibility for life – right to the end? How do we want to be remembered in the 21st century?

Share your views!

Please take part in the survey. It will take about 3-5 min for 20 questions. You can skip any question you feel uncomfortable with. Thanks!


Natalia Shipilova and brother

Natalia is a student at Hyper Island in Manchester. She is studying MA Digital Media Management Program and currently developing the vision of how to be memorialized in the 21st century using digital technologies. Natalia grew up in different countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Poland and Russia and spent 12 years working in the Russian mass-media Holding in Moscow before moving to the UK to study.

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