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The Department of Imaginary Affairs is thrilled to bring on Mathura Mahendren as the Program Manager for The Stories of Us! She comes to us with a wealth of experience and knowledge and has already embraced the project by bringing new insights and thoughtful ideas to the table. You can read her bio on our team page, but we thought you might like to know a little bit more about her and why she came to work with the DIA.

Hi world! Bios are hard so I’m just going to tell you ten unrelated things about myself and hope I can get away with it.

  1. Both my undergrad (BHSc @ McMaster University) and postgrad (MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation @ OCAD University) programs were rooted in small group, problem-based learning. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
  2. If I could get away with wearing a onesie at all times, I would.
  3. My Masters thesis explores the intersection of love and design. In short, how might we design more intentional long-term relationships? In long, this is life’s work that I’m try to squeeze into a thesis (SEND HELP!)
  4. The people who inspire me the most are both soft and fierce. They prove through their existence that these two traits aren’t mutually exclusive.
  5. I love hiking and find it meditative. It tests my physical strength in ways that my mental and emotional strength are more often tested, and it’s grounding to be able to balance them out.
  6. Favourite quote about stories: “you will be lost and unlost. over and over again. relax love. you were meant to be this glorious. epic. story.” – nayyirah waheed
  7. It’s quite possible that I am 400 years old.
  8. I’m driven by a desire to deeply understand the human experience.
  9. My glasses fall off of my face at least once a day. I should really get that fixed. (see point 7)
  10. I wake up every morning pretty excited for breakfast. I have the same breakfast everyday (see point 7)

What are you most excited to help the DIA with?

I’m most excited to create and spread ripples of the world that we want through The Stories of Us platform. The Stories of Us is more than just about creating storybooks – it’s about creating opportunities for co-creation, encouraging creative expression, honouring the spectrum of emotions that our lived experiences invoke, and giving ourselves permission to imagine a world where we are all heard and seen as our most authentic selves. Besides, isn’t that what Imaginary Affairs are all about? Realizing the futures that we want to create by imagining them into existence?

How do you imagine Canada in 2050 to be?

Acknowledging that “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed”, here are ten visions of 2050 from yours truly:

  • People will start penning letters again.
  • Everyone will own no more than 10 pieces of clothing and clothing swaps will be all the rage. Fashion becomes less about the clothes that we own and more about the stories that they tell.
  • We as a world become more comfortable with uncertainty and express gratitude as a daily practice.
  • Riding the TTC will become a joyful experience.
  • We all become crazy plant people and our homes become urban jungles.
  • We are fluent in the art of dialogue and use it to translate our differences in fruitful ways.
  • We figure out how to grow avocados in Canada, triggering a massive decline in price.
  • All of our efforts to build human-like robots ends up teaching us more about our own humanity than we had thought possible.
  • After much back and forth, several apocalyptic files for divorce, and much collateral damage, we reconcile with Mother Nature and redefine our rules of engagement. i.e. Climate change doesn’t totally destroy us, but we have many amends to make.
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