The best global expertise on ethnography in business, including articles, case studies, webinars & conference video.

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The Power of Not Thinking

book cover, "The Power of Not Thinking"
a book review by GERALD LOMBARDI The Power of Not Thinking: How Our Bodies Learn and Why We Should Trust Them Simon Roberts 2020, 336 pp, Blink Publishing/Bonnier In The Power of Not Thinking: How Our Bodies Learn and Why We Should Trust Them, Simon Roberts aims to resuscitate the human body from the sepulchre of Western thought, where Descartes and his successors presumably buried it, and to correct popular misconceptions about how we generate knowledge. In the author's words: "Our intelligence does not just arise from our brains... nor can it be programmed as a set of rules or propositions that enables us to think in particular ways or perform particular actions. Instead, our understanding of the world arises from our bodies’ interactions with and perceptions of the world – and it is through these interactions that our bodies acquire knowledge." (p. 6) This proposition will be taken for granted by some readers of this review, and by anyone who follows its intellectual touchpoints: embodied cognition, situated learning,...

EPIC2020 Video and Proceedings Now Available on Demand!

EPIC2020 was a truly a global ethnographic jamboree: on the 15th anniversary of our conference, EPIC people gathered across 37 countries and 6 continents. Our conference theme was Scale: How can we engage, work across, and reframe scale in a world where “bigger, faster, easier, broader” is the prevailing framework? In these times of critical, planet-wide climate, technological, economic, political and social change, SCALE invites us to confront the scope, contexts, and impacts of ethnographic work in creating value in organizations, and sustaining our global futures. Now you can watch EPIC2020 presentations on demand, and read the full-length papers published…


"abstract wallpaper" by Paul Cross
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH: Beyond the Toolbox: What Ethnographic Thinking Can Offer 作者: JAY HASBROUCK (Hasbrouck Research Group) 译者: YULIN WANG and KAIXIN LI 写于从西雅图飞往法兰克福的汉莎航空490航班上 飞机上的晚餐时间刚过,每个乘客都开始安顿下来,为长途飞行做各自的准备。笔记本电脑、眼罩、充电线、耳机、耳塞、拖鞋、护手霜……大家都显得很忙。我身边的女乘客服了一粒助眠药,盖好了身上的毯子。我也开始查看机上娱乐频道,排上自己想看的电影。当我翻阅纪录片时,我意外地发现了一个名为“ 30分钟设计思维”的教育专题。是的,30分钟! 这个短片是对大众开放的专题片。我越想越觉得它具有一种指标性的意义。表面看来,这标志着大众对设计思维有兴趣,以至于这个30分钟的短片已经被收录到机上精选的娱乐播放列表中。但是,它是否也表明了我们可以将许多人为之贡献了整个职业生涯的实践提炼为容易理解消化的信息短片?它是否印证着“任何人都可以做到”的观点? 当然,你可能会说‘设计思维’在商业世里已经是一个陈词滥调...

Why does Nuance Matter when Translating and Transcribing Multilingual Content?

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by JILL KUSHNER BISHOP, Multilingual Connections Languages are alive—vibrant and eloquent expressions of who we are. During my doctoral fieldwork I looked at how people used language to enact and express their identity, how connections and community were created through speech and how forms of talk, particular phrases or words, could transport people across time and space. Words matter. So when contemplating translation, how can you ensure a focus on each word while not losing sight of the broader cultural considerations? When research brings you to multilingual communities—whether globally or in your own backyard—it’s essential to consider the linguistic and cultural practices of your target audience. Assuming you’re doing work in their language of choice, you’ll likely have content that needs to be translated or audio that needs to be transcribed to analyze the data you’ve collected. In either case, nuance matters. Choices of words, phrases or metaphors—yours or theirs—signify by conveying meaning about ideas,...

Personal Reflections on Scale from the Business World

photo of building with sky and jet stream in the background
by ADAM SINGER, Gemic Hi everyone, my name is Adam Singer. I’m a Strategist at Gemic and I’m new to the world of ethnography. Gemic is a strategy consulting firm founded by anthropologists that embeds anthropological and social science theory and methods into the core of its work. It uses these tools among others to identify growth opportunities and assess the future of culture, technology, and business for its clients. In contrast, I have little formal training or background experience in anthropology or ethnography. I come from a background in nonprofits and business (real estate development, commodity trading, traditional management consulting). Entering such an exciting field that is so different from my past experience has been quite the learning journey. In discussing the meaning of scale as the theme of this EPIC conference, I think it can be thought-provoking to compare and contrast how scale is considered and manifests between the world of business and the world of ethnography. Hopefully my perspective as someone...