Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Q&A with Kelsie Nabben


Tell us about yourself in one sentence.

I research the social outcomes of emerging technologies, especially decentralised infrastructures (eg. Blockchain).

Describe your presentation in less than 10 words.

The ethnography of a new form of participatory organising using software.

Without giving too much away, what is the most interesting finding from your talk?

Blockchain communities experimenting with “Decentralized Autonomous Organizations” are a rich field for ethnographic insights into the social dimensions of governance via technology.

How do you prepare to speak in public? What’s your process?

Don’t overly rely on notes, to ensure my brain is actively thinking about what I’m communicating, rather than passively trying to remember things.

What was your process for writing the proposal?

The proposal emerged organically as a creative expression and unction to communicate live findings on the insights coming out of live research with the EPIC community to learn, develop, and grow.

Are you the person who submits at the last stroke of midnight, or days/weeks before the deadline?

Right on time. I try to give it at least a few days to breathe to re-read what is written.

Is this your first EPIC conference? What are you looking forward to at EPIC2022?

Yes! Meeting people thriving in their field and learning

If you could recommend a book/article/podcast to our community, what would you recommend and why?

Mint & Burn podcast – an academic analysis of blockchain and other decentralised technologies. I help run it for the University.

About EPIC2022
EPIC2022 explores resilience, the ability to learn, adapt and evolve with adversity and changing conditions. Who should flex, resist, or adapt? What should be restored, abandoned, or reinvented? Resilience highlights the systemic, interconnected nature of disruption and survival—how organizations, products, services, communities, and our own work can be designed to learn, adapt and evolve.



Kelsie Nabben, RMIT University

Kelsie Nabben is a Researcher at RMIT University in Australia. She is presenting a paper at EPIC2022 titled “Ethnography as a Feedback Loop: Designing Complex, Automated Systems”.