Dhanabir Sharma

Empowering Communities: Future-Making through Citizen Ethnography

SUMANT BADAMI Habitus/Macquarie University, Department of Anthropology SOPHIE GOODMAN Sophie Goodman Research This paper proposes a way to harness the power and benefits of community-led future change through the process of “citizen ethnography”. Just as “citizen science” has become a potent method for non-scientists to collect and contribute to scientific knowledge and outcomes, citizen ethnography is where non-ethnographers are trained in the tools and techniques of ethnography to research social phenomena to understand, recommend and lead their own change initiatives. Citizen ethnography essentially flips the model of a single or small team of ethnographers and consultants working with a community, to one where groups of community members research their own challenges in order to identify their own needs, preferred futures and mechanisms for change. Importantly, this approach requires a significant ‘stepping away’ of the ethnographer as the research expert and move towards a role of skill-builder, coach and...

Hands Are People Too: Reflections on the Value of Hands (and How to Study Them)

MARIA CURY ReD Associates KAHYUN SOPHIE KIM Facebook Reality Labs PechaKucha Presentation—Did you know that hands have bodies, relationships, and minds of their own? In the coming years as a new wave of technologies focused on our hands is under development, and as AR/VR may include haptics as a key mode of interaction, we need to design for hands as we would for people – keeping the technology in the background to ensure hands can learn, collaborate, and shine. We conducted a study in 2020 about what gives hands unique value to people. The ambition was to understand hand-based skills across contexts and domains of practical expertise. We asked practitioners to record themselves using their hands, analyzed the video footage, and watched the recordings together with each practitioner. We asked practitioners to reflect on their hands and compare how their skills might apply to other contexts. Through this process, we uncovered that the hands have bodies, relationships, and minds of their own. These fundamental observations...

Searching for the Next Billion: Global Design for Information Seeking across Cultures

JENNIFER ZAMORA Google Inc. While billions of people are established internet users, there are still billions of new users who have just come online in recent years and this growth will continue, especially on mobile in non-Western countries. Information seeking is essential to online behavior across the world, yet many prominent information-seeking platforms are heavily influenced by Western design patterns and use cases that originate from desktop. As we anticipate the future of information-seeking designs for new users, we explore opportunities to improve the experience by establishing a framework to evaluate common barriers to information seeking online across cultures. Qualitative insights were collected from 164 participants to understand information-seeking patterns and barriers for users across three countries: Nigeria, Mexico, and India. Interviews were conducted with participants in their day-to-day environment, including home, work, internet cafes, markets, and university campuses. For every region, the overarching...

Scaling through Meaning to Action: What the Australian Bushfires Taught Me about Ethnography

CHARLIE COCHRANE Jump the Fence PechaKucha Presentation—This PechaKucha gives a personal perspective on the ethical dilemmas around the impact of an individual's actions, and the meaning of an ethnographer's projects in the context of the scale where these play out. The story begins with the spectacle of the 2020 Australian bushfires and reflects on their enormous scale. Within this context what is the meaning of individual actions to limit global warming? The story shifts to the work context and explores the dichotomy of human impacts vs. the marketing metrics that typically measure success. Using an example of a research project with an overtly purposeful aim we explore the tension between ethnography as a tool for understanding the problem and the question of whether the scaled result truly addresses the end-users’ problem. Returning to the bushfires, we again look at the scaled government response and the question of how successfully this met the needs of those impacted. We explore the...

One Small Step for Ethnography, One Giant Leap for Banking and Insurance

JENNIFER ROTH USAA SARA KLUCKHOHN USAA PechaKucha Presentation—In this presentation we argue that in many regulated industries such as banking, finance, and insurance, a post qualitative vs. quantitative world is not yet a reality. In such an environment, advanced analytics could be likened to being in its teenage years, while behavioral research is still in its infancy. Big data primarily drives our metrics, but in such a highly digitized and individualized culture, we know that ethnography is the missing piece of the puzzle. This means that as social scientists we must be the loudest (and sometimes lone) voice calling to leverage employees who are trained in these skill sets and incorporate these methods into our work. Slow and steady wins the race and our wins look different when compared with companies that already have been convinced of the value and don't have to do as much work to incorporate them into existing analysis. We have found that becoming EPIC members has been a turning point for our own...

Scaling is Like Making Sourdough: Finding Sourdough Starters to Help Your Research Scale

KARYN GEORGILIS Harvard Business School PechaKucha Presentation—Customer ethnography and user research continues to move higher up the priority list of Fortune 500 corporations. As a design researcher at a global consultancy, my clients often consist of new or aspiring consumer research groups eager to scale quickly. Excited at first, these groups or individuals are ready to dive in but get discouraged by the size and price tag of “big leap user research projects” then end up never pursuing ethnography at all. Watching this pattern unfold client after client, it started to remind of making sourdough. Because novice bakers start out trying to make sourdough from scratch, expecting heaps of picturesque loaf of bread right off the bat. But that's not how sourdough is made. The first step is finding a “starter”. Sourdough starters are small pieces of fermented dough that one can really only get from an experienced baker. You need to integrate it into your ingredients and to make the sourdough rise, scale, and bubble....

What Will 4 People Think / Chaar Log Kya Kahenge

SMRITI KAUL Convo Research & Strategy Pvt Ltd PechaKucha Presentation—This paper raises the implications of simplifying algorithms for scale and uplifting content that is damaging for human evolution. Technology is powerful because of its scale and also disempowering for the same reason. Scale is in the variables and online media, in the zest of empowering women, is deciding our fate. I get it when the housewife looks to YouTube to cook a meal. However, I also see the heartbreak when what should be freeing is actually being used to throttle progress. When a girl from a small sub-segment of global population like Rajasthan, while wanting to feel empowered realises that she's unable to measure up? Are we responsible for this? Are our “hashtags” and “likes” fuelling our continued repression? As an ethnographer, I study media consumption to overcome barriers to participation in the online world, and as a gender trainer, I also create and use media content to overcome barriers in the real world. I find myself continually...

Researching the Researcher: How I Used Data Analysis to Understand My Reading Habits

STEPHEN Ó MATHÚNA Workday PechaKucha Presentation—The digital world has given us unprecedented access to information about ourselves. As human beings we can quantify ourselves on the basis of how much we eat, how much we exercise, how many miles we've travelled, among dozens of other facets of our lives. As technology gives us access to more and more 1s and 0s, our ability to measure and codify ourselves grows exponentially. But these data can tell us stories, if we take the opportunity to stop and reflect on them. In this talk I examine one facet of my life – my reading habits – and put it under the microscope. I try to learn more about myself by examining seven years’ worth of raw data, collected across 200 books. Using the research findings I make recommendations to myself about my reading habits, addressing areas such as author diversity, genre variety, among others. In addition, I explore the power of books in evoking emotional memories. Books anchor us in place, in time, and in emotional contexts. I argue that...

How Tragic Flaws Resonate at Scale: Just Ask Shakespeare

MEGAN DAVIS Spendlove and Lamb PechaKucha Presentation—What do Hamlet, Daenerys Targaryen and Persona development have in common? As an actress I had an in-depth understanding of character development but struggled with creating insights from personas. I embarked on a quest to find out why. I interviewed one of the greatest authority's on Shakespeare, John Bell, AO, OBE FRSN about The Bard's greatest gift to storytelling, the invention of personality and characters. I share the realization that came next, how an individual character's tragic flaw can resonate at scale. Megan Davis is originally from Michigan and now living and creating in Melbourne, Australia. As the founder and lead storyteller at Spendlove and Lamb, she has been discovering stories since 2012, specializing in narrative based communication strategies, using human centred design practices to create meaningful visions of the future. Each bespoke framework uses stories to strategically move projects, organizations and governments into the new realities they...

Fighting Conspiracy Theories Online at Scale

REBEKAH PARK Gemic DAVID ZAX ReD Associates BETH GOLDBERG Jigsaw This 2019 project conducted in the US and the UK sought to understand which conspiracy theories are harmful and which are benign, with an eye towards finding ways to combat disinformation and extremism. This case study demonstrates how ethnographic methods led to insights on what “triggered” conspiracy belief, the social and emotional roles conspiracy theories played in believers’ lives, and how conspiracy belief was often a reflection of a person's general sense of societal alienation. We discovered that any extreme version of a conspiracy theory could be harmful. The findings of this project changed how the client—and by extension engineers behind major tech platforms—understood harmful conspiracy-related content, and led to a refinement of the algorithms defining the discoverability of this content. The aim of this project was to scale and amplify through algorithmic interventions the work of individual debunkers. Keywords: Conspiracy theories,...

Harnessing Empathy To Scale A Healthtech Startup During The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study Of myICUvoice, A Communication Tool Designed For Critical Care

NADYA POHRAN University of Cambridge & SympTech Ltd TIMOTHY BAKER SympTech Ltd SIMON PULMAN-JONES Emergence Now AMY WEATHERUP AJM Enterprises This case study explores the scaling experience of an early-stage healthtech startup company called myICUvoice. During the Covid-19 pandemic, myICUvoice rapidly scaled from a single intensive care environment to being widely used nationally (UK) as well as globally. We explore why and how so many volunteers were motivated to donate their time and expertise to help scale this early stage startup. Specifically, we examine the roles that empathy played throughout the scaling process. There are three distinct types of empathy that we have identified in our story: em-pathos, empathetic understanding, and mass-empathy. These each had a distinct role in driving the startup forward. Importantly, we note that human-centered design (which often focuses almost exclusively on achieving empathetic understanding) will immensely benefit from considering the multiple types, and multi-faceted...

Scaling Experience Measurement: Capturing and Quantifying User Experiences across the Real Estate Journey

REBECCA J HAZEN Zillow Group GENNY MANGUM Zillow Group TOM SOUHLAS Zillow Group Zillow is undergoing a major evolution, transitioning from serving as the world's largest digital marketplace for real estate advertising into an end-to-end platform to support customers across the phases of buying, selling, and renting homes. As Zillow expands into more transactional spaces, the company has recognized the need to develop a clear and actionable understanding of users and their experiences as they interact with our products and services. To address this need, we set out to establish an Experience Measurement program to provide organization-wide visibility into how well our Zillow experiences meet users’ needs and expectations as they progress through their real estate journey. This program will enable teams to gain insights at the intersection of attitudinal and behavioral experience data and lead us to our end goal of empowering informed decision-making across all levels of the experience and organization. In this paper, we...

Who Cares Where?: A Pivotal Ethnographic Study for Italian Hospital Homecare

ISABEL FARINA Experientia srl ELENA MESSINA Experientia srl MICHELE VISCIOLA Experientia srl ELENA GUIDORZI Experientia srl CHIARA AGAMENNONE Experientia srl DARIA CANTU’ Experientia srl The case study presented is an in-depth view on the project “Casa nel Parco” (translated as “the House in the Park”), a three-year, European-funded project (ERDF Funds 2014-2020) in the Italian region of Piedmont that involves 4 hospitals, 2 large companies, 14 small-medium enterprises, 2 universities, and 2 private research centers. The goal is to research and innovate hospital-homecare services for elderly and ALS patients, as well as their caregivers, through the implementation of e-health solutions. The uniqueness of our case study lays on the fact that our ethnographic work was pivotal in shifting the narrative of closed hospital ecosystems (Goffman 1961); where those outside of the hospital environment are not viewed as credible or essential sources for improving the care system. In this...

Scaling Dignity: An Antidote to Poverty?

LORENN RUSTER 3A Institute, Australian National University PechaKucha Presentation—A wise woman once shared with me that the opposite of poverty isn't wealth. It's dignity. In a world where scale is about optimising for something bigger, faster, easier, broader and more profitable, we risk decision-making that is at odds with preserving, enabling and enhancing human dignity. What if we changed our focus to instead work out how we scale human dignity? This PechaKucha draws on my career across consulting, social enterprise and academia in geographies from Sydney CBD to rural Uganda and highlights three moments where I experienced dignity that I believe can scale. Through the telling of stories it shows glimmers of how we can choose a definition of scale that preferences dignity. It can look like making space for a chicken gift, enshrining dignity in our organisational values and structures and building question-asking muscles. If we believe that the opposite of poverty is dignity, then scaling dignity is an antidote to poverty....

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Surveillance

SUSAN FAULKNER Intel Corporation PechaKucha Presentation—When a man rang our doorbell late at night and claimed that his teenage daughter was in our house, but she wasn't, my husband and I considered getting a doorbell cam. With camera surveillance and facial recognition becoming more commonplace, we wanted a privileged view of our surroundings, and a sense of control over what was happening on our doorstep. But, while we wanted the doorbell cam to see our late-night visitor if he ever came back, we knew it would also see us coming and going, and living our lives. We put the thought of a camera aside, but a few weeks later another uninvited guest knocked on our door. The coronavirus arrived in the US with a vengeance, and suddenly everybody we saw was a possible carrier of contagion. My husband and I, the people who had rejected a little doorbell cam as being too invasive of our privacy, started daydreaming about living in a country like Korea where our privacy and independence would be tested, but where our interdependence...