Intelligences

EPIC2019 Ethnographic Film

The film session at EPIC explores the ways ethnographic practitioners have used moving images to interpret data, share insights, and tell the stories of their work. Filmmakers showcase these forays in visual storytelling by screening examples and discussing the limits and possibilities of the form. Films were selected through anonymous review. Program Introduction, Charley Scull Food for Thought: The Path to Food Security in Newark, RUCHIKA MUCHHALA, Third Kulture Media The Learning Library: Using Ethnographic Film as an Organizational Change Tool by Scaling Human Insights across a National Preschool System, HAL PHILLIPS & MEG KINNEY, Bad Babysitter Clyde in Mulberry, ALLEGRA OXBOROUGH, Aero Creative Agency in the Smart Home of the Future, NICK AGAFONOFF, Real Ethnography Introduction CHARLEY SCULL, Committee Chair and Film Session Curator Considering the theme of agency through the lens of film offers many avenues for exploration, in terms of both the stories that film can feature and the power...

Tutorial: Making Sense—Leading Teams Through Synthesis

KSENIA PACHIKOV Field & StudioMARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPAN IDEO Overview The synthesis phase presents a unique challenge to collaboration. Synthesis requires teams to make creative leaps, and to have a trusted, systematic approach with which to do so. This tutorial will equip practitioners to create favorable conditions for creative thinking and team alignment. It draws on theories of creativity and the psychology of memory and transition in order to practically address the intellectual and emotional challenges of synthesis. We’ll address the logic by which new insights and ideas emerge in synthesis through a grounding in abductive reasoning, found in fields such as anthropology, literature, engineering, and AI. We’ll also explore how to maintain a sense of progress by marking peaks, lows, and transitions throughout the experience. This two-fold approach to synthesis will allow participants to reflect on past experiences and practice future interactions intended to guide teams through the intellectual and emotional tensions...

Tutorial: Information Design for Ethnographic Analysis

SHEILA PONTIS, Sense Information Design & Princeton University Overview Ethnographic analysis is the examination of raw data with an interpretative lens to identify themes, connections and patterns. How can you make this process more accessible to support data socialization and encourage collaboration from all members of an organization or team? In this tutorial you will learn and practice information design principles and visual frameworks to support research data analysis, translate findings into tangible forms and share learnings with more clarity. This hands-on tutorial will help ethnographic and design researchers analyze and synthesize field research data in a structured and visual way. Tutorial participants will create visuals that keep the power of the text, its meanings and emotions, without oversimplifying or misrepresenting the data. The tutorial will cover: Information design principles for supporting ethnographic research Six ways of seeing and showing for analyzing data and visualizing insights...

Tutorial: Cultivating Research Capacity as Organizational Strategy

MEENA KOTHANDARAMAN & ZARLA LUDIN twig + fish Overview It’s not enough to hire a great researcher: organizations need the capacity to develop and learn from strategic, credible research. Participants in this tutorial will learn and practice a tool for cultivating that capacity that can be used with stakeholders, teams, or clients. A central challenge for organizations is the inchoate nature of addressing “unknowns.” Too often, they misalign questions with objectives, confuse organizational agendas with research questions, lead with method, use inappropriate metrics of success, over-simplify complex human dynamics, and set unrealistic expectations for data. The NCredible Framework meets the challenge by approaching the research process as an organizational strategy. It is a simple but flexible process for aligning stakeholders around well-defined questions, defining research scope, designing credible studies, and learning from findings. Participants in this tutorial will learn to: identify assumptions,...

Tutorial: Ethics in Data-Driven Industries

EMANUEL MOSS CUNY/Data & Society FRIEDERIKE SCHÜÜR Cityblock Health Overview Technology companies have discovered ethics in the wake of public pressure to consider the consequences of their products. This has been prompted by the finding that machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) systems, as fundamentally pattern-seeking technologies, can and do exacerbate long-term structural inequalities. Companies and employees also struggle with the challenges posed by the dual-use nature of technology. This tutorial will prepare you to understand and contribute to the more ethical development and deployment of ML/AI systems. It covers: An overview of ethical challenges in ML/AI today An introduction to the development of ML/AI systems, designed to give you insight into the reasoning processes and workflows of technical colleagues and how they generally address issues like accuracy and fairness (no quantitative background required!) A overview of current efforts to design more ethical ML/AI systems,...

Tutorial: Participatory Visual Research—Getting the Most from Collaborative Methods

KRISTA HARPER University of Massachusetts Amherst Overview Participatory visual research methods like Photovoice open up opportunities for collaborative sense-making and advocacy. In these methodologies, data and knowledge are produced not only as an end product, but also in process. As participant-researchers contribute to research design, ethical discussions, data collection, analysis, and presentation of results, they communicate users’ values and concerns that can inform better organizational practices and improve products and services. In the first part of this workshop, you will learn about participatory visual research methods, from their foundations as methodology developed in the global South to promote the public’s “right to research” (Appadurai) to their application in a variety of organizational settings and design projects. In the second segment, you will take part in a hands-on Photovoice workshop exercise designed to open up questions of visual representation, ethics, and participation. In the final...

Tutorial: Sketchnoting, A Practical Toolkit to Improve Your “Scribing” Skills

NORA MORALES UAM University Overview “Sketchnoting” is the ability to make fast and useful visual notes. It has become a recognized contemporary visual practice in different disciplines. Visual note taking can be a powerful skill for anyone in any role where one needs to absorb and share information. In this tutorial you will exercise your “scriber” muscles and understand how the simple act of sketching and even “doodling” can help you think and even stimulate your thoughts in a new, unanticipated directions. It can improve your ability to remember information packed into your notes and to communicate ideas to team members with clarity and precision. We will review what science has to say about the act of note taking as a way to listen and focus your attention, achieving connection and training your brain to understand visual grammar by weaving words and pictures into your own visual processing powers. During the session you will practice capturing content from lectures or articles as visual notes in real...

Digital Selves and Distributed Agency: Redefining the Subject of Ethnography

GUNES GOCABAG Independent Consultant PechaKucha Presentation Digital identities are key to almost all aspects of life today. What happens when digital identities grow beyond just being partial, one-dimensional representations of us, but become fully autonomous digital selves who can act on our behalf. Who or what will be the target for businesses trying to capture new customers, and what does that mean for our work as business anthropologists? Through practical examples, I take the audience through a thinking exercise and argue that future ethnographic practice needs to get beyond defending its own domain, open up and seek collaboration with many more disciplines that can complement our work as ethnographers. Gunes Kocabag is a researcher and strategic designer. She has worked with multi-disciplinary teams in projects across industries, and led research expeditions in Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia, to develop new services, user experiences and business models that provide sustainable value for business...

Borders and Walls: What is the Agency of Architects in Geopolitical Conflicts?

ANE GONZALEZ LARA Pratt Institute PechaKucha Presentation Boundaries and borders have generated lots of attention in the political realm of our country over the last years. The proposed Wall between the United States and Mexico has created different perspectives from architects and builders across the country. Following this debate, a question arises: What is the agency of architecture and architects in this issue? This presentation focuses on a Borders Studio taught at the University of New Mexico School of Architecture, a borderland school that draws students from both sides of the border. The studio was created after seeing how polarized and diverse the opinions about the proposed wall were among architects and builders and in order to stimulate the critical thinking abilities of the students. The studio involved a series of projects that tackled different scales. Each student found their own voice on the conflict during the semester and the studio created a platform for them to bring issues like immigration, labor...

“Resistance is Possible”: The Ethnography of Roleplaying

NATHAN LEBLANC Scoop PechaKucha Presentation Roleplaying games, such as the popular Dungeons & Dragons, ask players to take on roles of particular people and contexts. As a researcher, my experience conducting playtesting and ethnographic work for a roleplaying game on the Holocaust called “Rosenstrasse” profoundly affected me. In this PechaKucha, I ponder how roleplaying games might inspire the communication of ethnographic insight. As a medium in which storytelling isn't linear or prescribed, how can roleplaying games effectively transfer cultural understanding? Just as a Games Master and game design facilitate this knowledge transfer, perhaps ethnographers can use techniques similar to roleplaying to increase change-making by enabling greater agency in stakeholders and teammates. Nathan LeBlanc is a design researcher currently working at Scoop. He holds a BA in Anthropology and Linguistics from Grinnell College and a Masters of HCI from Carnegie Mellon University. 2019 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic...

Creative Photography through Ethnographic Research

GABRIELA OLIVEIRA INSITUM PechaKucha Presentation This is a short story of when my sides of researcher and photographer met during a trip to the rural countryside of Brazil, where I went to research about internet connectivity, but ended up learning more about human relations. Photography creates connection between people, much like ethnography, and they interlace in a deeper level than just registering of fieldwork. Visual registration of research can be as valuable as the content gathered from the conversation, and photography can enable both analysis and creativity in a researcher, by prompting him or her to train an observing eye to both content and surroundings. Thinking of photography as a tool as valuable as interviewing activates new ways for researchers to use their humanity to face ethnographic research. Gabriela Oliveira is a Brazilian research strategist based in São Paulo. gabriela.a.deoliveira@gmail.com 22019 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic...

Nangi Village: A Story of Collective Agency in the Mountains of Nepal

EMELIA RALLAPALLI Pebble Strategy PechaKucha Presentation What can a remote Himalayan community teach us about innovation? Emelia's Silicon-Valley-first-world frame of reference is the dominant lens of her work. It's the place where we buy into technology's promise to help solve the world's problems. But it's also ground zero for a dystopian future where humans are automated out of relevance. In this PechaKucha Emelia will explore the ways Nangi Village, with the help and leadership of one member in particular, is using technology and innovation to increase its collective power for its own goals of educating its young, connecting to the world, and driving its own economic development. This talk will also be a personal meditation on Nangi's impact on her own perspectives regarding human agency, problem solving, and innovation. Emelia Rallapalli Emelia is a brand strategist, researcher, and founder of Pebble Strategy. She consults for some of the world's most influential brands. emelia@pebblestrategy.com Twitter: @ERallapalli Medium:...

Data Walks into a Bar: A Love Story

TABITHA STEAGER Workday PechaKucha Presentation As a qualitative researcher, I was always a bit afraid – if not disdainful – of quantitative data. This pecha kucha tells the uneasy love story of how and why I fell in love with quantitative data. Transitioning from life as an ethnographer who avoided quantitative work at any cost, I found myself working as an applied researcher using a method that relied heavily on large amounts of quantitative data. I had to learn how to tell a story using a data format with which I was relatively unfamiliar. I was also doubtful about quantitative data and that it was often privileged over qualitative work and angry at the power it sometimes held over people's lives. However, as I began to get closer to it, I realized that I was ascribing quantitative data an agency of its own, an agency it definitely doesn't have. I moved through my doubt and ultimately came to fall deeply in love with the sweet spot that exists when we can marry qualitative and quantitative data to give voice to those...

Breaking the Language Barrier: India, The Digital Revolution and Human Agency

SHUBHANGI ATHALYE Convo Research & Strategy Pvt. Ltd STUART HENSHALL Convo Research & Strategy Pvt. Ltd PechaKucha Presentation India is pioneering the future of low and illiterate populations and as a result changing the course of AI, human agency and how we empower the next connected billion+. In a country with such a complex linguistic and demographic landscape the challenges are mammoth. However, with the sudden cheap and easy access to the internet, mobile technology is proving to be the vehicle for human agency. It is proving to be the catalyst and throwing up new tools especially for those poorly equipped to adopt. As an ethnographer I’m always struck with how the user behaves, adapts and changes to magical new tools. We go from a sense of wonder to a new form of tech literacy that will quickly surpass what they were ever able to do before. The questions posed are: How can technology reframe intention for lower literate populations? What new tools can be made available for the vernacular language users...

Adapting to the Lack of Agency: Research in Prisons

RUBEN PEREZ HUIDOBRO Shopify   PechaKucha Presentation How can a researcher adapt to the lack of agency in secure environments? HM Inspectorate of Prisons in the UK published in 2012 a thematic report about the use of the “person escort record” (PER) with detainees at risk of self-harm, highlighting the high number of deaths in custody. The PER was used during the transport of people under custody, and informed about their security and safety issues. As a result of this report, my team had the mandate to improve how security and safety risks were communicated. I needed to identify the needs and pain points of the people working on prison and court services, and I did so throughout multiple contextual research sessions. Due to the lack of agency in secured environments, I had the constant need to adapt and identify opportunities to bring to the team the information they needed. Ruben Perez Huidobro is a Senior User Experience Researcher at Shopify. He has over a decade of experience in the UX field. He has...