Intelligences

Surveillance, Technology, and American Conceptions of Freedom

MIKE GRIFFIN Amazon This paper traces the role of ideology in shaping the beliefs and situated knowledge used by information technology and security managers to make sense of and justify systems of surveillance they oversee. In particular, the analysis explores the role of the contested meanings of the ideology of ‘freedom’ as an important resource in this process of meaning construction, providing a ground-level account of the process of interpellation, described by Louis Althusser as the subjectification of individuals by ideology made available from dominant discourse....

Ethnographic Tools: From Insight to Intervention

WAFA SAID MOSLEH SDU Design, Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark As a social researcher rooted in the traditions of participatory innovation, I set out to take a design anthropological approach to study the early unfocused phases of organisational innovation processes, and explore ways of both challenging and supporting these. With an interest in understanding how the tangibility of design coupled with the analytical nature of anthropology can provoke richer insights concerning organisational practices, my research team and I designed an artefact, called ‘the tangible brief’, aiming to elicit real stories about the challenges practitioners experience in dealing with innovation. The artefact resembles the content of a design brief and aims to bring together practitioners around the task of creating briefs prior to evaluating the potential of new ideas.The paper sets out to address the challenge of ethnographic researchers navigating a complex landscape of organisational...

The Mixed-Up Files of a 21st Century Librarian: Changing Demographics, Conceptions of Democracy, and The Public Library

ALANNAH BERSON University of Chicago With the rise of the internet, the role of the public library as a distributor of education, skills, and cultural capital has come under question while continuing to grow increasingly vital. This paper examines how libraries are dealing with changing technology while negotiating their relationship with their diverse patron populations., Using the concept of chronotope, a specific space and time that gives rise to a particular understanding of a person's character or an idea, this paper explores conceptions of patrons through systematic assumptions about patrons’ background and needs. Through the library's continued inclusion of technology in its services, it seeks to reach out to more patrons and support existing ones. This paper makes clear the connections between the current state of the library, its diverse audience of patrons, and the need for new ways of measuring library usage to generate a more nuanced understanding of patrons....

Tutorial: Ethnographic Research Design

SAM LADNER Amazon Ethnography is closely associated with the core qualitative methods of interviewing and observation. But ethnographers in business often work with a broad range of other methods, from video and diary studies to surveys and sensors. This tutorial examines the relationship between research and design, producing data and producing things. It considers the research process as a design process and a wide range of methods across the research and design spectrum. Participants engaged in active exercises to examine creativity, complexity, compromise and choice in research design, and consider the role of stakeholder thinking. Finally, the tutorial encouraged researchers to conceptualize their work as a long-term endeavor beyond the boundaries of a discrete project, with tips for organizing data and files as well as creating quality criteria. Participants were asked to prepare for this workshop by exploring and perhaps journaling about past projects that did not provide clients with their desired outcomes. They considered...

Keynote Address: Consumer Culture and Political Resistance—How Gay Entrepreneurs Sparked A Movement

DAVID JOHNSON David Johnson is a historian at the University of South Florida and an award-winning author whose research focuses on the crucial role that notions of gender and sexuality have played in American politics and consumer culture in the late 20th century. His first book, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, which has been made into a critically acclaimed documentary, explores Cold War hysteria over national security and the introduction of “family values” into American politics. He is also co-editor of The United States since 1945, an anthology of key speeches, articles, and government documents from modern American politics and culture. David’s new book project brings together the fields of the history of sexuality and business history, chronicling the rise of a gay commercial network in the 1950s and 1960s. Contesting the notion that a gay market developed only recently in the wake of gay activism, Johnson challenges conventional understandings...

Keynote Address: Culinary Habits and Feral Cakes

DANA SHERWOOD Dana Sherwood is a New York–based artist whose work lies on the border of the domestic and the wild. Exposing the fact that nature exists everywhere, and highlighting multispecies interaction while forging new pathways of communication, Sherwood’s work underscores the blurring of boundaries between human and animal and the spaces we collectively inhabit. With Lévi-Strauss as a muse, Sherwood’s interest in domestication and the design of nature through human interference and consumption is brought to the fore. The theme of “the manipulation of nature” is intrinsic to her work and food is a central metaphor as she examines and tames through elaborate creations of flour, sugar and eggs—sculptural displays modeled on 19th century though 1960s traditions, from Vanitas painting to Betty Crocker. The complexity of interpretation lies in the use of non-traditional materials and unconventional methodologies, which usually involve baroque confectionery and interventions by animals. Learn more about...

Keynote Address: Pedestrian Perspectives

MELISSA CEFKIN Nissan Research An anthropologist with a long career at the intersection of social research and business and technology, Melissa Cefkin began working on autonomous vehicles in 2015, fulfilling a life-long love of transportation matters. (Her preferred activity in a new place? Public bus rides.) She works at Nissan Research, where she is a Principal Scientist and Senior Manager. Her work has focused on people’s lives and experiences with automated technology of all kinds, especially those related to mobility, collaboration, work, and lives in organizations. A long-time observer and participant in the growth of anthropological research in and with business, Melissa is the author of numerous publications including the edited volume Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter. She has served as president and conference co-chair for EPIC and recently on the US National Academies of Science committee on Information Technology, Automation and the Workforce. A frequent public and academic speaker, the work she...

Keynote Address: Racist by Design—Why We Need a New Economic System for the 21st Century

CAROLYN ROUSE Princeton University Carolyn Rouse is a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology and the Director of the Program in African Studies at Princeton University. Her work explores the use of evidence to make particular claims about race and social inequality. She is the author of Engaged Surrender: African American Women and Islam, Uncertain Suffering: Racial Healthcare Disparities and Sickle Cell Disease and Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment. Her manuscript Development Hubris: Adventures Trying to Save the World examines discourses of charity and development and is tied to her own project building a high school in a fishing village in Ghana. In the summer of 2016 she began studying declining white life expectancies in rural California as a follow-up to her research on racial health disparities. Carolyn is also a filmmaker: she has produced, directed, and/or edited a number of documentaries including Chicks in White Satin (1994), Purification to Prozac: Treating Mental...

Consumer Finance in a Mobile Age: Methods for Researching Changing User Behaviour

ERIN B. TAYLOR Canela Consulting and Holland FinTech Consumer finance markets are being transformed by the increasing mobility of people, products, technology, and information. This presents challenges for understanding changing consumer behaviour and building adaptable business models. Researchers are rising to meet these challenges by adapting their frameworks and methods to take account of mobility's effects. I present three cases of method adaptation to consumer finance research (financial diaries, object-centred interviews, social network analysis) and discuss their contributions. The complexity and personalisation of consumer finance requires us to not only be more creative with how we approach research, but also more robust in questioning our assumptions, framing appropriate questions, and designing research that draws frameworks and methods from multiple disciplines....

Situated: Reconsidering Context in the Creation and Interpretation of Design Fictions

MARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPAN IDEO Design fiction and ethnographic methods strengthen each other by creating a creative but rigorous scaffolding for interrogating expectations and reactions to the future. Design fiction can influence the activities, people, and places in which ethnography is done, and ethnography can create design fictions. Viewers and creators populate design fictions with their own past, present, and hoped for future. The intersection of these methods push ethnography beyond the edges of its thoughtful consideration of the present moment, in order to begin investigating the future....

Tutorial: Human Sciences and Value Creation—Building Transformative Value Propositions

JOHANNES SUIKKANEN Gemic Overview Where do I find new sources of value in a heavily competed industry? How can I build more compelling value propositions with transformative potential? Integration of the human sciences into corporate business development practices enables discovery of new sources of value. Unlike traditional business practices, the human sciences situate emergence of meaningful value in a wider societal context by fostering deeper inquiry into history, human patterns and social systems that frame consumption. In this tutorial, participants will gain proficiency in exploring and identifying new business opportunities and delivering meaningful value propositions through studying the social, cultural and habitual aspects of human life. This tutorial demonstrates the merits of centering various aspects of humanities and social science at the core of corporate innovation and renewal efforts. The tutorial consists of a lecture and an interactive session in which participants will learn through case studies...

Tutorial: Analysis in Human-Centered Design

CAREY PALMER Northern Trust JOELLEN KAMES Northern Trust Overview This tutorial will give you a framework for understanding the important role of analysis in human-centered design and teach 4 key methods for practicing analysis. The framework proposes a model for selecting and utilizing specific methods that are either top-down or bottom-up, and are practiced in groups or by individuals—but it also stresses importance of creativity, as no linear process will always guarantee meaningful insights. The framework is also a mechanism to help stakeholders understand the outputs from analysis, and enable them to evaluate findings as part of the big picture, rather than just ingesting “the answer.” The ambiguity that accompanies analysis and synthesis can be concerning to extended team members and stakeholders. Engaged stakeholders often want early insights from the field, even hours after an interview concludes. The framework offered in this tutorial will: 1) help stakeholders understand the iterative nature of...

Tutorial: Fundamentals of Observational Research

MIKE YOUNGBLOOD Youngblood Group Overview This tutorial offers a solid foundation in the art of observation as a field research method for human-centered design and innovation. An expanded, hands-on version of Mike Youngblood's popular EPIC Talk on observational research, it will be valuable for those who are new to this method as well as more seasoned observers seeking an effective toolkit they can use to train others. The tutorial will cover: four core techniques for conducting observational research in a wide range of settings basic observational data collection effective note taking selecting the right tools and methods ethical considerations related to observing others Discussion will draw on real-life examples from diverse settings, including Mike's own research in homes, bars, restaurants, car dealerships, urban neighborhoods, medical environments, and more. After instruction and group discussion, tutorial participants will have the chance to practice using specific techniques during video...

Tutorial: Virtual Reality and Ethnographic Research

KARL MENDONCA Amazon Music ADELE RAY Filmmaker; Berkeley City College OverviewWith growing interest across domains and industries in Virtual Reality (VR), this seminar style and hands-on tutorial gives participants essential skills for producing and incorporating virtual reality 360 video into ethnographic research. Participants will: Develop a critical understanding of VR by understanding it within a longer history of visuality and media studies. Learn about different workflows covering capture (cameras, rigs), editing (software) and distribution (viewing platforms) as well as technical elements behind successful VR (frame rates, camera movement, avoiding motion sickness). Review examples of VR based research methodologies such as diary studies, walk-throughs, contextual interviews, etc. Work hands-on with a VR camera to complete a short project based on a theme or set of research questions. This video includes only the presentation portion of the tutorial. Assigned Readings: Remediation...