Local English/German speaking Attache, in Berlin

Shelley Sather, Independent Ethnographer based in New York

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We’re looking for one awesome human in Berlin, to help us navigate local, ethnographic research among classically trained violinists in your city, in early/mid June. This is a great, project-based opportunity for those looking to gain deeper experience in applied ethnographic work - and students/those branching out as freelancers are absolutely welcomed and encouraged to apply.

What we're looking for is someone who can help bridge language and cultural nuances during interviews - as well as assist with a bit of light preparatory work in the weeks leading up to fieldwork (some local location 'scouting', identifying local Social Media groups for recruitment & very light written translation from English to German).

Project Details
+ We’ll be in Berlin for a little over 1 week (June 7th-15th), conducting scheduled interviews in/around the city
+ Our interviewees will comprise of local professional violinists, violin educators, makers & students (likely 1 interview per day)
+ The goal is to deeply understand ‘stringed Orchestral’ culture from the perspective of those who inhabit this world in Berlin, as well as wrap our arms around how violinists relate to and care for their instruments in a textured, real world way (we’ll have just wrapped NY & Paris by the time we reach Germany)

An ideal candidate
+ Really knows Berlin, and speaks English & German fluently
+ Can be light ‘boots on the ground’ for practical assistance before we arrive: (very) light translation work, location & concert scouting, help brainstorming where to place our study application links/postings - and to the degree you feel comfortable - help us network towards finding these great folks to interview
+ Will be available full time on the days of June 7th-15th to attend interviews, to help translate/facilitate conversation between the researcher and participant, as needed. Since this is a very international recruit, many (if not most) of our participants may speak English, but we don’t want to assume the cultural realities of someone who has chosen Berlin as their home. You’ll be our nuance catcher, and help us check our (mostly very American) assumptions, as we seek to really understand the interviewee we’re learning from

Ideal Time Commitment

Before we arrive
+ Assumes the potential for an average 5-10 hours of work per week x 4-5 weeks leading up to fieldwork
+ No set hours; but some goal posts along the way
+ Paid hourly

June 7th-15th
+ Interviews flex to scheduled interview participant availability, so we’re asking you set aside these days
+ Paid flat daily rate

Other things of note
+ You absolutely don’t need to be a musician or have studied violin, but that would be a fabulous bonus. We have good degree technical knowledge on the team, so what we really need is someone who loves people, conversation, going deep, and culture (high, low & in-between). (It goes without saying the EPIC community has this in spades!)
+ You also do not need to be a professional translator. Conversations will be informal and organic, and are likely to each have their own signature. We’re guessing someone who is a great fit really loves language in one capacity or another.
+ If you are interested in learning more about independent consulting as an applied ethnographic researcher, I am happy to show up for that and share the tradecraft as I see it. Just let me know.

If this sounds like 'you', please contact me directly, and we can set up a time to chat in more detail: shelleysather@gmail.com.

A bit about me

Shelley brings an Anthropological lens to the business world as an independent Ethnographer with a deep expertise in designing studies for emerging products and technologies. She began her research career in commodities software design, just as the analog (open-outcry) markets in Chicago were being replaced with digital solutions from outside the US.  There, she developed a deep understanding of how people experience digital transformation - having witnessed, first-hand, not just the re-shaping of an industry, but an entire culture of work.

These early, niche beginnings led her to various posts across market-making entrepreneurial ventures and well regarded innovation consultancies in Chicago and New York. For close to 20 years, she's traveled the world to develop richly human, real-world perspectives through immersive Qualitative research approaches rooted in the context of people's daily lives.   Her clients range from the Fortune 100 to small ventures close to her heart. What unites this roster is a shared, sincere desire to meet people where they are.

Shelley has guest lectured on Ethnographic Research at Northwestern University's Segal Design Institute, The University of Chicago, Parson's Strategic Design Management program, and the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Currently you can find her in Brooklyn, plotting her next trip to New Orleans.

Her tiny but mighty independent ethnography consultancy - Demophile - is an entirely referral business, and continues to be fortunate enough to work some of the most forward & deep thinking practitioners in the business. You can find her talks here at EPIC, where Shelley shares her perspective on 'independence' in the world of applied ethnography.




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