Making an Impact

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Around the world EPIC Members are doing amazing things! Their achievements inform and inspire our community, advancing the value of ethnography. Check out this recent work:

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Does Ramadan affect your research? Muslim design researcher Sarah Fathallah (Independent) shares her struggle to negotiate fieldwork and fasting: "I have to decide if something I share about myself will expand the field of inquiry or detract from it."
In this interview for Computerworld, anthropologist Martha Bird (ADP) chats about her work on culturally relevant chatbots (hint: Germans and Brazilians "don't have the same sense of urgency around time"), cross-functional development teams, and "bloating for the sake of the new".
The problem with the journalism industry, argues Robin Kwong (Financial Times), is that it assumes "people come to us with a need to be informed." Instead, journalism should be asking, "How do we create the need for news?"
If your colleagues roll their eyes when you tell them people are "complicated," queue up this new TED Talk by John Curran (JC Innovation) explaining why the complexity of culture is essential to creative innovation.
In an inspiring talk spanning boundaries from business to jazz and fashion, Natalie Nixon (Strategic Design MBA, Philadelphia University & Figure 8 Thinking) explores creativity in design innovation through practice, play, and perspective.
Hot off the presses is Ethics in the Anthropology of Business, co-edited by Bob Morais (Weinman Schnee Morais)(with Timothy Timothy de Waal Malefyt). Among the contributors are EPIC Members Allen Batteau, Christine Miller, Julia Gluesing & Christina Wasson.
In his new book Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm, Christian Madsbjerg (Senior Partner, ReD Associates) argues, "the greatest challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century are cultural, not algorithmic."
"Empathy"—love it, hate it, debate it. Farrah Bostic (Difference Engine; Parsons) just leveled this critique. For a spectrum of views, also check out articles by: John Payne (Moment); Tiffany Romain + colleagues (Ricoh); and Hiroshi Tamura + colleagues (Re:public).
Watch an interview with Dawn Nafus (Intel) at SXSW last month about her "mission to help everyday people understand their own data." Also check out Dawn's recent article on "data friction" and this great graphic profile about her.
william beemanMinnesota Business published an extended interview with William Beeman (University of Minnesota) about business anthropology. Bill is also an expert on culture and politics in the Middle East; check out some of his recent commentary on Trump and Iran here & here.
Even before there was EPIC, there was the listserv anthrodesign created by Natalie Hanson (ZS Associates), which continues to be a vital online community. Natalie marked anthrodesign's 15th anniversary by reflecting on its origins and the development of ethnography in business.
Last month Kelly Costello's design research firm Panorama Innovation facilitated a community design challenge to address poverty during BarnRaise, a maker conference created by IIT Institute of Design to co-create viable solutions to social problems.

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