environment

What is the Value of a Perspective?

TAYLOR FERRARI General Assembly PechaKucha Presentation How do you place a value on a perspective? Well, that depends on what you're seeking to accomplish. During this Pecha Kucha I journey of our current paradigm of Value to explore the role of the ethnographer in mediating business interests and human + planetary wellness. Outside of the metropolitan areas where can't afford to use an app to have someone come do their laundry, there lies an entire universe of perspectives that often go ignored, undervalued. What are the worldly consequences of excluding these perspectives when conducting business ethnography? Taylor Ferrari, is an applied anthropologist and systems thinker who has conducted UX Research for companies ranging from early stage startups, to Fortune 500. Deeply interested in the relationship between Structure and Agency, Taylor seeks to illuminate the ways in which organizations or entities impact humanity, and likewise how humanity feeds the existence of organizations. taymferrari@gmail.com 2017...

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...

Place Making and Sustainability

by MICHAEL DONOVAN, Practica Group LLC Sustainability & Ethnography in Business Series, Mike Youngblood, Editor Place making offers us a largely untraveled pathway to thinking about sustainability. These two relatively high order concepts—'place making' and 'sustainability'—are conventionally located in separate domains of knowledge and ways of knowing. Place making is essentially the fluid filling in of geographic spaces with experience, social value, and meaning. It’s the kind of thing that cultural geographers, anthropologists, and historians are likely to ponder. Sustainability is harder to corral. Leaving questions of perspective and authority aside for a moment, what are “we” trying to sustain? Species? The ecosystems in which such species thrive? Or the natural places—those culturally mediated spaces (forests, rivers, bays, coral reefs)—in which such “systems” are embedded? How about places at further remove from “nature” and the protective eye of naturalists and environmentalists—neighborhoods,...

Biomimicry: Learnings from ‘The Field’

ADINA DAAR Independent Researcher Download PDF PechaKucha—The natural world is full of researchers – from the smallest of butterflies scoping out the perfect leaf to land on to the largest of elephants retracing the steps of their ancestors to find food and water. Every creature on earth is in a perpetual state of learning to adapt to the many changes of this world. This presentation will take viewers on one researcher’s personal journey into the emerging discipline of ‘biomimicry’ – through examples of how research is conducted in nature, and what we as researchers can learn from these insights to inspire our own. Adina Daar is an independent researcher, ethnographer, and all-around ‘nature-nerd’. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Biomimicry from Arizona State University, and in 2016, was selected to participate in the Biomimicry Professional Program, a 2-year, global, multi-disciplinary leadership immersion course focused on facilitating the practice of learning from nature. 2016 Ethnographic...

A Prairie Home Revival

BRIANNA FARBER University of South Carolina Download PDF PechaKucha—This presentation explores the struggle of natural resource conservation within Iowa industrial agriculture through the issue of water quality. I discuss the politics of scientific information, specifically how different powerful players use science to achieve their goals. Science can both reveal and obscure the history of Iowa’s landscape, and history holds the key to understanding water quality problems. Finally, I describe what people are trying to do to bring industrial agriculture and prairie together to create a better system. Keywords: Natural resource management, political ecology, agriculture Brianna Farber is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina finishing 14 months of fieldwork in Iowa. Her research interests include human-environment interactions, as well as the role of social science in collaborating with and informing natural science and technology. 2016 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, p. 539, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org...

Primate Pathmaking

JOHN DOMINSKI gravitytank CHRISTENA NIPPERT-ENG gravitytankDownload PDF PechaKucha—This presentation explores the 3 guiding principles for research to create impact: clarity, coordination, and curiosity. Without all these elements, research struggles to make impact for the intended users. In this case, the user is Jojo, a silverback gorilla. Jojo was 80 pounds overweight, and this was caused by a number of reasons. Every solution required a clear framing of the goals, a complex and coordinated effort from everyone involved, and a genuine curiosity to engage in the solutions. Keywords: gorilla, silverback, clarity, coordination, curiosity, observation John Dominski – I am a design researcher at gravitytank in Chicago, IL. I believe the purpose of research is to make impact and I practice doing this at gravitytank and as a co-author and photographer of Gorillas Up Close. 2016 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, p. 553, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org...

Sustainability and Ethnography in Business: Identifying Opportunity in Troubled Times

by MIKE YOUNGBLOOD, The Youngblood Group Introduction to the Sustainability & Ethnography in Business Series, Mike Youngblood, Editor Sustainability—we’re hearing this word a lot these days, even in business (if not, depressingly, in Trump Tower). It’s probably something readers of this post all generally support, and it’s definitely something we’re all connected to in one way or another. Whether we work in tech, consumer goods, education, government, or any other field, it’s pretty easy to see how the products, services, and organizations we serve affect larger social and environmental issues. For most of us in the EPIC community, however, sustainability isn’t in our job descriptions. So how should we understand and act on this issue? What are our perspectives, capabilities, opportunities, and responsibilities with respect to sustainability? Are we actively addressing sustainability in our work, or is it properly “someone else’s job?” This post introduces an EPIC discussion on sustainability. Over...

Everyone’s Trash: Recycling in China

MOLLY STEVENSGoogle, Inc. Are we really connected to the steps and act of recycling and reuse? Is the modern American vision for recycling too clean and removed from the reality of our waste? Images are a series of observations about a single example of community, value-based recycling from Shanghai. The images challenge us to reflect on what we can learn from other approaches....