Our current language of business is no longer fit for purpose. We are all sharply aware of the urgent need to transition into a regenerative economy, yet the words we use are holding us back. We must stop using vocabulary which roots us within a failing system and instead create a new lexicon of resiliency.
By introducing new concepts and metaphors we can redefine organizational success through new values and behaviours which embody the changes we must make.
During the conference we ran a 3 day hive mind where we came together to co-create some inspiring new language that supports the principals of regeneration and resilience.
To stimulate conversations we created a semiotic map which brings to life four different meaning worlds that exist within the concept of resilience. It was through the map that people generated their ideas – including specific words, phrases & questions
Our Co-Created Response
Collated language from the Mural board and physical...
Boston Consulting Group
What happens when the research lens is turned inward? As a Strategic Designer, I spend most of time planning for research to engage with people so I can better understand their needs and behaviors and turn research insights into actionable solutions. In this PechaKucha, I share a personal reflection of what resilience means to me and the insights I gleaned based on my own experiences during the pandemic. It’s a visual story about a journey of pain and loss, but also strength through discovery, experimentation, and adaptability.
George Floyd protest in Nubian Square, Boston. May 2020. Photo by Traci Thomas
Traci Thomas is a Principal Strategic Designer at the Boston Consulting Group. She informs CX strategy through the design of new and improved digital products and services using a human-centric approach that’s rooted in problem framing, ethnography, and iterative prototyping. She’s worked with clients across several industries including fintech, healthcare, hospitality, automotive,...
LAUREN MONSEIN RHODES
JP Morgan Chase
Using ethnography as an analytic tool to examine the concept of resiliency, we call for a shift in our practice and praxis. Research subjects and ethnographic practitioners are tired of working against and thriving despite. We are tired of being seen as resilient in a world that demands so much from us and only values our contributions if they align with dominant views and world systems. We are tired of being relied upon to provide answers and solutions to the issues presented in front of us. In this manifesto, we demonstrate and argue that resilience, as a category of human agency, shifts responsibility to the person being resilient and away from the systemic problems that created the need to be resilient in the first place. By reifying resilience in our research and our findings, we celebrate survival despite the psychic and somatic labor and toll on resilient actors. As practitioners, we are drained by being and witnessing resilience. As ethnographers who work, we...
by PATRICIA ENSWORTH, Harborlight Management Services LLC & New York University
In the months since the Covid-19 pandemic began disrupting everyone’s lives, people and organizations worldwide have adapted quickly for the sake of survival. This is a matter of long-term intellectual interest for ethnographers – but also, sometimes urgently, of short-term solvency.
Some jobs, we now notice, really are essential for the ongoing functioning of a civilized society. Others…well, recently Bloomberg News published an Opinion article entitled “Coronavirus: Anybody Need a Management Consultant? Thought Not.” The industries we serve are in the midst of a whiplash pivot: A sports stadium becomes a field hospital. A restaurant becomes a general store. Physical workplaces are entirely redesigned. And so we might ask ourselves, Are there ways in which ethnographers can contribute to these efforts, repurposing our practices and expertise, especially as organizations plan for fundamental, lasting changes in their operations?
Systems Change Consultant
Case Study—In 2016 The Chicago Community Trust (“The Trust”), a local Chicago foundation, partnered with Roller Strategies (“Roller”), an international professional services firm, to deploy an innovative mixed-methods approach to community-driven social change on the South Side of Chicago. This partnership convened a diverse group of stakeholders representing a microcosm of the social system, and launched a project with the aim of developing resilient livelihoods for youth aged 18-26 in three specific South Side neighborhoods. Roller designed and facilitated a process through which the stakeholder group scoped, launched, piloted and prototyped community-driven initiatives. While innovative and successful by some metrics, the project had its challenges. The convening institutions and their staff were often perceived as “outsiders” and “experts” without intimate local knowledge of the social challenges they were attempting to address. This dynamic played out in complex power...
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,...