Tutorial: From Research to Action—Leading Teams Through Synthesis

from research to action: leading teams through synthesis
Instructors: KSENIA PACHIKOV (Principal, Field Studio) & MARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPAN (Design Director, IDEO) Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. After the richness of fieldwork, the research and design team must figure out, “What does this mean?” and “What should we do?” The synthesis phase presents a tough set of issues: we want to accurately represent all of our participants, yet we must make hard decisions around whose stories and learnings to prioritize. New data and points of view, sometimes conflicting, are introduced by other stakeholders in the project. And we must move from being descriptive to being directional. In this tutorial you’ll learn strategies for two key challenges of synthesis: emotional dynamics—how we navigate interpersonal relationships to come to alignment—and convergence—how to prioritize when faced with tons of data and ideas. Participants will learn how to externalize the hidden criteria...

Considering the Futures of Ethnography for Social Change: An Interview with Panthea Lee

Panthea Lee: As ethnographers we can guide conversations and support conflict mediation in ways that do not just further entrench people in their positions.
By VICTORIA LOWERSON BREDOW and CONNIE MCGUIRE, Research Justice Shop "As ethnographers we can guide conversations and support conflict mediation in ways that do not just further entrench people in their positions." —Panthea Lee In August 2021, we connected with EPIC2021 keynote speaker Panthea Lee—strategist, organizer, designer, and facilitator, and Executive Director of Reboot. Panthea is a pioneer in designing and guiding multi-stakeholder processes to address complex social challenges, with experience in 30+ countries with partners including UNDP, MacArthur Foundation, Luminate, CIVICUS, Wikimedia, Women’s Refugee Commission, and governments and civil society groups at the national, state, and local levels. We were excited to get to know Panthea, learn about her work, and now, share our conversation1 with the EPIC community in advance of her talk. How did you come to do the work you do now? —Victoria I am from Taiwan. My family lived there during one of the longest periods of martial law in the world, 38 years. I think...

Your Client Relationship Is an Ethnographic Field

artwork by andres musta, faces drawn on name tags
Use ethnographic concepts and techniques for more successful relationships with stakeholders, clients, and teams. by JOHN CURRAN, JC Associates John Curran teaches the EPIC Course Leveraging Organizational Culture for Impact—details here! —ed. Some years ago a renowned UK-based charity invited me to help them understand why their legacy donations had flat lined for two years. The conventional wisdom had been that charitable donations had decreased as a result of the financial crisis in 2008. But when a statistical analysis showed that donations to other, similar sized charities were in fact increasing, they realized the problem was not just macroeconomics. The charity wanted new insights to explain their stagnation. Organizations generally hire ethnographers to help them understand the world “out there,” and that was the brief my contract client produced. But delivering insights is not the same as creating value. I quickly discovered that for insights to matter, the scope of my project—from kick-off to signoff—would...