Resilience: Lessons from a Period of Disruption

Trace Thomas speaking at EPIC2022
TRACI THOMAS 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,...

Cultivating Resiliencies for All: The Necessity of Trauma Responsive Research Practices

Presentation slide: an arial view of a meandering river. Overlain text: "A Trauma Responsive Development Model. 1. Aware. 2. Sensitive. 3. Informed. 4. Responsive"
MATTHEW BERNIUS Code for America RACHAEL DIETKUS Social Workers Who Design This paper is an exploration of trauma, how and why it can surface during ethnographic and qualitative research, and the importance of anticipating its potential presence. We present a model to help plan for and mitigate the risks of trauma and demonstrate how it fits into broader methodological discussions of conducting safer and more ethical, responsible, and humane research. We close by discussing one pathway for a journey from being sensitive and aware of trauma to actively responding to it at both the individual and organizational levels across your work. Keywords: Trauma informed care, trauma responsive research and design, design research, ethics, qualitative methods Article citation: 2022 EPIC Proceedings pp 9–34, ISSN 1559-8918,

Anticipating Needs: How Adopting Trauma-Informed Methodologies During COVID-19 Influenced Our Work Connecting Frontline Workers To Temporary Housing

MEREDITH HITCHCOCK SADHIKA JOHNSON Independent (formerly Airbnb) This case study argues that all research should be trauma-informed research. It asserts that because researchers cannot anticipate everything about research participants’ needs, histories, and context, taking an approach that assumes all participants are more likely than not to have experienced trauma should be the paradigm for researchers. Even before receiving formal training in trauma-informed research, incorporating methodologies from trauma-informed research can make all researchers more human-centered. From March–April 2020, researchers from Airbnb conducted research to help launch a program that provided free or discounted accommodations to COVID-19 frontline workers: Frontline Stays. The researchers needed to conduct research with both frontline workers and Airbnb hosts who were temporarily opening their homes to them. Some of the researchers had received formal training in trauma-informed research. Others did not have the training, but...

Ethnography for Sensemaking in Times of Trauma

Photo from book cover 0f "Dealing in Desire"
a book review by SHARON BAUTISTA, Mozilla Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work Kimberly Kay Hoang 2015, 248pp, University of California Press The Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age Valerie Francisco-Menchavez 2018, 256pp, University of Illinois Press The March 16 shootings in the Atlanta-area of Georgia in the southern United States, when a person shot dead eight people, including six Asian women, sent me into deep grief. I could barely register the text messages from concerned friends recognizing me as an Asian woman and offering support. Trying to muster the focus to work the next day, I felt the urge to mute the Slack streams of sincere acknowledgements and thoughtful compilations of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) resources shared by co-workers. Alongside my grief, I was frustrated by the meager news coverage of the people—and specifically the Asian women—who were murdered. There seemed almost...