Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Tutorial: Human Sciences and Value Creation—Building Transformative Value Propositions


Cite this article:

2017 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918,


Where do I find new sources of value in a heavily competed industry?

How can I build more compelling value propositions with transformative potential?

Integration of the human sciences into corporate business development practices enables discovery of new sources of value. Unlike traditional business practices, the human sciences situate emergence of meaningful value in a wider societal context by fostering deeper inquiry into history, human patterns and social systems that frame consumption.

In this tutorial, participants will gain proficiency in exploring and identifying new business opportunities and delivering meaningful value propositions through studying the social, cultural and habitual aspects of human life. This tutorial demonstrates the merits of centering various aspects of humanities and social science at the core of corporate innovation and renewal efforts.

The tutorial consists of a lecture and an interactive session in which participants will learn through case studies how deep expertise in fields including anthropology, sociology and semiotics has been employed to steer business-transformation projects in finance, consumer-packed goods and automotive industries.

At the end of the tutorial, participants will have gained new ways to approach the foundational business questions: Where do I find new sources of value in a heavily competed industry? How can I build more compelling value propositions?

The video includes only the presentation portions of the tutorial.


Any Value Proposition Hinges on the Answer to One Question, Frank Cespedes, Harvard Business Review, January 13, 2015.

From Design Thinking to Good Thinking, Gemic Whitepaper

Johannes Suikkanen is a founder of Gemic—a global growth strategy firm that operates at the intersection of business strategy and human sciences. Based in NYC, he helps business leaders translate emerging shifts in culture and technology into clear future direction and better value propositions. His clients range from premium car makers to leading financial technology startups.

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