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Ethnography is Central

Ethnography or deep empathy earned by participant observation is central to design.

Photo of Avi Solomon
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How can we incorporate ethnographic fieldwork into OpenIDEO challenges?


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Photo of Meena

Good point, Avi. And might events like the Grameen webcast help create excitement and engagement with ethnographic insights? There might also be ways in which we can join in on ethnographic enquiry from our own respective locations. eg. on the Maternal Health & Mobile Technology Challenge – what if OpenIDEATORS tired out using a non-smartphone for a week (!) or sat in a ante-natal waiting room to observe behaviours there? How might we encourage our community to think laterally about how they can raise their empathy on challenge issues? (via missions, guidelines, and other avenues you might all suggest!)

Photo of Sarah

Well, with ideas like these! By providing hints, guidelines, or maybe even interview guides... The learning curve would seem less steep for those who aren't used to conduct ethnographic research. For the local food challenge for example, users could have interviewed farmers, local vendors, supermarket managers, tried farming IRL or on an online game, etc. etc. Let's challenge ourselves (but let's put the word out there loud and clear enough for everybody to feel empowered to do it).

Photo of Sarah

Btw, great great inspiration Avi!

Photo of Meena

Really great thoughts, Sarah! We've been discussing support tools too but it's so fab to hear ideas from you and others in our community. Hopefully some of this goodness will come through to the Concepting phase and gain support and builds.