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[Event recording] Four anthropologists talk ethical research in design, business and technology

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

On July 22, 2020, I participated in a panel discussion on what it means to practice ethically in the world of design, business and technology, with my anthropology colleagues Adam Gamwell, Angela Ramer, and “John Anon” (a real person who wished to remain anonymous due to their talking points and employer situation).

Webinar summary:

Discussions of ethics in technology and design have become more mainstream in recent years with the growth in power of digital tech. While companies have the ability to effect positive change, many seem to lack ethical principles in their decision processes, resulting in harm to their customers and brands.

Join us for a conversation on ethics as a system of values that anyone can practice in their day to day work. Our panelists will draw on their experiences as researchers in product design, user experience, branding, architecture, innovation and strategy to provide insight into what practicing ethics looks like. They will discuss specific examples, challenges, outcomes and lessons learned, how ethical practices can go beyond research to inform larger business decisions, and how to educate others on incorporating ethics into their work.

Adam Gamwell, PhD is a design anthropologist and digital producer. He co-founded Missing Link Studios, a storytelling and design research studio that uses design thinking, the social sciences and mindfulness to help change makers and social impact organizations define and tell their stories better. He is creator and host of This Anthro Life Podcast.

Amy Santee is an anthropologist, design researcher and career coach who is driven by helping people answer big questions, think differently, and impact the world for good. She has blogged about design, business, organizational culture, and careers for 10 years Anthropologizing.

Angela Ramer is a design anthropologist at HKS Architects. Her work intersects strategy, research and design to deliver meaningful insights to clients and designers alike. Her ethnographic approach to research captures the experience of users in built environments, informing the design of workplaces, educational environments, campus planning, sports and entertainment, and urban design.

John Anon, PhD is a brand strategist, design researcher, and innovation consultant. His scholarship and writing are focused on a controversial Big Science project, which is why he has chosen anonymity for this discussion.


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