Connecting07 – Improv and Ethnography

If you are coming to ICSID/IDSA Connecting 07 in San Francisco later this month, I’ll be giving a presentation entitled Connecting the Play of Improv with the Work of Ethnographic Research on Friday, October 19, from 5:45pm – 6:30pm in the Fairmont Hotel, Crystal Room.

In the meantime, you can read more about an earlier version of this presentation

To the rest of us in the audience, both exercises were quite funny. Most of the participants couldn’t figure out at the time what we were laughing at.

All of which suggests that Improv is a powerful means of engaging with other human beings that is both immersive and “flow-like.”

Portigal then went on to define activities associated with ethnography, focusing on the guided interview process in particular.

He concluded his talk by identifying the key “overlaps” between the two disciplines:

* Balancing a “plan” with being in the moment
* “Yes and…” (Using positive reinforcement of the other’s statements to keep the conversation going.)

Dan Soltzberg and I will be attending the entire conference and we’d love to meet with folks to talk about how our work in uncovering user insights can help drive design and business decisions in your organization. Do let us know!


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