Tag Archives: anthropology

Doing good or Doing well?

Again, this post has been underway for some time, but now here..

This year we had the EPIC conference (Ethnographic Practice in Industry Conference) in Copenhagen with more than 300 participants from across the world sharing methods, ideas and insights about doing ethnograpy in all kinds of industrial and commercial settings. It was great to be part of this community of likeminded people and to actually meet the people who has been the drivers of this field in the US for two decades, and who have been the inspiration for a lot of what is going on in Denmark now in relation to ethnographic practice, user centred innovation and design research. Also great to be part of the Danish ‘tribe’ in userdriven innovation, who gathering for the exhibition at the Design School the day before. More than being an imagined community, this is a community of practice.

Unfortunately, I had several deadlines and proposals falling at the same time, so I couldn’t participate as much as I wanted to. But I did get to attend the session about “Doing good or Doing well” facilitated by Mikkel Brok-Christensen from Red Associates (together with Bo Wesley from Novo Nordisk, who unfortunately had to leave the minute before). Mikkel was deliberately raising the question whether business can make business of doing good – which is the underlying premise of the concept of Base of the Pyramid business.

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Base of the Pyramid at EPIC Conference

At the EPIC conference (Ethnographic Practice in Industry) in Copenhagen, I was hosting an “Open House” event at our office space Republikken together with my former partner Rikke Ulk and her crew from antropologerne.com, and Sofie Widding from People and Product.

The guests were around 80 EPIC participants from all over the world, having an experience of Danish Hygge with candle lights on the table, and not least presentations of what’s cooking with Rikke, Sofie, Karen and I.

I had the opportunity to present my research and consultancy project about People Centred Innovation with Base of the Pyramid, which I am at present deeply involved with since I am sitting in my hotel in Delhi writing this blog-post. It felt good to ‘go public’ with our vision, and not least to hear the interested questions and comments from the audience. My favorite one was: “It is so good that you are bringing idealism and visions back into the practice of anthropology. That has been missing a bit in designresearch and user studies for som years…” Thank you! I appreciate that.

Louise Koch

Let me give the last words to Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
and committed citizens can change the world
– in fact, that’s all that ever has….