show episodes
 
Life is complicated, but we love simple answers. AI and robotics are changing the nature of work. Emojis change the way we write. Fossil Fuels were once the engine of progress, now we're in a race to change how we power the planet. We're constantly trying to save ourselves...from ourselves. Join Anthropologist and culture expert Dr. Adam Gamwell for curated conversations with humanity’s top makers and minds on our creative potential through design, culture, business and technology. Change yo ...
 
This is experience by design, a podcast that brings new perspectives to the experiences we have everyday. Does standing in line always have to suck? Why are airports so uncomfortable? What does it mean to be loyal to a brand? Why do you love being connected but dislike feeling tethered to your smart phone? Can we train people to care about the climate? Join Sociologist Gary David and Anthropologist Adam Gamwell on an expedition to the frontiers of culture and business through the lens of hum ...
 
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show series
 
As ethnographers, we are used to the idea that big discoveries can come from everyday observations. There are possibilities for discovery all around us. All it takes is for us to notice, and noticing can be the hardest thing to teach. An observation becomes a noticing, which then becomes a premise, which turns into an idea, and eventually perhaps e…
 
Ashley Meredith serves as the National Cultural Anthropologist and Deputy National Historic Preservation Officer for the Federated States of Micronesia. Micronesia is a sovereign island country in Oceania situated northeast of Australia and Papua New Guinea and consists of 600 islands covering a massive area of around 1 million square miles. There …
 
Changing mindsets, behaviors, and organizations are hugely challenging. Design presents a pathway for trying to do so. However, when considering the complexity of systems and all the elements associated with them, the challenge can seem overwhelming. People can either oversimply to the point where their approach is incomplete, or get stuck in the w…
 
Bob Ross has long been a fixture in the pop cultural landscape. The big hair, the soft voice, the happy little clouds, and the artwork created in an episode made Bob compelling and peaceful viewing. There was something about seeing a canvas transformed into a landscape that was transfixing. Despite his shows being on many decades ago, there is more…
 
Anyone engaged in experience design knows the challenges of measuring experiences. Far being being a recent issue, understanding our experiences with the world has long challenged philosophers and social scientists. If centuries of the world's greatest thinkers has yet to be able to figure it out, you know it is a hard nut to crack. To solve this i…
 
Memories are central to our lives, and how we form a sense of who we are as people. How we remember and engage with the past speaks to our identity in the present. Both events good and bad can form deep impressions in our minds, cutting grooves and building pinnacles that create the topography of our experiences. Low points and high points, trauma …
 
Interdependence is the idea that the wellbeing of our world and for our physical and emotional selves depends on those around us, yet when we find ourselves up against a challenge bigger than ourselves, our sense of interdependence becomes stronger. When we move that scale even larger (i.e. a global climate crisis), interdependence becomes paramoun…
 
While we are celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd, it might feel more appropriate to be planning the Earth’s memorial service. Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a way to learn about environmental issues, highlight sustainability of natural resources, and direct our attention to the fragility of our world. In the intervening 52 years, things haven’t g…
 
Organizations may often think of change, but they are also often not serious about actually changing. When it comes down to making changes, where the rubber hits the proverbial road and orgs have to consider resourcing, people, budgets and time horizons, the reality of what it takes to change runs up against actual desire to change. Change can be e…
 
When we think about social science and social scientists working out in the world, we tend to jump to the science part, you know jobs that focus on research - consumer research, user experience research, or qualitative studies for non-profits. But if you have any experience with therapy, whether as a patient or therapist, worked with a career or li…
 
With the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, there has been a lot of discussion of the military in the news recently. As we see images on television of these conflicts, the service of those in the military comes into clearer focus. There are those who are giving their years, themselves, and even their lives. Even in 'peace time,' military members can …
 
If you’re alive in 2022 you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Whether you’re an active trader, just dabble, or think you’d never touch the stuff, cryptocurrency raises a fascinating challenge to the question of what is money? And how can technology fundamentally reshape how we engage in finance and social life? Is crypto a revolution…
 
Organizations used to be notable for their stability. Some of the biggest companies were well-known for their established cultures, their recognizable products, and their steadfast brands. Going to work at one of those companies meant permanence and security. It wasn’t just that those companies were change adverse; it is that change was seen as irr…
 
It's a common truism that history is often written by the victors, but it is equally true that the actual story is more complicated. One of the most poignant examples of this is the "discovery" of the new world by Christopher Columbus. So today I am super excited to have author Andrew Rowen back on the podcast. Andrew caught our attention back in 2…
 
It can be easy to forget that experience design, whatever the kind, is about people. More than that, it is about making not only experiences better, but more importantly their lives better. As experience designers, we can help in ways great and small. It can be an overused phrase to be customer, or patient, or user centric. And we can lose sight wh…
 
We are on the verge of a new year, and with a new year comes new ideas about how we need to make changes in our lives. While individual will often make New Year’s Resolutions about how to make a “new you”, what about organization? What resolutions can organizations make to change the way they have been doing things, and enter the new year with not …
 
Have you wondered why fantasy stories mostly are just copies of Medieval Europe? Why pop culture has been so obsessed with zombies? Or why Black Panther and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier seemed to hit the right chord at the right time for American conversations on race? To answer these questions, we're diving into world building, the process of…
 
Charles Foster set out to answer one of the most perplexing questions of all - what sort of creatures are we humans? - in one of the most unique ways possible: immersing himself in experiences that evoke three central epochs in the development of consciousness - the upper Paleolithic, around 40k years ago, the neolithic, around 10k years ago when h…
 
When the world can feel more divided than ever - whether polarizing politics, climate change or economic uncertainty, ethnography reminds us to come back down to earth, and into the lives of people. Because the truth is, if we want to see systemic change, and address issues larger than ourselves, we actually have to start with everyday experience. …
 
This Anthro Life turned 8 years old in October 2021. That's a long time for a podcast. When recently invited to share what I've been working on for a newsletter, TAL's 8th birthday got me thinking about what I've learned working between anthropology and podcasting for almost a decade. I've fancied myself a public anthropologist for a while, but it …
 
It's not everyday I get to talk with other anthropology podcasters, and even more infrequently that I get to talk with undergraduate anthropology podcasters. I'm joined on the show today by Gabriella Campbell, Gabriella is a senior at University of California Santa Barbara where she focuses on forensic anthropology, both contemporary and ancient. S…
 
Meaning is a key element of designing experiences. At the same time, a major challenge is to understand how people construct and achieve meaning not just personally, but shared with others. How we create meaning through language has long been a philosophical question drawing sharp arguments around a fundamental feature of our lives. Max Louwerse’s …
 
When looking at American culture, you can see how security minded it is. Home security systems. Car security systems. Gun ownership for protection. Locking your doors. It is a society that in many ways does not trust its own environment. At the same, we have in many ways given up pretending that we have digital privacy and security. News reports of…
 
Perhaps one of the most immediate changes brought by the pandemic was the move to living online. It seemed like the world was going virtual, as people in business, education, organizing, and those trying to maintain social connection became boxes on screens. As we put more time into being online, we often found that there is a difference between be…
 
A job search strategy is essential, but what if you don’t even know what to look for or what you want to do? A career plan is something you can do before job searching to define the kind of work you want to do and how to engage with like minded people, so you’ve got opportunities and pathways to work you’ll find fulfilling and meaningful, regardles…
 
This past summer has brought greater attention to questions of racial and social justice, resulting from the George Floyd murder to other stories also depicting events that bring us back to an earlier time in American history. While this renewed focus is welcome to address issues that still need addressing, the topic of diversity, equity, inclusion…
 
One might think that by 2021, companies would already have an understanding of how to digitally transform. Also, one might think that they would have a strategy in place to do so. The truth, however, is that many companies neither have an understanding nor a strategy of engaging customers through digital means. As a result, a staggering 84% of cust…
 
We are living in the Age of Identity. Terms like fluidity and intersectionality speak to the moment of people exploring who they are across and within different contexts. People are free to choose from a wide variety of selves, each building on the other to create a range of self-expression. While this allows people to speak about who they see them…
 
Dr. Meena Kaushik takes us through her story from the revolutionary idea in the late 1970s of applying semiotics to brand and market research to founding Quantum, which today is a global enterprise research organization in seven countries, through how they have digitally adapted insights research in the face of COVID. Meena Kaushik started her jour…
 
What does chips and salsa, Meowoulf, and Burning Man have in common? What they all share is they are part of what our guest calls the Experiential Palate. They involve trying to connect with a person’s experiential aptitude to take in and appreciate what is being created for them. If you have salsa that is too spicy, no matter how good it might tas…
 
Phil Surles is a cultural anthropologist and consultant who focuses on branding. He works with companies to change their culture for the better and focuses on integrating anthropology into industry. From art school to anthropology to industry Phil discusses how he combined all of his passions into his consulting work. Phil, Astrid, and Adam discuss…
 
The experience of being a parent of a developmentally disabled, or neurologically atypical child, can be highly varied. Kids can have a range of functioning, challenges, abilities, and barriers. Regardless of our different experiences based on the unique situations we face, one thing is the same: all of us frequently need some form of help. This is…
 
If Dr. Hellen Fisher isn’t a household name in your house (yet), her work certainly is. Helen is a biological anthropologist and basically the reason you can date online. She’s an expert on romantic love, gender differences, the evolution of human emotions and attraction. She has also been the Chief Scientific Advisor for Match.com and was instrume…
 
Despite being summer, it is a fallacy that academics get summers off. Especially in a pandemic year, it can feel like the pressures and stresses of academic work have been compounded. Making the transition to remote teaching provided its own unique challenges. On top of that are all of the requirements of the academic life. Committee work. Advising…
 
TAL Correspondent Sara Schmieder brings us an all new interview about the power of cemetery restoration, race in the American South, and bringing legacy to light. Dr. Ryan Smith is a professor of religious history, material culture, and historic preservation at Virginia Commonwealth University. His latest book Death and Rebirth in a Southern City: …
 
In today’s episode Adam Gamwell and Astrid Countee are joined by multispecies anthropologist John Hartigan jr. John is an anthropology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. In his latest work, Shaving the Beasts: Wild Horses and Ritual in Spain, John studies the social lives of wild horses in Spain and Catalonia and the Spanish ritual dat…
 
Our guest today Josh Linkner has had a pretty varied set of experiences that led to to writing his latest book, Big Little Breakthroughs. In fact, he describes himself as being a “strange mix of things.” From an early age he picked up guitar. That’s not necessarily notable, as lots of young kids pick up guitar. However, his interest led him to focu…
 
In the area of ethnomethodology and workplace studies, Jack’s work always served as a case study in how to apply academic research and industry impact. From his earlier days at the University of Oregon, to his move to the Institute for Research on Learning at Stanford, and then to the XEROX Palo Alto Research Center, and even today with the sustain…
 
BOOK GIVEAWAY!! Leave a Review of This Anthro Life for a chance to win a copy of Ghost Work! Leave us a written review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser by May 8, 2021, and email us a screenshot (so we know it's you) at thisanthrolife@gmail.com. We'll randomly pick four winners out of the group from anyone who submits a review by May 8th, 2021. Now ju…
 
Dr. Jacqueline Copeland grew up in Philadelphia, which she describes as a city of neighborhoods. But, just because you have neighborhoods doesn’t mean that everyone is neighborly. From those early experiences of people watching and trying to understand the dynamics of Philly, she became interested in exploring new worlds and understanding different…
 
Oscar Barrera is a Business Anthropologist based out of Veracruz, Mexico who brings a global mindset to helping businesses turn hurdles into opportunities for positive change. He is an expert in innovation, change management, and strategy. In this episode in partnership with This Anthro Life and Experience by Design, podcast cohosts Adam Gamwell an…
 
Oscar Barrera is a Business Anthropologist based out of Veracruz, Mexico who brings a global mindset to helping businesses turn hurdles into opportunities for positive change. He is an expert in innovation, change management, and strategy. In this episode in partnership with Experience By Design podcast cohosts Adam Gamwell and Gary David dig into …
 
Punk is more than songs; it is an ethos, as well as an aesthetic. The punk lifestyle and its music is all about attitude, and fighting against norms, traditional dogma, social injustice, and intolerance. It strives to move outside of how things have always been done, as well as being cautious of authority. The more society tells you that you should…
 
The Experience by Design mothership is being boarded by pirates! On today’s episode, we welcome the Learning Pirate Lauren Waldman. Lauren long has been interested in education and learning, a passion that saw her take on the Head of Learning and Development in Canada for Tata Consulting Services, as well as being Training and Development Manager f…
 
Take a walk with anthropologist and consultant Grant McCracken and host Adam Gamwell, as they discuss Grant's new book The New Honor Code: A Simple Plan for Raising Our Standards and Restoring Our Good Names and dig into Grant's uncanny ability to excavate and weave together (American) culture, media, and storytelling, and pull out provocative insi…
 
Designer and entrepreneur Paul Bulencea, who is the co-creator of the college of extraordinary experiences, visits the Experience by Design studios. Paul’s personal journey started with a Masters degree in recreation while in Salzburg. Blending gamification and experience design, Paul and his advisor created new ground in the space of tourism exper…
 
In January 2021 armed rioters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing and politically fomented insurrection. It was an apex of years of divisive and condemnable rhetoric and fear-mongering used to stoke insecurities and desperate action. How do we ensure this never happens again? Or how do we dismantle the social structures that feed hate, fear, and …
 
Language warning. We use the word sh*t a lot in this episode, since it is, in fact all about poop. To wrap up this crappy, some may even say shitty year, host Adam Gamwell and intern Elizabeth Smyth discuss the origin of the word shit, how the way we defecate is culturally constructed, what our poop reveals about us, and so much more in this New Ye…
 
Many companies want to use customer experience, but are they really embracing its essence? Businesses often think it is about customers being happy in terms of ‘customer satisfaction.’ The point is really customer experience is about much more than satisfaction. To be a company that embraces customer experience is to embrace cultural change. We all…
 
Medicine, like it seems everything else, is undergoing an experiential transformation. The movement toward redefining healthcare in terms of patient experiences is not necessarily new. While it might not ebe new, it still is evolving. Not only our understanding of patient experiences, but the broadening out of that into provider experiences as well…
 
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