Hey listen, think about 9 year old Julissa, who can so clearly articulate what the good life is, maybe we should all try this activity and gain some clarity?

Originally posted on Relational Welfare:

We’ve just run across this tweet by the brilliant 826 Valencia, a San Francisco-based organisation that promotes writing skills for young people. It was created by 9 year old Julissa and shows her take on “the good life”:

The Good Life

We love this because (aside from being pretty darn adorable)  Julissa has managed to create in what we’re guessing was a few minutes what it’s taken our researchers years to refine: a framework of the capabilities people need to create a good life. They might differ a little bit, but all the important pieces are there:

Our capabilities Julissa’s good life
Relationships: capability to build and sustain relationships Helping family; helping friends (We hope they help you too, Julissa)
Work & learning: capability to participate in structured learning and working activities Have a job; good school (no skipping class, no hitting)
Community & environment: capability…

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Simple, powerful words from one of the most well versed relationship building partners in Deloitte Australia & Nike.
“Why not stop procrastinating and make the call or send the email NOW. It could be the start of something big” – John Meacock

Boil it down another level:
“Just do it, it could be something big.”

Originally posted on John Meacock:

What is most important in building a relationship or making a sale:

  • preparation?
  • elevator message?
  • defining value?
  • understanding the client’s needs?

All of these are critical, but not the MOST important factor – the most important thing is stated by Nike – ‘Just do it’.

That is, overcoming the personal inertia and picking up the phone, walking up to someone at a function, hitting send on an email, texting the SMS or mailing the article. So why not stop procrastinating and make the call or send the email NOW. It could be the start of something big.

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Kate Saunderson has done a great summary of good career advice article.

Originally posted on interested and interesting?:

Source: Career rocket rule: Whether you’re a millennial or eyeing retirements, heres what you really need to get right about work a blog post by Brian Fetherstonhaugh sent to me by Alicia Dudek to put things in perspective.

Thoughts: The article begins with you undertaking some simple arithmetic, it asks you to subtract your current age from the number 62. This sets the scene for the rest of the article, namely, how many years do you have left to work. I have, at least, another 35 years, all going well. So what do you do with that time and how, if you are near the beginning, do you comprehend what that means and act strategically?

Fetherstonhaugh references the work of Malcolm Gladwells work in outliers, the concept that it takes 10,00 hours to become excellent at something. So in my dream scenario where I only work a 32 hour week…

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Play nice: design ethnographer meets management consultant, an interview with Alicia Dudek from Deloitte Digital.

I met Trisha Wang at EPIC 2013 last year and our discussion turned into an interview which has been put up on Ethnomatters, one of the the premier ethnographic community blogs.

Check out a new blogpost for the Deloitte Digital blog.

In this post I discuss customer centricity & big data based on Trisha Wang’s Keynote address from EPIC 2013 (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference)

You can read it here:

or click on the picture:

deloitte digital blogpost - Alicia Dudek


Rachel Shadoan, my research partner and alma gemela (soul twin), once wrote this beyond amazing post about how to live with uncertainty in a field as constantly uncertain as ethnography. I rediscovered it today and it really helped me cope with some of the stress I have been under lately.

Originally posted on Rachel Shadoan Muses:

I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche that the world isn’t black and white. This is true. And if you want to be a design ethnographer, you’d best get accustomed to living in the gray.

Living in the gray is a balancing act, which involves, among many other things:

  • standing with one foot in the world of a social scientist and one in the world of a designer
  • balancing a client’s agenda while protecting the interests of participants
  • staying true to the richness and variety of ethnographic results while distilling actionable insights
  • switching from hyper-analytical meta-cognitive work to the hyper-aware meditative zen in-the-moment mindset of fieldwork
  • constantly convincing people that what you do is valuable
  • empathizing without becoming emotionally invested
  • distilling without oversimplifying or overgeneralizing

And that is completely outside of the very normal student worries such as

  • how to pay off student loans
  • where to find a job post-graduation in…

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People who get into the business of design ethnography and qualitative customer insight research do it because they love it.  We have studied and worked in this field because we truly believe that this kind of work  can eventually make someone’s life better. Some days I help improve and redesign error messages and swipe interactions, but these little poorly designed cognitive burdens add up and make your life harder than it needs to be.  Other days I conduct in-depth research with customers on touchy personal topics of great social importance. Having such love for your domain sometimes makes it hard to step back and get perspective. I am  *almost* a passionate explorer, but I could use some work and I will always keep learning. I found some good tools to help re-frame how I thought about work and my passion and I am going to share them with you here.

This year Deloitte published an interesting report out of the Centre for the Edge, a future focused think tank based in the USA, Europe, and Australia. John Hagel and John Seely Brown head it up, you should Google these fine folks to see their fabulous careers and awesome research cred. John Seely Brown was at Xerox’s PARC for years, that is where ethnography and UX collided in the early days of people who did things like design ethnography, but didn’t call it that yet. John Hagel is a strategist and innovator, who not so secretly  has a bit of a passion for passion? I’ll explain.

My point is that the Centre for the Edge has put forth some interesting ideas regarding the difference between the standard (read antiquated) employee engagement measures and the new world of the passionate worker.  The passion of the explorer is a set of characteristics that are displayed by a category of workers that are more likely to be employed at successful companies. By reverse logic, if you employ these people, your company will increase the probability of healthy dividends.  Passion of the explorer can be identified by 3 core concepts: commitment to the domain, questing and connecting. You can watch John Hagel’s video explaining the core concepts of the report.

What impacted me is that, we can become even more passionate explorers, and what’s more is that others can be uplifted into this realm even if they had no interest in it before. The caveat is that I am assuming being a passionate explorer is awesome and that many people in the UX, design, and design research industries are already obsessed with being one. We can now identify and measure our own individual progress as passionate explorers and make plans to work on the parts crucial to our way of working. I really enjoyed this report and the way it laid out a very simple way of understanding the difference between passionate at work and miserable at work.

Additional resources to keep exploring the topic of a passionate workforce

Full Report:  Unlocking the passion  of the Explorer:  Report 1 of the 2013 Shift  Index series From the Deloitte Center for the Edge

A Blogpost from John Hagel about what passionate workers want: John Hagel’s blog on the Manifesto of the Creative Passionate Worker:

Report on the way we need to redesign our work environments physically and experientially in order to move towards more creative and passionate work: Work Environment Redesign Case Studies

DISCLAIMER: I work at Deloitte Digital, but I posted this because I really liked this stuff and it helped me in understanding my own goals ;-)

Check out this simple poster designed to communicate the workshop process used to help people imagine the future of government with out technology constraints.

“The Designing Policy Toolkit is the result of a research project conducted over one year by Laura Forlano and Anijo Mathew, assistant professors at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology, and funded by the Urban Communication Foundation.”


Medical anthropology fascinates me. I hope to do more work in this space in the near future. I think that health, wellness, and the treatment of disease merits significant ethnographic investigations because often the person in the think of it is not even aware of the machinery of the health industry the drives what treatment they are on and how it affects their lives. Brand name medications are of particular interest as they are truly entering mythical status such as the xanex, oxy, and loritabs of the world. “I just pop a xany and it all becomes so much more manageable…”

Originally posted on Ethnography Matters:

headshot of Tazin Karim

Tazin Karim

Editor’s Note:  Tazin Karim (@PharmaCulture) is a medical anthropologist who studies pharmaceutical culture in the US and contexts of prescription stimulant use.  She is also active in the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences. In this post for our Virtual Identity edition, Taz examines the ways in which people use Twitter to construct virtual identities centered on the brand name stimulant Adderall.


In today’s digital world, choosing the right Twitter username is an important decision. It’s the first thing people notice and immediately signals to a potential follower who you are and why they should be interested in what you have to say. Although many stick to their given names, others use the opportunity to highlight their best qualities and brand themselves as an expert academic, baseball fanatic, or mother of the year. So when I found out there were over a hundred people…

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Alicia Dudek

Design Ethnographer
User Experience Consultant
Design Thinker
Play Advocate
Post-it Note Junkie

p.s. These are all my own words, not my employer's.

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