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Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

* Business Anthropology * Issue #1 | August 2020

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— Staff — Founders: Giovanna Manrique and Natalia Usme. Editor in Chief: Natalia Usme. Art Director: Camila Youngerman. Columnists: Jesús Contreras, Daniela Moreno. Guest columnist: Ana Serrano. Translator: Mauricio Téllez Godoy.

* Follow us on Social Media: Facebook: Flipa Consultora Twitter: @FlipaConsultora Instagram: @FlipaConsultora Youtube: Flipa Antropología de Negocios Web: Flipa Consultora Flípate © Magazine, August 2020. Issue No. 1. All rights reserved. Flípate Magazine is not responsible for the publication or distribution of international editions, in other languages, unless the edition has been authorized by Flipa's administrative staff. Do you want to receive the magazine, or send us some comments? Please send an email to contacto@flipaconsultora.com

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Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

EDITO�AL — Issue No. 01 —

* We are seeing, more than ever, how businesses, context and humans change. This has generated a new awakening in the way organizations shape their realities and their relationship with humans. Now, and in the future, it will be extremely relevant to understand, deepen and design strategies from human narratives, the dynamizations of the environment, and the traceability of the past-present and future scenarios of products and services. That is why, in our first edition, we approached, through different lenses, new ways of creating business realities taking social sciences as point of departure. *

Founder.

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RE AD ME p06

Ethnography is dead! Is it? By Natalia Usme.

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Better sunrises and Orbitant Futures. By Daniela Moreno.

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The Required Image. By JesĂşs Contreras.

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New perspectives on customer satisfaction. By Ana M. Serrano Dorado.

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Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

Our writers Natalia Usme. Business Anthropology Manager and Co-owner at Flipa Consultora. She is the pioneer of Business Anthropology in Colombia. Natalia has more than 8 years of experience. She focuses on designing present and future strategies for companies. She has a Masters of Arts in Applied Cultural Analysis from Lund University in Sweden. At Flipa, she leads International and National projects. Natalia is part of the committee of the Global Business Anthropology Summit (GBAS), she is also an international speaker.

Daniela Moreno. Anthropologist from Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. Her work focuses on social innovation projects from the public and private sector. She aims at creating co-creative spaces, in order to truly understand citizens via participatory listening. At the same time unveiling existing gaps and problematizing inequalities. To co-create and develop initiatives with stakeholders.

JesĂşs Contreras. Founder of the GOST Project, an initiative that uses photography as an instrument of change. He holds a B.A in Communication, Social and Cultural Anthropology. With more than 10 years of experience in media. He specializes in print journalism and photography. In 2008 he won the National Journalism Award in Venezuela with mention in Photography. He focuses in visual arts, culture and inclusive education.

Ana Serrano. Ana M. Serrano is a researcher, teacher and project manager. Sociologist from the Universidad del AtlĂĄntico in Colombia, with an MBA in Project Specialization. Administrative Manager at ElectrĂłnica Serrano S.A.S. She focuses on customer perceptions as the central axis in project management.

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Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

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Ethnography is dead! Is it? By Natalia Usme.

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Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

«“The aim of anthropology is the enlargement of the universe of human discourse» — Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of the Cultures (1973).

I heard the phrase about the death of ethnography last Saturday, when I met with a group of anthropologists. It made an impact on me; a chill completely crossed my body. At the same time, the question raised: Has ethnography really died? And if so, what do we have left? To answer this question and to know if ethnography still has pulse, let us first focus on what ethnography actually is. To do that, I want us to think about ethnography as a human who has two types of personalities and, therefore, two possible definitions (and perhaps more). Let us call the first personality Maria. Maria focuses on exploring. Her objective in life is to understand humans and their contexts in order to acquire a deeper understanding into how they live, and to decipher the multiple scenarios they face. The communities they build, their shared understandings, the products, services and experiences that generate discourses, and relationships around them. That is why the ethnographic “Maria” loves to be around people and feel them in the physical world. Now, let us call, the second personality of ethnography, Ana. When Maria fulfills the task of exploring, Ana takes control. What does Ana like to do? She likes to decode the data that her partner has brought to her, and to make questions such as: What are these human narratives saying to us? What possibilities do we have? What can we design for the business with these findings? Thus, what begins like an exploration, turns into a design process for products, services, or

experiences for the business ecosystem. I will go back now to the initial phrase that guided me to write this article. Slowly, from an anthropological mind, the phrase “ethnography is dead” came to live. With this, and in the light of the current context (the pandemic), that person meant that anthropologists, ethnographers, cultural analysts, and other professionals that use ethnography, are no longer able to locate themselves in the physical world of humans. And now what? That was the question we all asked ourselves during these months. How are we going to share with businesses the human narratives they need to make informed decisions? I would like to think that ethnography still has pulse. However, it is a different pulse: one that positions itself in the intersection between technology and reflexivity. If we stop to listen to it, we are going to find it.

How can we listen to it? First we need to rethink it. Ethnography means to be in the world of humans or, as businesses called them, users and clients. Hence, the first question we should consider is: How does the current world of our humans look like? We have two possible perspectives: 1.Staying at home has shaped the physical place of the household, as the entire world of our human, this safe cocoon, now, more than ever, reinforces people’s identity and their place in the world. 2. The second world is the digital one. AlEthnography is dead! Is it? | 7


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though, this is not a new concept; its revitalization as the main “Place to be” became more evident with the pandemic. Now, it is not only an element of distraction from the physical world, but it has become the space that allows our humans to be in the world. Like an “agora” or primary public place. We could even point out that the roles within these two worlds have changed. The digital world has acquired a main role, while the physical world became a “time off” space from the daily virtual activities during the pandemic. That is where the question arises: What is ethnography now? Now, and in the near future, ethnography will consist of adapting digital methodologies to understand the layers of our humans, both in the cyberspace and in the physical world.

Ideas of a futuristic ethnography Here I share some of my futuristic visions on the possibilities of ethnography. Drones as an Extension of Our Fieldwork. Drones are opportunities to locate our minds at our client's physical worlds (If physical presence is not allowed). It is time to think about new adaptions on Shadowing; in digital and physical formats. Thus, we could use drones as an extension of our bodies. As a “partner” that will help us take photos from our client's physical spaces, or as a friend that explores the corners we used to walk. At the same time, drones would allow us to take our field journals immediately without losing those visual and soundscapes within ethnography. Digital Interviews Recently, I read that digital interviews are thought as being “static”: we, as researchers, from one side of the screen, and the human speaking with us on the other side. But, is that so? Are they static? I would suggest they are not. Why? Spaces speak: What spaces does my client choose for the interview? What items surround them? And other key elements that we can use to 8 | Flipate

* I would like to think that ethnography still has pulse. A new pulse that positions itself in the intersection between technology and reflexivity. If we stop to listen to it, we are going to find it. * go beyond the evident, and nourish the process. Let us imagine that, to complement the “Dronified” Shadowing, we used digital interviews, nethnography, and others. That is how we begin to see the plethora of options that we have to keep ethnography alive, to elevate it and, perhaps, to give it new and necessary shades.

Final thoughts Context does not only impact the humans we design for; context also affects the ways in which we conduct research. If we give ourselves the opportunity to move at the same speed of context, we will see that humans are still there to be felt, understood and analyzed. That is why, for me, ethnography is still pretty much alive *


Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

* Context does not only impact the humans we design for; context also affects the ways in which we conduct research. *

Photo by Harsch Shivam from Pexels

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Better sunrises and �rbiting futures.. Text by Daniela Moreno

«A dystopia is an “unpleasant, frightening, disagreeable place you don’t want to be”» — Margaret Atwood.

On April 16th, 2020, Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood mentioned these words for an interview on the British portal The Guardian. The goal of this interview was to know Atwood's opinion regarding the current COVID-19 situation, and to know if this panorama could be comparable with a dystopic scene. For Atwood, the current situation cannot be defined as such: because, according to her, no one planned it. To think about Atwood's words makes me wonder: What kind of society do we want to live in? How can we plan it or design it? 10 | Flipate

The question itself is complex and challenging. To answer it, we need to think about the kind of society we currently live in, and then give us permission to imagine the type of society we want to live in. To do that, we first need to develop a conjunction and mixture of disciplines that allow us to imagine, to co-create and to plan what we want for the future. And secondly, we need to raise uncomfortable questions that allow us to iterate until we achieve what we socially want for the future.


Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

The circulation of concepts, and the conjunction between techniques and theories from different areas of study are essential to create hybrid disciplines, that allow us to generate constant dialogues to address complex social problems. The way of working of the disciplinary organization has resulted in a limited thinking; creating knowledge for and within the discipline. Nevertheless, present and future historical challenges reveal that opening knowledge, as well as disciplinary borders are necessary to approach complex challenges. As I approach this dissertation, it is valid to ask: How can disciplines such as anthropology, and design create mutual dialogues? To answer this question, it is important to recognize the social role of any process and product, realizing that they are designed for a person that lives in a certain social context. This crucial point makes it necessary to understand and to investigate the identities, similarities, communities and beliefs they have, both within the context, and because of it. Thus, the conversation between anthropology and design is wide. Firstly, as anthropologists we are trained to understand, investigate, analyze, and to make social, cultural, and political critics of the world around us. To accomplish our task, different ethnographical and nethnographical research methods are applied: interviews, social mapping, focus groups, observation, and participant observation. These methods allow us to approach a social problematic, understand it, and analyze it. Secondly, anthropologists and social scientists in general raise reflective questions that shape the roadmap of the research process. These questions help us to understand how people inscribe themselves into a certain identity, as well as the way in which they occupy a space in the world. And, how the categories of race, gender, and class determine their social experience. All of this allows us to diagnose: 1) What are the needs in a certain context or population? And 2) what solutions, processes or products does this group of people really need?

Photo by Vitรณria Santos from Pexels

* It is important to recognize the world of our humans: their context, their problems, and the way in which they are socialized in the world. And to always keep in mind that design is not done for the people, but from the people. *

The aforementioned corresponds to the input or the diagnosis that any design process, private or public, needs in order to propose a service or a solution that really serves citizens Better sunrises and orbitant futures | 11


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Photo by Ali Pazani from Pexels

or users. That is the first step of Design Thinking in order to create services or products focused on the users. Thus, it is important to know, and to question the reality in which a product or service is being designed, in order to think of possible and impactful strategies both for the designers and researchers, as for the audience. If we do not think of design as a two-way street, then it will fail. That is why it is important to recognize the world of our humans: their context, their problems, and the way in which they are socialized in the world. And to always keep in mind that design is not done for the people, but from the people. An interdisciplinary approach is needed for the recognition of problems, knowledge construction, and possible solutions. I consider this extremely relevant if we transfer this set of basic premises into social, collective and structural problems, and ask ourselves: How can we design products, services or projects that, somehow, surpass the structural, political and cultural gaps of certain contexts? As this is a reflective question, I do not intend to give a definitive and complete answer. Rather, I consider that an interdisciplinary ap12 | Flipate

proach would allow us to address the complex problems that we face today, and the challenges that we could encounter in the future. The mixture of methodologies and theories is important in order to address them. It is important to listen, to co-create, and to iterate; in order to create products and services that really generate value for citizens and users; not from a passive listening, but from an active and participatory one. By doing so, could we create more socially constructive and fair futures? Could design and social sciences contribute to actively involving people in the construction of their futures? I will leave that for you to answer.

Dreaming and shaping futures That said, to be able to dream is the most powerful thing we humans have. It means to imagine, and draw the world we really want; placing a great expectation on what is to come, and believing that the big promise that our imagination is creating, will turn into something achievable. The future is the time in which we deposit all our dreams, fears, and desires. The question raised afore makes me dream: Could design and social sciences


Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

contribute to the decrease of existing social inequalities? And, what can be done to achieve the changes that I am imagining for the future? As with the previous question, I do not intend to answer these ones here. I just want to state them as a reflection. Furthermore, I want to mention that I write this text from my experience, which allows me to speak from what I learnt from future studies. Thus, for example, I recognize that the future cannot be predicted, according to Professor Jim Dator, from the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, future does not exist, and cannot be known nor predicted. It means that we can only design the future from what we think about it.

1.Possible futures: these are those futures that we think 'might' happen, based on some future knowledge we do not yet possess, but which we might have someday. It means what might be. 2.Probable futures: those we think are 'likely to' happen, usually based on (in many cases, quantitative) current trends. It means, what might happen according to the tendencies. I will further develop on this concept. 3.Plausible futures: those we think 'could' happen based on our current understanding of how the world works (physical laws, social processes, etc.). What could happen according to physics’ laws and common sense.

But how can we, and until what point, imagine the future? To answer this, we need to think about the plurality and polyphony of the future. In this respect, we cannot continue this text if we do not speak about futures. Yes, in plural. There are multiple ways to think about the future and to project it, as well as shaping it.

4.Preferrable futures: those we think 'should' or 'ought to' happen: normative value judgements as opposed to the mostly cognitive, above. There is also of course the associated converse class —the un-preferred futures—a 'shadow' form of anti-normative futures that we think should not happen nor ever be allowed to happen. What should happen. (Voros: 4: 2017)

In his text, The Futures Cone (2017), Joseph Voros, Doctor of Philosophy, defines seven types of futures. Here, I will address four of them.

The above-mentioned allows us to analyze that there are multiple ways to think about futures: not only from one perspective, but from

* Hence, futures become a construction space, where different types of interests come together: economic, social, political, among others. Future cannot “be predicted”, but “preferable futures” can and must be anticipated, invented, implemented, constantly evaluated, reviewed, and reinvented. * Better sunrises and orbitant futures | 13


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multiple ones. Therefore, these definitions from Voros are not rigid nor inflexible. On the contrary, they are hybrid and mixed, which allows to discuss all types of futures: those that can be possible, those that can be probable, or those that become preferable, either for a specific issue, for a specific population, or for an individual. Hence, futures become a space in construction, where different types of interests come together: economic, social, political, among others. Future cannot “be predicted”, but “preferable futures” can and must be anticipated, invented, implemented, constantly evaluated, reviewed, and reinvented. Therefore, the main task of futures studies, social sciences, and design is to facilitate the formulation of preferable futures by humans, shape spaces for its implementation and visualization. (Dator, 2003) Designing and studying futures is shaped around strategic thinking. This type of mindset is the only one that is going to allow us articulate and implement what we imagine about individual and collective futures. In his text “A generic foresight process framework" (2005), Voros explains a series of steps to think, analyze, and then take action in response to possible, preferable or probable futures. He organizes them in three levels, which I will briefly explain: 1.Inputs: Things happening. 2.Foresight. This stage is about investigating, discovering and discussing which are the behaviors, the words, actions; contradictions, inflections, practices of our humans, etc.; and to try to classify these findings into patterns or signals: hints of what might become different, as researcher Jane McGonigal defines them. And a tendency: the compilation of several sets of signals. Analysis: What seems to be happening 2.2 Interpretation: What is really happening 2.3 Prospection: What could happen 3. Outputs: What we might need to do 4. Strategy/policy: What we will we do?

All of the above suggests that the intersection between social sciences, design and future studies is out there. And from my experience as an anthropologist, I can make two arguments: On one hand, we are prepared for gathering 14 | Flipate

FU FU FU FU FU FU FU FU

information. We are able to identify, and analyze the patterns of the past and the present. Identifying the possible change signals, and trends. On the other hand, we are able to interpret and to analyze the social and cultural behaviors. Now let me bring into your attention, the thoughts of anthropologist Clifford Geertz in The Interpretation of Cultures (1973), where he argues that culture is like a text. Guided by his thought, I can confirm that anthropology should be understood as a hermeneutic task that seeks to understand (read) social expressions that are not superfluous. In sum, I think we should be open to working in interdisciplinary ways, it is time! We cannot address present and future challenges guided by the academic egos that each discipline has. It is important to be open, to dialog and to create debate platforms about alternative forms of being. And, ask ourselves, how can we inspire and encourage people's imagination to flow freely in their futures? What can we design in order to bring into reality the changes we imagine as a society? What types of futures are possible? For whom? What types of futures do we prefer?

From my experience, the design and study of futures can be compared to a political act: it invites people to participate actively as citizens and users in imagining different futures, and to be part of its construction. If we think that our present was planned by people, industries, ideologies, or others from the past, we will think about how important it is to think, speak and discuss the future. To position ourselves and others, to imagine, to debate, and to construct. This active approach will allow us to close social inequalities and shape fair futures. Such approach also serves as a catalyst to collectively redefine our relationship with the present and coming reality. The role of social sciences is key to open those disciplinary borders, to be able to think about orbiting futures, and to dream about better sunrises. *


UTUROS POSIBL UTUROS*PROBAB What can we design in order UTUROS PLAUSI to bring into reality the changes we imagine asPREFER a society? UTUROS What types of futures are possible?POSIBL For whom? UTUROS What types of futures do we prefer? UTUROS PROBAB * UTUROS PLAUSI UTUROS PREFER Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REFERENCES

Atwood,M (2020).The Guardian. Margaret Atwood: COVID-19 lockdown is not a dystopia. Retrieved.

Geertz, C. (2000). The Interpretation of Cultures (Vol. 13). Barcelona: Gedi

Voros, J. (2017). The Futures Cone, use and history. Foresight, Futures Studies, Method.

Dator, J. (1995). What futures studies is, and is not. Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies.

Voros, J. (2003). A generic foresight process framework.

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The required

image Text by Jesús Contreras. Photos by: Jesús Contreras and Lorenzo Morales

Photo by Jesús Contreras

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Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

«I will see less and less all the time, even though I may not lose my eyesight I shall become more and more blind because I shall have no one to see me» — Blindness, By José Saramago.

I learned to observe with explorer's eyes. I have always been interested in discovering the world through the senses. I even remember pursuing piglets at my father's farm. They were very fast, that is why I could never touch their skin, however, that did not stop me from trying, I always tried. I also used to plan excursions to climb fantastic mountains and discover imaginary worlds. When I grew up, I understood that those games responded to my desire to tell stories through my memories. Those stories had a guiding principle: an image. Without knowing it, I was trying to associate the sensations with certain mental images that allowed me to express an emotion, an opinion, or an idea. Perhaps that is the reason why I became a photographer. Today I understand that je ne sais quoi of the visual necessity and its importance. There are several opinions about what an image is. Some people limit images solely to the visual universe, that is, everything we see. For example, the perception model of Western society is dominated by the sense of sight. There are multiple stories where ideas referring to knowledge, light, education, reality, and/or truth are linked directly to sight. But, what if sight did not dominate our perceptive process, would we be able to shape images? Would we be educated? Would we still tell visual stories? These questions allowed me to get involved in a whole new world. If we asked a photographer what is his worst fear, he would probably respond: going blind. I decided to take that fear to enter the world of blindness. Just like a curious boy, I took ethnographic resources to travel a world where, instead of being the one-eyed king, I was just another blind man.

I discovered that, despite the absence of sight, our body still perceives sensorial stimuli, constructing another type of sight developed in the intersection between memory, emotions, and identity. In order to arrive to this conclusion, I tried to place myself in the world of a blind person. I began walking down the street without my glasses, and then with my eyes completely closed. It tried to ride my bicycle a few meters doing the same dynamic, but almost instantly I had to open my eyes, not to hit another cyclist. I even tried to choose the clothes that I would wear, and also getting dressed in the darkness. The first time I met a blind photographer was in 2014. I lived in Maracaibo, my hometown and had the pleasure to interview Sonia Soberats, a recognized blind photographer worldwide. When I became familiar with her history, her perception of the world really resonated with me. She is also from Venezuela, which helped us connect, and share ideas around the world that surrounded us. The article was published in the newspaper where I worked. Right after that, my search for the visual scape changed. Every photographer, including myself, used to take Henry Cartier Bresson as a reference. Accepting, as an axiom, his idea that taking a photograph involves a physical and intellectual satisfaction generated when using our mind, eyes, and heart to capture a fragment of reality. Thus, my first reference was guided by the idea that photography is a means to show the truth by reconstructing an image with sight. According to this, human beings' socio-cultural context becomes evident through sight. This feature of the photographic image provides it with an incalculable value as docuThe required image | 17


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que, a pes a de la vis uerpo con do estĂ­mu s, constru Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

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mentary support of reality, or part of a reality, perceived by our senses. As a photojournalist, I was trained in photography with this premise. However, meeting Soberats made me approach reality with a different glance. “What the photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: The Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. In the Photograph, the event is never transcended for the sake of something else: the photograph always leads the corpus I need back to the body I see.” (Barthes, 1989:28). The corpus Barthes talks about is the set of cultural representations that allow us, as humans, to explain our environment. Nevertheless, through that outlook, the definition of what photography perceives, was still the result of three factors: mind, eye, and heart. This argument still kept the idea that sight is essential to create images. Without eyes, there is no image, no paradise. I felt that this did not coincide with the process of visual creation of a blind person, so my research started by talking with Soberats.

Light painting In November 2015, during a trip to Venezuela that Soberats made, I met with her and we held an awareness workshop for professional and amateur photographers. I was her assistant. Within the workshop, we were able to use a light painting technique for the creation of images. We played with lanterns and used materials like aluminum paper, globes, or cardboard to create pictures of astronauts, monsters, and anything we could think of. Light painting is currently one of the most peculiar types of photography. This technique requires a lot of practice, precision, creativity, and discipline. It is about drawing, with light, lines, forms, or whatever we can think of directly in the photography, using the air as a canvas and registering the scenes at extremely slow shutter speeds. At that moment, I understood that the “gaze” of blind photography starts from the inner world: from the imagination outwards, to the outside, to reality. It was the art of rediscovering the world taking a starting point our feelings. Shaping dif20 | Flipate

ferent elements through tact, breathing, or smell. That is, repowering all the senses, and allowing us to be near the soul of the objects, and the people we portrayed through perception.

Let us get to work! In 2016, and with this knowledge, I designed the first photography workshop for blind people, at Zulia State's Library. There I met five blind people, one of whom was blind from birth. The experience was satisfactory for the participants; they created unique and unrepeatable images. The last contact I had with them was an email they sent to me on the day I was leaving Venezuela. They wanted to repeat the experience, but, unfortunately, I did not have a return date to my country. That last email still remains within my thoughts. In fact, during a whole year, I thought about repeating that workshop in Chile, my new home. After some attempts on returning to photography, I decided to retake the idea of photography for blind people. I held the workshop. The only condition I was given was that it had to for free. I said yes and we set the date for the new proposal. In May 2018, I initiated the design process of this second photography workshop for blind and low vision people. There were six people in the course: Lorenzo Morales, Flora Magne, Angelica Villar, Lindor Maldonado, Diana Camacho, and Javier Márquez. The group had three people with total blindness and three people with low vision. The workshop lasted three months. The idea was for people with low vision to also take pictures using blindfolds. The first time I told one of the participants to put one on, he said: “How about putting one yourself?” At that moment I realized that the processes could not be imposed. I had to let them flow and monitor the process of each participant. We experimented with light. We talked about color, shape, and texture. We exchanged memories, emotions, and dreams. They became like a family for me. At first, I approached them as an anthropologist; however, as months went by, boundaries between subjectivities disappeared.


Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

Photo by Lorenzo Morales

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* I understood that the “gaze” of blind photography starts from the inner world: from the imagination outwards, to the outside, to reality. * I remembered the first group I had, and my idea of creating a group of blind photographers in my city. The development of the workshops was almost organic, as if we had known each other for years. The images we first made, were the representations of their mental models. A symbolic action that showed the particular way this group perceived their world. While for a person who is able to see, the visual is what is in front of his eyes, for a visually impaired person the visual arises from another type of sensory scape. Despite the absence of vision, our body still perceives sensorial stimuli, constructing another type of sight developed in the intersection between memory, emotions, and identity. These new approaches made me question everything I knew about image and photography, to the point of redefining my idea of the photographic act. Now I can say that photography is a holistic process, where reason, emotion, and perception take part in order to create images. This new approach made me feel even more enthusiastic on the idea of creating a photographic group. I had to name it. The name had to meet certain relevant criteria. First, it should not refer to the lack of sight. Second, it had to be linked to the world of photography, without relating to common words such as lens, camera, light, zoom, vision, among others. Third, the name had to sound good both in English and Spanish. So, as I continued to held weekly workshops, I keep thinking about the name that was going to define our whole group. 22 | Flipate

GOST is born I started looking for group names. The majority referred to photography or blindness. Then I reviewed a dictionary of photographic terms and found the word GOST. The term is out of use. It refers to the scale of sensitivity to the light of the photographic film (equivalent to the ISO). I liked the sound of the word; phonetically, it sounded great in English, Spanish, and even in Russian. I talked to several people about that word and discovered that the word "guest" in German sounded like GOST in that language. I was fascinated with the idea of using this as a metaphor for explaining the visual creation exercise that we were developing. I was a guest to the inner world of each participant, this is because, at least two people need to participate in the process: the camera operator and the light painter. Therefore, this photographic technique is a highly creative and inclusive process. With the word “Gost”, the second and third criteria I was looking for were fulfilled. Nevertheless, how could this name talk about the world of the visual perception of blind people? When observing how the dynamic between blindness and photography helped this group of people to communicate their inner world in a playful and symbolic way, I thought about a visual category that would express the need to tell stories through images. A category that would give these photographers value within society, allowing them to be aware of the elements involved in the construction of their visual stories, their visuality. I called this category Sensory and Transper-


Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

sonal Observation. We just needed to thought of ourselves as a group to complete the name: “Project GOST” (in Spanish: Grupo de Observación Sensorial y Transpersonal). It is sensory because it uses other senses to transmit the way they perceive and discover the world. Transpersonal, because it goes beyond the person, that means that the construction of images will allow them to connect with dreams, emotions, memories, and their glance will be deeper. With a name, a group, and the minimum tools to work, we took the first step towards materializing our dream; using photography as a pedagogical tool to generate social change. This change would visualize blind and low vision people, allowing them to establish themselves, not from marginality nor disability during this process of image creation, but from a perspective of privilege, where they construct a dynamic narrative that materializes their imaginary outside from the established aesthetic parameters.

what Project GOST looks for. The required image is that of the explorer I was as a child, and the curious adult I am. An adult that dreams of a world where equality of all people, especially handicapped people, is not just “another” matter that should be legislated. That is why it is essential to generate and support initiatives that eradicate any type of discrimination on any disability, anywhere in the world. Ensuring the enjoyment of human rights is everyone's task. *

It is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of visual impairment worldwide. According to studies developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2010, 285 million people in the world were visually impair, and 39 million of them were blind. Besides that, 81% of people with blindness or moderate to serious visual impairment are older than 50 years old. The rate of old age population in many countries is increasing. This suggests that the number of people prone to suffer visual impairment, due to chronic eye diseases, will increase too. This phenomenon makes the development of activities related to this topic a priority for the sustainable growth of society. We must educate our gaze, by deconstructing what we have learned. It is important to think of ourselves as a camera. A camera that does not aim at freezing an instant from the outside world, but that explores the inner one, filled with emotions. The required image searches for our memories, dreams, and soul landscapes. It allows us to understand that there is no reason without heart. This co-creative journey proposes a more intimate visual message; where different perspectives are able to further discover all of the pieces of reality, generating a change in society. That is

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barthes, R (1989) Cámara Lucida. Nota sobre la fotografía. España. Ediciones Paidos Iberica S.A Cartier-Bresson, H (2011). Fotografía de lo natural. Barcelona, Editorial Gustavo Gili, SL. Durand, G (1972). La Imaginación Simbólica. Paris Guber, R (2001). La Etnografía. Método, campo y reflexividad. Enciclopedia Latinoamericana de Sociocultural y Comunicación. Colombia, Grupo NORMA. Peña Sánchez, N (2014).Otras visualidades: crear y enseñar fotografía desde la percepción invidente. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

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New perspectives on customer satisfaction analysis. 24 | Flipate

Photo by Zichuan Han from Pexels

Issue N°1

Text by Ana M. Serrano Dorado Have you ever had a negative result on your company's customer satisfaction assessment, despite having an internal increase within productivity and quality management? At my company, ElectrĂłnica Serrano Soluciones S.A.S, this question was brought to our attention and we wanted to address it. We wanted to know: What is the relationship between our customers' perceptions and their qualification on our performance? How does, and if, these perceptions affect our corporate reputation? Within this article, I share a guide, based on some sociological concepts, that will help us to understand these questions, and why they are useful for the business setting. This article is also the result of an exploratory investigation carried out in the market of repair and maintenance for electronic equipment services, specifically in the niche of specialized companies focusing in audiovisual equipment repair in Barranquilla, Colombia. First, let me invite you to unveil some sociological concepts that will allow us to understand how customer perceptions are formed and how they directly affect performance assessments.


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

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Issue N°1

* What is the relationship between our customers' perceptions of the world, and their qualification on our business performance? How does these perceptions affect our corporate reputation? * Let us talk about Perception, Memory, and Habitus We will begin our conceptual journey with a brief theoretical approach on perception and memory, to answer how these two concepts, in addition to product or service attribute values, influence directly on the score that customers give to companies' performance. Perception: It can be defined as a conscious or unconscious cognitive process, that takes place in our mind. The mind processes all the information it finds within its surroundings, and through the senses. This information goes immediately into a process of selection, organization, and interpretation. Therefore, perceptions are interpretations we give to objects and experiences. They are conditioned by objective and subjective stimuli. In marketing, objective stimuli are known as physical and measurable attributes that the brand, product, or service has. Subjective stimuli focus on the intangible attributes that we understand as “brand values”: the emotions created, and shaped by (and with) the customer. In addition to physical and intangible attributes influencing our customer's perception, there are two other concepts that we need to add into the mix: memory and habitus. On one 26 | Flipate

hand, memory refers to our customers' previous experiences. They will influence the opinions they have about our product or service. On the other hand, habitus corresponds to how people are trained, by external circumstances, to perceive, and act within the world. Some of the key factors that involve a “habitus development” are the person's social and economic position, education, family background; amongst other items. At the same time, the habitus creates an impact in the decision-making process of customers, for example, it leads them to use certain brands that they correlate with their actions and way of “being” in the world. We can contextualize these concepts in marketing studies. For instance, in the ways in which we segment or generate our market niches according to demographic, geographic, or socioeconomic variables. Taking these concepts as a point of departure, we could argue that memory (conditioned by habitus: individual experiences, lifestyle, economic status) is what shapes the subjective character of perception. Thus, memory and habitus are practically inseparable from perception. Perception studies allow us to understand that there are customer-assessed attributes that go beyond the physical or functional features of the product or service. We are talking about intan-


Designing Possible Futures for the Business Realm via Business Anthropology

gible attributes created by habitus and memory. That is why it is important for the business ecosystem to analyze customer satisfaction with multidisciplinary lenses. This approach will allow companies to develop strategic plans based on the perception that their customers have at a social and individual level on their products and services. To accomplish this, companies should begin their research by analyzing their microsegments, or small groups of customers, that fulfill common characteristics. Following that roadmap, we can objectively

* Perception studies allow us to understand that there are customer-assessed attributes. These attributes go beyond the physical or functional features of the product or service. We are talking about intangible attributes created by habitus and memory. * contextualize the improvement that our services need, and act upon the results. Of course, this could have positive implications on the social reputation of our companies. If, by any chance, your team does not know what are the current brand attributes and values, the first step should be to hold a meeting with the company's stakeholders. Have a talk with them, review the research documentation and plan for new research. And also keep in mind that, depending on the interested party, they will or will not consider certain attributes of the service or product. Let us go back to the initial questions: Is there an existing a relationship between our customers' habitus and the way in which they score our business performance? Do these per-

ceptions affect our corporate reputation? Indeed, our customer's economic capacity, context, social status, have a direct influence in the way they perceive our business. In our organization's case, customers with high buying capacity tend to recognize differential attribute values as being the most important, in contrast to other nonexpert or amateur groups, who only look for cost/benefit. * Author's note: The term Stakeholder consists of: customers, customers' microsegments, consumers, suppliers, workers, and other people involved in the projects.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arrontes y Barrera. (2020) Valores de la marca. Recuperado de https:// arrontesybarrera.com/creati bo/i nf luyen-atri butos-de-marca-en-estrategia-branding/ Halbwachs, M. (2004) [1925]: Los marcos sociales de la memoria, Barcelona: Anthropos Editorial. Luque, T. (2017) Investigación de marketing 3.0. Edición pirámide Serrano D, A. (2016) Percepciones de habitantes y otros actores sobre el patrimonio cultural del barrio Getsemaní en Cartagena (Tesis de pregrado sociología). Universidad del Atlántico. González, E. (2013) Memoria e historia, vademécum de conceptos y debates fundamentales. Madrid: Los libros de la catarata.

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