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Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

* Business Anthropology * Issue No. 2 | September 2020

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— Staff — Founders: Giovanna Manrique y Natalia Usme. Editor in Chief: Natalia Usme. Art Director: Camila Youngerman. Columnists: Jesús Contreras, Daniela Moreno. Guest Graphic Artist: Diana Camacho Briceño. Translator: Mauricio Téllez Godoy. Proofreader: Carolina Serrano.

* Follow us on Social Media: Facebook: Flipa Consultora Twitter: @FlipaConsultora Instagram: @FlipaConsultora Youtube: Flipa Antropología de Negocios Web: Flipa Consultora Flípate © Magazine, September 2020. Issue No. 2. 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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Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

EDITO�AL — Issue No. 02 —

What is hidden from the eyes of the business? That was the question that triggered this edition. We tried to answer it through the glance of Business Anthropology. That is why we invite you to keep in mind this key thought: Business Anthropology means business design and strategy. A business design that is obtained thanks to contextual data for clear and strategic companies’ prospective. An actionable business design that starts from a methodological roadmap focused on exploration, prototyping for the creation of sustainable products and services. A business design with a holistic glance and approach, encompassing people, business, and contextual needs.

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READ ME p06

The fractals and the hidden dimension. By JesĂşs Contreras.

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The first Business Anthropology Summit Online in Latin America. By Natalia Usme.

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Businesses through mirrors and what an anthropologist found there. By JesĂşs Contreras.

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What if we take our shoes off? By Daniela Moreno

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Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

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.

Jesús 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.

Diana Camacho Briceño (Guest Graphic Artist) Diana Camacho Briceño, is a Chilean artist with Marfan syndrome and low vision. She is currently studying Arts at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Chile. She perceives art as an ally. She thinks every creation exceeds its own existence by acquiring multiple shapes.

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The fractals and the hidden dimension. By JesĂşs Contreras.

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Photo by Andre Moura on Pexels


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

«If the future is to remain open and free, we need people who can tolerate the unknown, who will not need the support of completely worked out systems or traditional blueprints from the past» — Margaret Mead

I have always been asked, what does an anthropologist do? I ask myself that same question every day. When I was a university professor, I even tried to answer it at the welcome session of each course. When I introduced myself, I talked about my specialty, always ending in a jokingly manner: “I do not look for dinosaurs, that is what archaeologists like Indiana Jones do.” That micro-moment in class allowed me to reflect on my own perspective as an anthropologist and use ethnography as a tool to make sense out of my world. For the Argentinian anthropologist Rosana Guber (2001), ethnography is a scientific research method that tries to understand the social world phenomena from the perspective of the actors involved in a group. Ethnography offers the possibility of constructing a theoretical-practical argument of a social and cultural issues through the ethnographer's interpretation of human reality. During my classes, I employed the ethnographic method in order to collect the descriptions and interpretations that students made about what it was to be an anthropologist. Based on what they said, I could contextualize their comments in the real world, understanding anthropological work from their perspective. This allowed me to connect some dots that are relevant for the business environment. Both social sciences and the business sector work –or have the potential to work– understanding that everything is part of a system. The language that humans –or customers– use creates their culture and reality. People socialize their ideas constructing a symbolic framework from what they consider valuable,

interesting, necessary, beautiful, good, true, among others. Identity is created by mixing subjectivities, by comparing views among peers. They are all pieces of the same puzzle, within a fractal dimension that the business ecosystem must understand in order to act strategically.

What is a fractal? This word comes from the Latin fractus, that means “fragmented” or “fractured”. In 1975, mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot used it to explain certain objects' property to make copies of themselves. This means that they have similar figures that replicate, in different scales, within themselves. There are two types of fractals: linear and non-linear. The first are formed by a simple change of variation in scale, as it happens with the Menger sponge. The second originates from more complex processes, or, as chaos theory would say, from non-linear distortions. Most of the natural objects are non-linear fractals. If we compare companies to living organisms –especially because they are made up of people–, then we can say that their structure is similar to non-linear fractals because their dynamics constantly changes. In such sense, Capra (1998) explains: Another important link between chaos theory and fractal geometry is the change from quantity to quality. As we have seen, it is impossible to predict the values of the variables of a chaotic system in a given time, but we can predict the qualitative characteristics of the system's behavior. Similarly, it is impossible to calculate the exact length or area of a fractal figure, but we can qualitatively define its degree of notched. (p. 78).

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This is where the social sciences come in to support the non-linear fractals that are organizations: social sciences zoom into the qualitative. They offer a range of people-focused analytical perspectives. Creating value within organizations from a more human perspective, and releasing them from the rational that they usually manage (optimization of processes, fast profit-making). This allows organizations to discover what is important for people, thus achieving dimensions that are often forbidden to the business ecosystem. Mentioning the qualitative dimensions that business anthropology offers, makes me think of anthropologist Edward T. Hall and his book The Hidden Dimension. Based on the studies of Benjamin Lee Whorf on the Hopi and the Shawnee peoples, and his approach to language as the main element of thought creation. Hall states that communication is fundamental for the construction of culture. In this sense, an interesting question for the business ecosystem would be: from which perspectives does the organizations communicate with its internal, and external audience? Only by answering this question we will be able to know what type (and if any) of value we create for our audiences. The Hidden Dimension raises the argument that cultural systems that guide human behavior are deeply related to biology and

physiology. The perception of humans is bonded by a series of sensorial stimuli –auditory, visual, sound, tactile, or olfactory– that allows them to recognize the world in which they live. Would it be the same if we applied this to the business field? I think it would. According to Hall, what separates humans from other animals is that the former has developed what he calls extensions of their organisms in order to improve their functions (for example, the computer is an extension of the brain). These extensions allow human beings to recreate their natural habitat, and to broaden their senses, which results in even more realistic technologies nowadays. Nevertheless, this communication process between humans and their space is not rigidly generated. The human-habitat relationship is more complex than we imagine. If we use linguist Roman Jakobson’s scheme in order to explain this communication process, we will realize that the message between receiver and sender varies according to the space where it occurs. Roman Jakobson's communication model proposes the existence of a message that is transmitted by a sender (who communicates), through a channel (physical or psychological), towards a receiver (who receives the information). This process occurs in certain contexts and codes, allowing both parties to understand the message.

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Icons by Canva

Fig 1. Communication model by Jakobson, 1960. Adapted for this edition.


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

Even if we have the same communication space, the receiver, and sender perception might not be homogenous. This is because human beings live in different perceptual worlds, in unequal sensory dimensions. Thus, people adapt to the environment in which they live in, and, based on that, they communicate. The future of organizations will focus on developing business models that enhance human talent, both internally and externally. Models that provide a different gaze, an analysis, and a space to discover create human and tech-based realities. Social scientists' work is highly relevant in a world where product and service design focus on people and their habitats. Sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, philosophers, among others, help businesses understand people's interaction with their products, the impact of the services, and the symbolic and communicative framework that each individual has. The vertiginous change of the industry makes it necessary to build organizational realities with teams that focus on exploring and analyzing fractals. This means to look for patterns in ever-changing data, to observe their dynamics, to understand them and to apply new visions. In order to achieve this, it is vital to apply methodologies in the business field that are based on social sciences. This new view will allow companies to reduce the sensation of chaos and uncertainty in their strategies, allowing them to understand the hidden dimension of their businesses and the value they provide to the market. *

* The vertiginous change of the industry makes it necessary to build organizational realities with teams that focus on exploring and analyzing fractals. This means to look for patterns in ever-changing data, to observe their dynamics, to understand them and to apply new visions. *

REFERENCES

Battle, A y Grebol, S. (2009) Fractales en los mercados financieros. España. Tesina master mercados financieros. UPF Barcelona School of Management . Capra, F. (1998) La trama de la vida. España. Editorial Anagrama S.A

Guber, R. (2001). La Etnografía. Método, campo y reflexividad. Enciclopedia Latinoamericana de Sociocultural y Comunicación. Colombia, Grupo NORMA. Hall, E. (1972). La dimensión Oculta. España. Siglo XXI editores S.A

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Art by Diana Camacho BriceĂąo


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

An idea is born:

The first Business Anthropology Summit Online in Latin America By Natalia Usme.

Natalia: What if we do a Business Anthropology Summit Online? Giovanna: When? Natalia: Next month. That was the conversation I had with Giovanna, our CEO, a month before materializing what would become one of the largest and most significant milestones for our company. In fact, many of the projects, decisions, and ideas we take at Flipa are born from what seems like innocent conversations, but become transcendental. Without wasting time, we raised the subject of the Summit, inspired by the topic of the first Flípate magazine edition: Future Design. Once defined, we began a digital exploration of the speakers we wanted to invite. We made a list, and day by day we started contacting them. Some of them accepted immediately, others need more time to fall in love with the idea finally we got our big yes. With fifteen "yes" from global leaders in Business Anthropology, the event was created. But what is an event without a team, an orchestra that sets the rhythm for the audience? We had a wonderful team designing this experience: from Universidad del Rosario volunteers to Flipados, and dreamers that joined the vision. As the event was getting closer, we realized that we wanted the Summit to be more than just a “Summit”. Where is the sensory? What do people expect from the Summit? We knew we needed to conduct an agile research in order to design the strategy, and so we did. We created the model thanks to the research: Thirty-minute talks, two reading picnics that would transport participants right to Central Park (why not?), the most wonderful singer, and different micro-moments that would make people travel from their desks into Flipa’s pink world; a world of innovation, creation, and 24/7 Business Anthropology. Those three days were born from a conversation with Giovanna; three days that were outlined in a month. They were three days that generated knowledge, laughter, virtual company, and mainly new glances for the business ecosystem on its possible futures. I flip and toast for another three days just like these ones in my possible futures. * NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: We understand Flipa as: Innovating, creating, shaping new possibilities and above all; transcending what might seem evident.

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srorrim hguo ereht dnuof tsigolo


rough mirrors pologist found there

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Art by Diana Camacho BriceĂąo.

ht sessenisuB orhtna na tahw dna

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«Imagination is the only weap Alicia's Adventures in Won

The magician with the brightest face and his link with Business Anthropology A screen is more than an object. It may be a door to different glances, to multiple subjectivities, or even a window to possible worlds. But a window does not always face outside. Looking at a screen could be an introspective exercise, because it could force us to take a look at what we are as a society. While I log into a virtual meeting, I feel enchanted by my notebook's luminous screen, a screen that welcomes me to the First Business Anthropology Summit Online in Latin America. At the beginning I saw a black screen. Natalia Usme and Giovanna Manrique, Flipa Consultora's founders, were the moderators. This black screen had multiple luminous and small windows creating an environment full of humanity. All the participants were excited by the opportunity to get to know the voices and faces behind this Summit. On the first day, Louise Pasteur, Inga Treitler, Cristobal Cabo, and Karen Smits conformed the speaking panel. Like good business anthropologists, their talks' approach was filled with the imaginative and curious frameworks on how to approach the business realm. Before the first talk, the artist Ximena Ingunza brightened up the moment with some music. Louise Pasteur was the one in charge of inaugurating the Summit with her talk Navigating uncertainty: Anthropology, the business of change. Louise listens to the music and smiles. The music transcends language and creates an 16 | Flipate

atmosphere where participants immerse themselves and get ready to listen to it. "Anthropology can help us navigate complex waters”, explains Pasteur. Crossing the sea is like navigating the business system. Our society thinks that life, or imagination, flows like a river current. Social dynamics in companies are similar, and they force us to be creative in developing research in this field. But how Anthropology can help enterprises to design new possible futures? Pasteur helps us to answer this question when she says: “Anthropology teaches us to see the world”, understanding that chaos always exists, and that humans are always trying to find the answers embedded in it. While the talk goes on, I look at the back of the speaker's room. I try to decipher her gestures, her movements, her nonverbal language; but I particularly focus on painting that evokes a female body. It has these red letters: “Just ike ...ell.” My chaos was not being able to read those letters. It made me want to look for possible answers; possible situations to understand a word that could be hell or shell, and as I was trying to read them, and listening to Pasteur, I sailed with more ease within the uncertain universe that is communication. For the world of entrepreneurship and innovation, uncertainty is a usual state. We must be prepared to deal with the unknown. In that context, the anthropologist's glance can give a lot


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

pon in the war against reality.» nderland, by Lewis Carroll.

Art by Diana Camacho Briceño

of value to the business world. Anthropologists always search in places that businesses usually do not explore, revealing what is not visible. Now, how to develop these abilities? Each speaker shared their experiences, or as Inga Treitler said, their “anthro-tricks” or anthropological tricks, which gave hints on how to sharpen our senses to detect business gaps. Like many of his colleagues, Cristobal Cabo affirms that the way to learn about business anthropology is by making mistakes, and correcting them. To do that, it is essential to evaluate the product or service to construct prototypes. In his talk: Anthropology: Business Prototype and Design, Cabo explained what empathetic immersion is about, using tools like virtual reality. A business case he brought into our attention was the example the short film Kidnapped, where the viewer had the experience to be in the skin of an abductee. Using technology and ethnographic research, a prototype was created to raise awareness on this reality, alien to some, and close to many Latin Americans. In a pandemic context like the one our planet lives, the idea of “being ethnographers of the possible, designers of the impossible”, as Cristobal mentioned in his talk, resonates in my mind. By being listeners in this space we are able to engage with universal questions like, how will companies manage time from now on? How will they measure productivity? How will they develop people-centered products and services?

* For the world of entrepreneurship and innovation, uncertainty is a usual state. We must be prepared to deal with the unknown. In that context, the anthropologist's glance can give a lot of value to the business world. *

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Works with value for the future Rowan Hordijk, the founder of Circle of Future Skills, started the second day of the Summit with his talk: How Circles of Impact create future proof employees and leaders the world needs. He invites us to create a world with more significant jobs, where people’s talent is valued. With an inspiring and powerful speech, he suggested us to use our powers to change the world. The emotion that Rowan showed in his proposal was contagious. There was a book behind him called "Future of Work". I believe it represented his dreams and aspirations. Nevertheless, he admits that guiding companies through this path is not an easy task, and it takes time. Time is a major enabler in the transformation of society, and this makes me think of the future.

Arte por Diana Camacho Briceño

Verónica Reyero explains that the more futures we devise, the closer we will be to solve certain problems or situations that afflict us. Anthropologists are prepared to imagine, to visualize situations in uncertainty contexts. In her talk An Anthropology that thinks and designs the future, she explains how Anthropology helps us to understand cultural patterns in different temporary lines. Each talk at the second day of the Summit made us think that the future of companies depends on the development of future skills. Skills for teams, as well as operational and transformational skills to develop products, services, and strategies. These talks promote the idea of meaningful companies with a focus on society.

Picnics outside the labyrinth The idea of the labyrinth is related to the minotaur image. This image is a symbol of the hidden shadow we all have. A shadow that is uncomfortable to see or to accept. Listening to the readings of Simons Roberts and Patricia Sunderland, meant recognizing ourselves outside the labyrinth, and embracing that shadow; inviting it to come to the light even from virtuality. Each book read at the reading picnic was a symbol, an archetype. For example, Simon Roberts invited us to leave Plato's Cave. Eager for knowledge, he decides to see the opposite side 18 | Flipate

Arte por Diana Camacho Briceño

where the light is. He guides us not to trust in what our eyes see, and to go beyond. “I hope that this book contributes to understanding the value of meeting our customers, our audiences, even ourselves in the real world, through experiences that combine data and emotions through the knowledge of our bodies”, explains Roberts, when sharing what he thinks companies should pay attention in the future. On her part, Patricia Sunderland introduces herself with such joviality and ease that she subtly translates the essence of a picnic. She even had a painting evoking green grass, and flowers. She had almost the aura of a guiding and wise mother. Each bite from her book guided us. “Essentially, cultural analysis is a way to see and to analyze the world”, says Sunderland. We were able to shape new forms, to perceive


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

ÂŤOrganizations also have a major impact in the future of a country, and its people; they have a social responsibility to be accomplished.Âť

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reality, and most of all, to feel like ours to the online space offered by the remote interaction of this Summit. The Summit showed us the power of human intelligence. This is how we fight against the shadow that represents the minotaur; by being open to experiences, and changes.

nee tou

Histories that inspire the present As Eduardo Cardenas says, for anthropologists, as well as for social scientists, attention to detail must be the norm when making organizational or business studies. This reflection makes me think what would be one of the strengths that an anthropologist brings to any research? Without any doubt, their capacity to tell stories. There are no good or bad stories, but well or badly told stories. Specially, we must remember that the idea is to know how to communicate our story to others in a simple way. Adam Gamwell talked about that. He closed the last day of the Summit with his talk Using storytelling and podcasting to bridge the gap between expertise and thought leadership. It may be complex to tell stories in an ethnographic way. However, Gamwell affirms that stories are not accidental, but they are made. For that, we need to be very aware of the details in front of us. We need a certain instinct to identify the potential of what we want to tell. As Gamwell says, storytelling is the art to use words to connect images, and ideas that stimulate the listener's mind. We are a species that tells and listens to stories. People, as well as their companies, need inspiring and touching stories. A good story can change the image that the internal and external public has about a company.

P as th nee tou

This Summit was a good story to tell; it was a story of connection, brotherhood/sorority between participants and speakers, mainly because it shows that humans need communities to live, exist and feel. *

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ed inspiring and uching stories. *

Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

* People, as well heir companies, ed inspiring and ouching stories. *

* People, as well

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What if we take our shoes off? Texto por Daniela Moreno.

A company exclusively aims at obtaining economic profits! That is the word on the streets, but is that everything a company aims for? Money? Well no. Organizations also have a major impact in the future of a country, and its people; they have a social responsibility to be accomplished. 22 | Flipate


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

This text highlights the significance of building a business strategy from social, and collective trust. It is my belief that, these two are the key elements to legitimize the processes and services of any company. That is why, I will focus on the importance of listening, understanding and analyzing the needs of a society that calls for attention. A society that is asking companies to comprehend and value them. Only by doing so, companies will achieve a horizontal course of action. And, guess what? If we also place trust on social sciences, and its methodologies, we will be able to create synergies, between companies and society, by finding a common ground between business purposes, and the social context. I want to explore this idea by taking as point of departure the wave of protests that took place on November 21 in Colombia, and in other Latin American countries such as Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia, among others. These protests took place because citizens thought some decisions governments had taken were simply unfair; they were not beneficial for people, they were unilateral, and focused on governmental profit. These scenarios are the perfect example of a society that is actively asking for someone to listen to them. And that “active listener” they are seeking refers to the governments, and companies. Moments like these serve as a starting point to question the role and social responsibility of everyone. We need to ask ourselves: how can we get to know the needs of public demonstrators? What are the concrete actions that they are asking us to do? What are the concrete actions they are asking their neighborhoods, cities, communities to carry out? And how can the business realm shape sustainable solutions for those needs? My point is that these events also open up the opportunity for us to listen and understand the needs that our realities demand. They urge us to identify what are the key elements to promote the social changes that we want, and to assign responsibilities based on these transformations. NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR See: CNN Article‘¿Primavera Latinoamericana? 2019, un año de protestas en la región’ (22, noviembre, 2019)

* Organizations also have a major impact in the future of a country, and its people; they have a social responsibility to be accomplished. * In parallel, these events allow organizations to discover how they can adapt to the social requirements, and demands of a certain context: country, department, neighborhood, locality, community. These moments spark conversations, and understandings between companies and the community. That idea inspired me to write this article, and to use this title: "What if we take our shoes off", with that I mean that the social demonstrations are the scenarios for governments, multilateral organizations, companies and social groups to feel reality via a close and empathic approach. They need to go barefoot to these new beaches (Contexts), and let themselves be carried away by paradisiacal scenarios. Feeling the breeze, contemplating the animals, and waves of the sea is the only way to actually understand what if feels like to be there. The business realm needs to do just that, it needs to take a step back from its own organizational reality; a reality that sometimes does not touch the seas, sands (realities) of the community. Taking off your shoes means generating a real connection that opens space for collaboration for a joint construction on what the “sea” is, and how it is supposed to be felt. This will generate What if we take our shoes off? | 23


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a greater impact on the future for each country. In order to achieve this, we need to be open to feel and experience. Following my analogy, when we go to the beach we go with the right amount of clothes, a camera, and with a mentality that dances between exploration, playfulness or even simple contemplation. That is exactly what we must do when it comes to learning about new contexts and social realities; we need the right elements and, above all, a proper mentality to be able to read social contexts from people’s perspective. Let's take our shoes off to let the sand (the context) embrace us, create sensations around us, and immerse us in what happens there. In that way we are going to be able to adapt our company to what those beaches, those realities demand. A key item I should mention is that those contextual arenas (realities) are not static, and companies should acknowledge this when designing their products or services. Everything that happens in a country, region, neighborhood, community, etc. has a key impact on the actions and roles that the business realm takes, we are all part of a broader system (companies, people, history, etc.). Thus, for example, the way in which a company communicates says a lot about the relationship it aims at building with its users, that more than "users" are citizens who live in social, political and cultural realities, with needs and demands that must be understood to create a trust-based relationship. In order to accomplish this, organizations can create safe meeting spaces to work hand in hand with the community, and develop social responsibility efforts that are truthful to what their reality is, and not what the company “thought� it was proper for that community. In these meetings, we need to gather key insights to designing strategic objectives. It is here where I advocate for the participation of social scientists and their methodologies, to catalyze such encounters from rigorous prisms. As social scientists we have been trained to develop indepth encounters with the other, by shaping deep dialogues, and analysis. Some of the methodological examples are: 24 | Flipate

Interviews, focus groups, social cartographies, participant observation, digital research and netnography. Using these methodologies, in the hands of trained professionals, will go a long way towards reconfiguring the very definition of business or the private enterprise, as well as its role in society. These methodologies will provide answers to questions such as: what do people need? What are the narratives within their collective identities? What is the political, economic, social and cultural context telling us? What do we need to do in order to listen and understand these groups? And, what is the role of private organizations? To conclude, I would say that the invitation is to recognize social outbursts as expressions that open the door to other worlds, and to listen to what is often hidden from the business gaze. In these new worlds, the private sector will be able to innovate from different angles, by also generating credibility, and valuable social synergies. It will also be able to design co-creative spaces and solutions in conjunction with citizens and key stakeholders. At the end this will shape an alchemy between business purposes, and the collective goals of each country and its people. So, the question is, are you willing to take your shoes off to feel the sand between your toes? *


Business Anthropology Secrets for the Business Realm

* I would say that the invitation is to recognize social outbursts as expressions that open the door to other worlds, and to listen to what is often hidden from the business gaze. In these new worlds, the private sector will be able to innovate from different angles, by also generating credibility, and valuable social synergies. *

Art by Diana Camacho BriceĂąo

Arte por Diana Camacho BriceĂąo

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