The Myth of Simplicity

Simplicity. As a concept, an idea, or an aesthetic, it connotes ease of use, elegance, efficiency, and flow. We like to think of ourselves as creatures that crave, appreciate, and enjoy simple things. But human beings are anything but simple; as semiotic forms of expression, our simple things (and the relationships we have with them)…

Temporality and Innovation

Using Design Anthropology to Imagine and Design for the Future  What is Temporality? Anthropologists use the term “temporality” to talk about the way we experience time; temporality allows us to think about how time is, what it feels like, and how it exists in our lives. Whereas time can be understood as the objective movement…

What Is an Excellent Insight?

In the economy of innovation consulting, insights are an important currency. Insights are how we package our understandings of human experience, and they are bought and sold every day because business leaders know that the human context is the heart and soul of meaningful and differentiated offerings. Insight is core to how consultancies deliver value…

Intelligence Delivers Excellence

Why Adopting a Threat-Focused and Intelligent Approach to Financial Crime Will Help Drive Fintech Success The 21st century has been characterized by an interconnectedness that impacts every aspect of business and society. This level of connection itself is not new, especially in business, where there have always been long, connected chains of actors, actions, and…

Q&A with Catherine D’Ignazio

MISC spoke with Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media at Emerson College, about the possibilities for feminist data visualization; the power, pleasure, and limitations of visual data; data literacy; industries of accountability; and the future of inclusivity. Last year, you wrote an article called “What would feminist data visualization look like?”…

Food & Drink: Ripe for a Rethink

It’s hard to imagine wholesale disruption of the food and beverage space, where innovation tends to be incremental. Our resident food anthropologist Dylan Gordon provides three prescriptions for change. Vitamins & Minerals Vitaminwater is so yesterday. With natural, unmanipulated foods being the champions of the day, “fortifying” water with synthetic chemicals is a turn-off. Meanwhile, bottled water brands are confronted…

Patient Centricity: A Manifesto

Currently, in healthcare, the term “patient centricity” is commanding significant thought and attention. While this, by and large, is a good thing, it is by no means uncomplicated or without nuance. Tracking the phrase means coming to terms with its complicated history and contested deployment. In one sense, patient centricity is nothing if not a…

Daddy, What’s an Insight?

Some people in business can’t see their way to understanding the insight. Their problem is that they are unable to grasp, or appreciate, its process and purpose. For big corporations driven by a marketing culture, an insight is seen as a tool. By uncovering the beliefs, practices, opinions or attitudes of consumers through some form…

How to Win in the Experience Economy

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” These mythic lines from Shakespeare’s As You Like It serve to illustrate a key pillar of The Anthropology of Experience: that identity is created as it is performed. Everyday actions and practices – like taking public transit, attending business meetings, eating meals,…