Video: Dan Podjed 'The three words banned at why the world needs anthropologists'

Watch the video of Dan Podjed as he discusses The Three Words Banned at Why the World Needs Anthropologists. Dan Podjed is a Slovenian anthropologist with over 15 years experience in research. In March 2019 he traveled to the Emerging Technologies Research Lab to speak as part of the Digital Design Ethnography: Technologies, People and Futures Symposium.

Poststructuralism, hermeneutics, ambiguities. These are the three words that are banned at Why the World Needs Anthropologists, organised annually since 2013. The international symposium was established to present an alternative to often heavily jargonised conferences and has proven to be a popular form of bringing together anthropologists and engineers, managers, designers, etc. This lecture highlights the approaches that the organisers use to motivate people from industry and other non-academic settings to participate in the anthropology-based event, including shortlisting renowned speakers, establishing a network of partners, providing media support, preparing graphic design and other forms of visual communications, and employing “guerrilla marketing” on social media.

So why are speakers prohibited from using the three words listed above? Actually, the words are not prohibited, but if anthropologists want to share their knowledge outside their “comfort zone,” establish new connections with industry, and contribute to designing the global future, they should adapt their public appearance as well as relexify their vocabulary. Relexify? Oh my, the list is about to get longer…

Dan Podjed, PhD, is an anthropologist with 15+ years’ experience in research (ZRC SAZU, IRI UL) and university teaching (University of Ljubljana). He has led several industry-oriented projects (DriveGreen, Invisible Life of Waste, etc.), and has been involved in development of various ethnography-based IT solutions. He is the founder of EASA Applied Anthropology Network and Why the World Needs Anthropologists symposium.