Can anthropologists play well with others?

Some here might be interested in a brilliant conversation now underway on the anthrodesign Yahoo! list, under the subject heading, “Serendipity.” Arvind Venkataramani has just offered a provocative proposal,

The language we’ve been using so far is heavily driven by methodology selection and its cognates, so much so that participatory research is being treated as a method, not an approach (just like ‘lean=process’). I suggest that we need instead to focus on problem framing and context, and get good at mapping and identifying them. This means we talk less about research and methods, and instead about problems, sensing, mapping, and learning, using the language of our business colleagues. Talking about depth, up-front planning, quality of insights etc. only serves to maintain the boxes and boundaries we find ourselves in.

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