Zukunfte 00 – Ataque a Jair Boloro e futuros alternativos para as eleições de 2018

[This post and is in Portuguese because it makes sense to explore this topic in Portuguese since it regards Brazilian Elections]

Notas sobre o podcast:

Já participei do Anticast falando sobre design thinking (em 2012 quando o mundo era jovem…) e do Bonde Andando falando sobre viver no exterior, mas essa é a primera vez que gravo um podcast como host, portanto nesse ritmo de “desculpa qualquer coisa” peço feedback, dicas, coisas que posso melhorar.

A ligação caiu várias vezes e tentei editar o melhor possível. Me digam se as ideas ficam compreensíveis ou se faltou algo.

Eu não estou usando – e não pretendo usar – nenhuma vez o nome do Bolero escrito pois, seus bots e minions estão por aí atazanando. Melhor evitar essa fadiga. Então pediria que ao compartilhar faça o mesmo.

Se você já está cansado de falar sobre esse caso do ataque pode pular para o minuto 44 aproximadamente onde falamos sobre os futuros alternativos para as eleições presidenciais de 2018.

Convidado: Jacques Barcia da Futuring.Today.

Links comentados:

Se você sentiu falta de um link para algum dos assuntos citados no podcast me pergunte que link aqui.


Link para baixar o arquivo.

Eu sei que fica mais fácil para todo mundo se eu colocar em um host específico, mas ainda não consegui decidir qual ou quais usar. Estou aceitando dicas 😀


Some ideas about artificial intelligence

This post is proudly sponsored by SkyNet™ from Cyberdyne Systems™

I am far from an expert in the field. This post – as most of this blog – is more to gather and share some ideas in a bar-table-conversation. Is that OK to you?

So come along.

First, deep learning is emerging strong. Long story short from this article:

It allows researchers to assign a task to computers and then sit back as the machines in essence teach themselves how to accomplish and finally master the job.


[…] researchers can bombard computers with a flood of information and let the systems make sense of the data. “You show a computer 1 million images with chairs and 1 million without them,” Hotz says. “Eventually, the computer is able to describe a chair in a way so much better than a human ever could.”

George Hotz [the famous hacker who first cracked iPhone when he was 17] is teaching a car how to drive by just letting the computers watch himself drive around. And it is working. You can check the video.

It means machines can learn to do virtually anything by copying in a very efficient way. More interesting and useful than scary.

But then consider this TED talk from Susan Blackmore. Long story short. Natural selection force is unstoppable. Genes appears and, following natural selection rules, lead to complex animals. Complex animals – hi there! – have ideas, called memes. Such ideas make our culture, and now it is the second big thing fighting for survival following Darwin rules. Blackmore argues that technology is the third one. A different “replicator” fighting for survival, she call it technological meme, or teme.

She is not alone. We have plenty of science fiction dealing with the rise of the machines. In this New Yorker article the philosopher / futurist Nick Bostrom talks about his work around the risks artificial intelligence represents. He comes to a conclusion similar to Blackmore’s:

Such a system would effectively be a new kind of life, and Bostrom’s fears, in their simplest form, are evolutionary: that humanity will unexpectedly become outmatched by a smarter competitor. He sometimes notes, as a point of comparison, the trajectories of people and gorillas: both primates, but with one species dominating the planet and the other at the edge of annihilation.

It means that, sooner or later, artificial intelligence will grow far stronger than human capabilities. Then this new life-form can take care of “procreate” ignoring us the same way we ignore ants, plants and primates – not caring much about their annihilation.

Then Sir Tim Berners-Lee drops this bomb:

“‘Don’t ask whether it will happen; it’s already happening.The robots are already here and they’re called corporations”

The full argument is that since corporations have rights, can make decisions and many are heavily commanded by computers – specially investment firms – they might already be the AI we fear.

Ok? With me so far?

Thanks for all the fish

So please put your futurism helmet on and engage with this idea for a moment.

Corporations are the evil artificial intelligence.

In most countries they are “legal persons” or “artificial legal structures” that can behave and be seen in front of the law as a special type of citizen.

This artificial form of intelligence might have started with the first human groups able to organize themselves. Countries might be an early form of these structures. But corporations master this behavior.

In this documentary [full here] they explore the idea of corporations as if they were a person. And if people presented such behavior they would be called psychopath. Things like ignoring human suffering, not admitting guilt, focusing only on profits. In fact money is another invention that helps companies to drive and control us, like fences on a farm.

You could say “but companies are made of people”. Yes. But inside an organization people do not behave as they normally would. The whole complexity, power struggles and social rules of an environment can lead us to do things we would not do in a different situation. Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment and the usual “I was just following orders” phrase from soldiers are examples of this organizational power over individual will.

As a final piece of conspiracy theory the famous Bitcoin, the digital currency that allows anyone to pay anyone without banks or governments, makes the perfect tool for the technologically based artificial intelligence we call organization / corporation to control humans without any laws to follow. And we don´t need to stretch too much actually, since Satoshi Nakamoto, the credited inventor of it is completely unknown. As far as I know “he” could be even just an artificial intelligence in someone’s server.

So the final idea is:

Companies are the AI we always feared. They don´t have a “brain”, but each worker act as a “neuron” performing tasks they would not normally do in exchange for money, but not for long, since new processors and systems can easily outperform humans.

What do you think? Sense?


The website I sourced for Sir Tim Bernes-Lee quote is out, not sure why. I will leave this other link here to document that actually happened.



EPIC! Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference 2014 was worthy of its initials

Fordham University - Awesome infrastructure and location

Fordham University – Awesome infrastructure and location

This article talks about my impressions on the EPIC [Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference] that happened at the Center of Positive Marketing, part of Fordham University in New York City, from 7th to 10th of September 2014.

I want to be brief, yet keep some depth. First I will talk about the big picture, the event and why it is such an experience on professional and personal levels. After that I will cover some of the highlights of the conference, as seen from my perspective.

Before that I want to say: EPIC 2015 IS GOING TO BE IN SÃO PAULO!!!

So my three main points about the conference are:


Debating Ethnographic Epistemology Salon: Should Corporate Ethnography Even Attempt To Avoid Reductionism?

1 – Strong community

EPIC is about meeting people and organizations that are using research methods borrowed from social sciences inside a wide variety of industries. We are talking about making companies more human and human centric. More empathetic. This is a place we can meet.

Many times anthropologists, sociologists and other practitioners are lone rangers in their jobs. EPIC offers an opportunity to meet other people who are on the same page as you [often more advanced], and exchange experiences, contacts, references and so on.

For me, this sense of community, mutual recognition and knowledge exchange was clearly the most EPIC outcome of the event.


Christian Madsbjerg sez ethnography should divorce design . #epiconference

@sladner: Christian Madsbjerg sez ethnography should divorce design . #epiconference

2 – Business pivoting

Since ethnography and other methods generate good strategic results, we climb up the corporate ladder. As ethnographers and consultants we should professionally empathise with business people, learning their lingo and ways of thinking and doing. At least to improve your communication skills.

It does not imply becoming a corporate woman or man, it means to better understand and communicate, so we can offer further help, and have positive impact on our clients and even employers. I think ReD´s Christian Madsbjerg´s keynote was the most assertive about it, but I had this feeling many other times chatting with people around the conference. And it is also something I can see in my professional experience. 

Rob and Joe talking about Anticipatory Ethnography

Rob and Joe talking about Anticipatory Ethnography

3 – Adopting future

Most of us are working around ´innovation´, meaning our studies should help companies build new products, services and communication pieces. In other words, we help companies to shape the future with a human perspective.

As proposed by Brian Moeran in his workshop, we have to come up with solutions that are not a step ahead – because most people won’t get it – but half a step ahead. I would add that we should plan several half-steps to create a map, a path for companies to follow. In business they call it innovation pipeline, often represented by the innovation funnel.

Works of design fiction and/or speculative design can illustrate such futures using storytelling, usually with short films. Like the work presented by Joseph Lindley and Robert Potts, two PhD candidates from Lancaster, and Nicolas Nova, who was in EPIC London last year. I particularly like his ´A Digital tomorrow´, you should have a look.

In my perspective, this kind of deliverable shows there are better ways of demonstrating how valuable our work is, that do not involve only power point presentations.


Now some of the stuff I found interesting during the conference:

Sam Ladner´s Pecha Kucha about her research on ´bodywork´. Basically, it talks about body language and behaviour in the work environment and its influence on productivity. The insights and pictures she used have that ethnographic power of “I’ve seen this happening” and “that´s totally like this” and “Gez,I do this all the time”. She has just launched a book called “Practical Ethnography”, check it out.


Other Pecha Kucha I especially liked was presented by Erick Mohr, who works for the company under the humble name Truth. He used comic books visual language to talk about the process of getting an idea from one’s head to the market with super-hero like characters. Pretty neat!

Brian Moeran paper was “Business, Anthropology, and Magical Systems: The Case of Advertising“. He compares beauty products ads in magazines to magical process. The way such products are presented, the images and words used evoke magical terminology and communication techniques. I really need to dig into that.

Line and Anikka, the Danish partners from IS IT A BIRD, talked about this great idea of making cemeteries more alive. They studied such places and came up with guidelines to get the population, those still alive, to enjoy these areas in a way that are still respectful to the dead. Very insightful.

Jan English-Lueck was talking about food production and consumption systems. You should check her work “Corporate Care Reimagined: Farms to Firms to Families“. I love one of her phrases ´When we dream big enough reality learns´.


Want to know more?

You should check out EPIC website, of course, and EPIC People, a website that brings this experience closer to those, who were not able to attend the conference – yet. And also AnthroDesign, everyone that is someone in the field is there. Seriously.

Originally posted at Questto|Nó.

Strategic Design – Dundee Capital of Culture 2016

A project inside Strategic Design module with the lecturer Tom Inns.
We develop a concept to defend Dundee as Europe Capital of Culture for the year 2016. We also should design a workshop to involve citizens, policy makers and other stakeholders in the planning and making of such event.

Check the final result:

Awesome graphs and motion design from Navid Gornall (take note of this name).


WithScotland: Complex Idea – Simple Video

Design Ethnography is not just about discover, is also about how to communicate findings, insights and conclusions in a straightforward way.

At the Strategic Information Design module our challenge was to get WithScotland message across the a quite broad audience they intent to reach – from academics, practitioners and other professionals deeply involved in child and adult protection to the mainstream public who might be interest in the area.

Main challenges:

  • Align a very diverse team – 5 people, 3 different courses, 4 different nationalities
  • Be very careful with terminology due to the delicate field (child and adult protection)
  • Respect WithScotland brand parameters
  • Align level of quality, the skills of the group and a tight schedule

This is the final result chosen by the client as the best of the final solutions.

What is WithScotland from Fernando Galdino on Vimeo.

We would like to thank Beth Smith, Director of WithScotland for her trust, support and feedback. We also want to thank Megan Robertson for her outstanding voice, Setuniman and FreeSound for the soundtrack. We also want to thank Flickr and the following photographers: Frank Guido, Davide Cassanello, Adrian Dreßler, Josep Ma. Rosell, Maessive and Stefano Corso.

Thank you very much for your support through Creative Commons.

Soundtrack: Setuniman at FreeSound.org

Pictures: Flickr.com via Compfight.com

Frank Guido – flickr.com/photos/70973526@N00/5960974663/

Davide Cassanello – flickr.com/photos/dcassaa/395470853/

Adrian Dreßler – flickr.com/photos/38211812@N07/7308405302/

Josep Ma. Rosell – flickr.com/photos/10488545@N05/1865482908/

Stefano Corso – flickr.com/photos/pensiero/389087892/

Maessive – flickr.com/photos/42346519@N00/106440594/


And last but not least, a big thank to our team!

Alina Achiricioaei – Design for services – twitter.com/achiricioaei

Chongyu Tu – Product Design – twitter.com/ewantu

Claire England – Design for services – twitter.com/claireaengland

Ying Zhang – Design Ethnography – twitter.com/arielzhang4

The whole process is described at our blog – sidteam2.wordpress.com



Re-focus Group

I love Tom Fishburne’s cartoons!

Don Norman and Roberto Verganti are asking in this articleCan design research ever lead to radical product innovation?“and they provide the answer Yes, but this is unlikely to occur through the methods of human-centered design.

Going on they say:

The more that researchers study existing human behavior, activities, and products, the more they get trapped into existing paradigms. These studies lead to incremental improvements, enabling people to do better what they already do, but not to radical change that would enable them to do what they currently do not do.

Of course they are not against research – for those who do not know Don is the “Norman” on Nielsen Norman Group – one of the biggest and most influential research institutes in the world and he helped to define what HCD is nowadays.

What I think is that disruptive innovations are not common and organizations need to know, get inspired and connect with people, so research is crucial. However, trapping people into a lab-like aquarium and watch a discussion while eat snacks will not be very helpful.

I have moderated many “focus groups” with a diverse range of objectives. From exploring a very abstract concept and its relation to transportation, to very concrete testing where was hard to tell what was prototype and what was a working product. For me the worst part was always the lack of context. Small comments that in a contextual situation (such as house visits) would lead to a conversation around a pan, a ring or a bible ended or simply never happened because the “hook” for the conversation was not there.

It is not new that “innovation” people hold some mixed feelings about focus grups, lately Gianfranco Zaccai from Continuum wrote on FastCompany that “Focus Groups Kill Innovation” and after a lot of negative reactions he wrote a more a more friendly article “Focus Groups Are Dangerous. Know When To Use Them“.

But why business and focus group live such a happy love story?

According to Jenn Schiffman and Defne Civelekoglu from Gravity Tank at their presentation Re-focus Group there are three main reasons for such love.

Cost effective – You can have a relatively big group of people coming to a facility and giving answers.

Time effective – You can interact with 16 or even more people in a single day, a lot compared to house visits for example.

Proven method – It is somehow traditional and known at the clients side. Way easier to understand than more less traditional methods.

Their proposal is to develop a more empathetic kind of focus group. Do it in other environments, having researchers, designers, participants and clients together in a more natural conversation. Use rough prototypes to stimulate conversations and so on. Have a look on Gravity Tank’s lecture and gather some tips for future focus groups.

The Refocus Group from gravitytank on Vimeo.

What do you think?

Any | The shapeless mobile phone concept for the year 2020

In 2009 I was living in Curitiba and kind of bored. I found a challange online to design a mobile phone concept for the year 2020. You know, 2020 is the new 2000 in the collective mind for when-cool-things-gonna-happen.

I invited Kleber Puchaski and João Moldenhauer to design it together. After a lot of emails, a good secondary research and few meetings we came out with this concept – please forgive all 2009-ish design style and poor my poor English.

This is just an exploration, a couple of ideas about how things might be in a couple of years from now. I really believe one of the “next big things” for the mobile world will be these “hardware apps”. The smartphone will not be a box with everything inside, but several devices connected that can be embedded in the same artifact or spread in one’s body.

That is my guess. Do you have any?

Updates and followup:

04/10/2016 – PoV videos might go mainstream with young people – Snapchat’s Spectacles: How Digital Eyewear Could Escape The Nerd Factor