Friday, January 30, 2009

Class 8: Pod Presentations and HopeLab

Hey guys! Here is a summary of today’s class. It’s pretty long, so feel free to only read the bolded key points :). Have a great weekend! - Anna

Two dimensions to course:
- Sincere, authentic and warm
- Shocking effectiveness (with limited time and resources)

Individual written-up assignments do not have to be related to final project / these can be more fun

Pat Christensen (Hopelab)
- Speaks on How To Listen
- How to take insights from in-home ethnographies and to apply them to a product
- Re-Mission game: emotion is key
- The power to ask the right questions is really important

Group Pod Presentations:

Privacy Pod
- Focus: is there a way to bring benefits of social networking technology to people who are concerned about privacy?
- Sensitivity to privacy and social activity are not perfectly correlated
-- Focus on one individual concerned with privacy.
--- Surprisingly, he has many friends on Facebook. He initially spent a lot of time configuring and limiting his privacy settings.
-- “We Live in Public” – suggested documentary
-- There is a slight correlation between privacy concerns with age and education
-- When asking questions make sure that audience understands what you are asking. There may be a tendency on the part of the listeners to want to contribute to a presentation and answer questions even while not certain of the questions asked.

Self Esteem Pod
- Video
-- Very good song, but in selecting the song we are putting our own interpretation and cover to this ethnography
-- Contemplate: asking the girls themselves – what song would you choose to represent this day?
- Girls define themselves by describing external relationships and actions (i.e. other people)
- Goal: match girls with organizations and individuals that help them find and develop their passions
- Why girls?
-- Females’ lives are affected more by the people they spend time with (friends, spouse, etc); males on average are affected by people they dislike as well as coworkers

College Football (BCS: Bowl Championship Series) Pod
- Began by speaking with fans
- Chris, UTexas (BCS-team) fan
-- Display photo – Texas shirt, Texas horns
-- Best moment of college career when UTexas beat USC in ’05
-- Very interested, didn’t know much about BCS
--- Expectation: mad at BCS, bitter about 2008 outcome, ready to fight
--- Reality: mad at team, busy GSB student, little knowledge of BCS governance
- Important to define and articulate what the BCS really is, it is hard to arouse the masses to something that is not clearly defined
- Influential person in this cause: Obama
- Most revealing insights are those that are surprising (donuts). Having a visual of a perfect moment is insightful. Knowing what the perfect moment to each individual gives insight into that person.
- Flammable topic. There are a couple of people who can make this issue blow up. The key is to find the right people.
3 parts:
1) What is the problem? (Will need to educate people on what BCS is)
2) Be enraged
3) Have a solution
- Go to XPLANE is a company that takes very complicated ideas and reduces them to more simple concepts (i.e. minute videos)

Donors are Sexy! Pod
- Interviewed physicians b/c there are a lot of people with whom these doctors have to interact (organ donors, patients in need of an organ as well as their families)
- Family has the last word (due to donor organizations desire to avoid negative publicity); to increase donations California organ transplant donor network makes family visits
- Significant differences between ethnicities, mostly driven by cultural background
- Prior education about the topic of donation helps a lot.
- Donor chain --> social network that can in theory increase donations

Yoga Pod
- Take a moment to reflect
- Take 15 seconds to write what comes to mind about the word “sex”
-- Presented words that 14 year old girls at the Santa Clara juvenile corrections facility wrote down
-- Presented girls’ artwork and pictures of another “art of yoga project” class
-- Girls are extremely passionate about the yoga and self-exploratory classes while at the facility; it is a bit hard to for the girls to apply this practice and involvement outside of the facility

Education Pod
- Phoenix Academy (East Palo Alto, CA)
- 9+ grades, parents bonded to create this school for students who came form K-8 charter school
- Emphasis on attending college
- Goal: assist low-income, underprivileged students in receiving the education needed to fulfill their dreams.
- Possibly consider having students visit actual college campuses
- Contrast between bland outside image of school and the colorful, hopeful inside decoration of the school

Key take-away from this class: “the power of the multiplier effect”
- Every pod project should have a systematic multiplier effect worked into it
i.e. Education group: this PoST class --> “Kiva Pod” --> Ariel (as focus of this Education pod) --> Other students in Ariel’s class --> could possibly visit our PoST class (note: circular effect)


  1. Thank you Anna. This is a good synopsis of today's class.

    I wanted to also draw attention to a dynamic that developed during the course of the presentations that might be instructive for us as we proceed with our projects. After each presentation we were anxious to offer advice and make suggestions and the presenting pods were anxious to receive feedback and hear suggestions - even to the point that Jennifer had to remind us to stick to the scope of the ethnographies. It was apparent to me that we are hungry for feedback and support from people outside our pods and perhaps we should find a way to receive feedback more often from non-pod classmates over the next six weeks. Certainly we would benefit from the counsel and encouragement our classmates could offer - especially considering their understanding of and investment in the class. Speaking for our pod, we really appreciated the questions and the comments and felt very refreshed to receive an outside opinion of what we are trying to accomplish. Thank you.

  2. I couldn't agree more with Logan's comment. I had a lot of questions I wanted to ask of both those presenting and to all of you when our group was presenting.
    In the same vein, as each pod starts to develop the "multiplier effect" surrounding its cause, I think it would be incredibly useful to share these thoughts/ideas/effects with one another so that all the pods can constantly be thinking about the best ways to broaden the (potential) impact of its cause.
    Our pod loved Jennifer's suggestion to have Ariel and her classmates to visit our PoST class. We are in the process of setting this up and are also hopeful to create a forum whereby various classmates (from in and outside the class) can speak to Ariel and her classmates about their backgrounds/professional interests so that the students of Phoenix Academy can learn more about the many opportunities and options that await them after college. If you have any ideas around this (or our project more broadly) or would like to participate in the panel, please let me know!
    The enthusiasm for the projects in yesterday's class was incredible.