Information and communication technologies are integral to our world. Digital engineers, designers, and computer programmers are the inventors and innovators of our time who greatly affect people’s everyday lives – and they need the assistance of anthropology in making human-friendly solutions. The symposium explores how digital designers and anthropologists benefit from each other’s knowledge and approaches. What is the role of culture in technology? How can technology-based thinking be humanised? And how can we get the most out of new technologies for those that use them?




DAY 1: Friday, 4 November 2016


Intercultural hotspot
Panel discussion


Sten Tamkivi

Sten is the CEO of Teleport, Inc, a company that moves you to your best place to live and work. Prior to co-founding Teleport he served at Skype as an early executive, riding the roller coaster for over 8 years from startup to ~300M active users. Sten started his entrepreneurial career founding the first digital media agency in Estonia at the age of 18 and has stayed on the forefront of internet, user experience design and software development scene since 1996.

Keynote title: “Mobility Across Borders and Cultures”

Dimitris Dalakoglou

Dimitris is Professor of Social Anthropology at VU University Amsterdam. He studies material infrastructures ethnographically since 2004. In his most recent book ‘The Road’ (2016) he shows that infrastructures are primarily socio-cultural entities rather than merely an object of civil engineering or politics. Until 2014 he ran the project ‘Crisis-scapes’ studying urban spaces and infrastructures during the crisis in Athens. Beyond his academic publications he has co-produced 4 documentaries based on his research, whilst his work is featured regularly in international media outlets.

Keynote title: “Are infrastructures social?”

Melissa Cefkin

Melissa is a Principal Scientist & Design Anthropologist at Nissan Research in Silicon Valley. She is a leader in examining and building solutions for a future with autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars) as interactive agents in the world from a social and technical standpoint, a bit of which is reflected in her piece Human Machine Interactions and the Coming Age of Autonomy. A long-time observer and participant in the growth of anthropological research in and with business, Melissa is the author of numerous publications including the Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter (2009) and served as president and conference co-chair for EPIC.

Keynote title: “The social life of automation”

Daniel Miller

Daniel is Professor of Anthropology at University College London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. He has written and edited thirty-seven books. Recent volumes include ‘Social Media in an English Village’ (2016), ‘How the World Changed Social Media’ (2016), ‘Webcam’ (2014), ‘Digital Anthropology’ (2012), ‘Migration and New Media’ (2012), ‘Tales from Facebook’ (2011), ‘Stuff’ (2010), and ‘The Comfort of Things’ (2008). Daniel currently directs the project ‘Why We Post’, which investigates the use and consequences of social media. He tweets at @DannyAnth

Keynote title: How the world humanised social media”


Watch the event LIVE on Friday, 4 November, at 11.00 CET.

10.00 –12.00
Registration and Intercultural Hotspot

12.00 –12.45
Jarno Laur, Deputy Mayor of Tartu
Keiu Telve, Centre for Applied Anthropology of Estonia
Sten Tamkivi: “Mobility Across Borders and Cultures”

12.45 – 13.30
Dimitris Dalakoglou: “Are infrastructures social?”

13.30 – 14.30
Snack break and Intercultural Hotspot

14.30 – 15.15
Melissa Cefkin: “The social life of automation”

15.15 – 16.00
Daniel Miller: “How the world humanised social media”

16.00 – 16.30
Coffee break and Intercultural Hotspot

 16.30 – 18.00
Panel discussion

19.00 – late
Party (location: Estonian National Museum, Muuseumi tee 2, Tartu)

Intercultural hotspot


Throughout the day, our co-organisers and sponsors will present themselves at the Intercultural Hotspot. Do not miss the opportunity to mingle with enthusiasts representing all sorts of different ‘tribes’– anthropologists, IT experts, marketing specialists, designers, artists. Go ask anyone –that’s how great ideas are born and partnerships created!


Panel discussion


A panel discussion will be held with the symposium’s keynote speakers Sten Tamkivi, Dimitris Dalakoglou, Melissa Cefkin, and Daniel Miller.

Dan Podjed, Convenor of EASA Applied Anthropology Network



DAY 2: Saturday, 5 November 2016

Day 2 of the symposium is intended for all of you who are eager to put theory into practice. During workshops combining insights from anthropology, design, IT industry, art, and marketing, you’ll develop prototypes, projects, and campaigns – in just a day!


Workshop 1
Workshop 2
Workshop 3
Workshop 4
Workshop 5

Workshop 1


AIM: Encourage participants to propose and validate new technological ideas with the help of mentors in the field of anthropology.

WHAT WILL BE GOING ON? Participants will work in smaller groups to identify what problem the idea solves, detail the solution, identify target customers and market, see if there is a sustainable (business) model for the solution, and discuss what could be the scope of the initial prototype. Each group will present and pitch the outcomes to all participants. The best ideas presented will receive special awards!

GAINED SKILLS: Learning what it takes and how to turn an idea into a business model in the field of anthropology.

PREPARATORY WORK: To achieve the best result, participants are asked to do some research on the relevant problems in the field of anthropology that could be solved with the help of technology, explore whether there are already working solutions to them, and if there is a way to improve the already existing solutions. Participants should have a little knowledge about business models, business trends, and marketing strategies.

WHAT TO BRING? Participants should bring their laptops.

DURATION: 9.00 – 16.30

LOCATION: Aparaaditehas, Kastani 42, Tartu

Workshop 2

HUMANISING OPEN DATA (Antropologerne Workshop, instructor: Janice S. Pedersen)

AIM: This workshop is based on activities in the Open4Citizens project, which aims to empower citizens to make meaningful use of open data. It is intended to lower the barriers to participation in solution creation by guiding participants from all backgrounds and with various skills through a co-creation process from idea to prototype. This includes guidance in accessing, understanding and using open data.

WHAT WILL BE GOING ON? Participants will have the opportunity to use elements of the Open4Citizens workshop toolkit to begin to explore solutions to concrete challenges in urban public services that make use of open data.


  • An understanding of the complexities of working with open data;
  • an introduction to the possibilities of open data to create impactful social results;
  • how to understand data-relevant challenges and design solutions for these with open data;
  • perceiving citizens as designers/developers in their own right, rather than as passive recipients of solutions.

PREPARATORY WORK: Participants are requested to find one inspirational example of open data use that has positive value for society, e.g. by searching the internet or describing an example that they are aware of. Registered participants will receive further instructions on how to go about this.

DURATION: 11.00 – 15.00

LOCATION: Aparaaditehas, Kastani 42, Tartu

Workshop 3

START YOUR OWN INTERDISCIPLINARY PROJECT (DriveGreen Workshop, instructor: Dan Podjed)

AIM: This workshop provides recommendations to participants who wish to apply for interdisciplinary research and development projects and gives tips on cooperation and leadership in teams consisting of people from various disciplines and operating in and outside academia. The DriveGreen project, where engineers and anthropologists in cooperation with an industry partner are developing a smartphone app for promotion of sustainable mobility, is used as an example to illustrate how an interdisciplinary project proposal can be prepared, how the specific management challenges can be met, and how the planned development goals can be reached.

WHAT WILL BE GOING ON? Participants will get acquainted with specifics of grant calls on various levels: national, bilateral, EU, etc., and get useful tips on designing interdisciplinary project proposals and recruiting team members. They will learn tricks in managing interdisciplinary teams with a special focus on ‘translating’ disciplinary terminology and creating a common project vocabulary, as well as how to stimulate team members’ creativity and innovativeness. In the second, interactive part of the workshop, participants will choose their own cases and work in teams to prepare convincing interdisciplinary project proposals. The final task will be to present their proposals to other participants.


  • Writing project proposals;
  • managing interdisciplinary teams;
  • carrying out public presentations.

PREPARATORY WORK: Participants should think of their own project proposals and ideas which could be implemented in practice.

DURATION: 11.00 – 15.00

LOCATION: Aparaaditehas, Kastani 42, Tartu

Workshop 4


AIM: The workshop presents the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches between anthropology and design for applied and innovative results / designs. With the help of different creative design methodologies, the workshop explores ethnographic research results data as inspiration to support and sparkle the design exercise: ideating and conceptualizing the main concepts or concrete solutions for further development of research projects or to design products / systems.

WHAT WILL BE GOING ON? In the first part, the workshop will introduce examples using the combination of anthropological research and design thinking to achieve their goals. Later on, we are going to work in groups using different creative methods – such as brainstorming or / and mind maps – to stimulate design process and applied results.

GAINED SKILLS: You are going to learn new methodologies which stimulate creativity in thinking of applied results, finding potential new solutions to your research problems / interests. Also, the workshop will show how collaborative processes expand our understanding of the problems, spark innovation, and promote great moments of interaction.

PREPARATORY WORK: Have a look at some mind-mapping techniques. Participants should think of a research theme / problem that they would like to work on during the workshop. Have a look at some talks on innovation and creativity: ‘The surprising habits of original thinkers‘ and ‘How great leaders inspire action‘.

DURATION: 11.00 – 17.00

LOCATION: Aparaaditehas, Kastani 42, Tartu

Workshop 5


AIM: This workshop is aimed at those with a background or an interest in anthropology as a professional practice beyond the university and will introduce the use of anthropology in consultancy work.

WHAT WILL BE GOING ON? Presentations, discussions, group work, and participants’ presentations of group work. Drawing on cases from the work of AnthroAnalysis – Centre of Applied Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, we’ll discuss and practice the use of anthropology in consultancy work, focusing on the first steps (analyze clients, stakeholders and tasks, begin to plan research, prepare for the development and presentations of recommendations).

GAINED SKILLS: A practical sense of how to use anthropological skills to unpack and develop consultancy work.

PREPARATORY WORK: Read up on your favorite anthropology theories – reflect upon how analytical concepts are used in anthropology to explore ethnographic material.

DURATION: 9.00 – 12.30

LOCATION: Aparaaditehas, Kastani 42, Tartu


Registration is now CLOSED.

Watch the event LIVE on Friday, 4 November, at 11.00 CET.

Should you have any questions, feel free to send an e-mail to the EASA Applied Anthropology Network (





We’ve negotiated a discounted price in some of Tartu’s hotels and hostels. When booking, make sure to mention our promo code ‘ANTHROP’.


Hotel London (sgl €85; twin €100)
Hotel Pallas (sgl €60; twin €75)
Hotel Dorpat (sgl €75; twin €95)

Looming Hostel (double/twin room €38; dorm €15–17)
Hektor Design Hostel (double/twin room €35–41; single room €23–30; dorm €15)



Organising committee

1 - Meta Gorup
Meta Gorup
2 - Jaanika Jaanits
Jaanika Jaanits
3 - Helleka Koppel 1
Helleka Koppel
4 - Liset Marleen Pak
Liset Marleen Pak

Merilin Piipu

Dan Podjed

Keiu Telve

Laura Valli



Advisory board

Lawrence Agbemabiese, Ellen Bal, Sandra Bell, Alenka Bezjak Mlakar, Lenora Bohren, Simone Borile, Carlo A. Cubero, Lu Ann De Cunzo, Jurij Fikfak, Carla Guerrón Montero, Duška Knežević Hočevar, Kristin Kuutma, Art Leete, Rajko Muršič, Desirée Pangerc, Jaka Repič, Klāvs Sedlenieks, Peter Simonič, Giulia Sinatti, Ülo Valk, Rhoda Woets




Workshop sponsors




Media partner


This event is co-organised by the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, ASTRA project of the University of Tartu, PER ASPERA (European Union, European Regional Development Fund) and by the institutional research funding IUT34-32 of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.

The symposium is a result of the DriveGreen project. The main goal of the project is to develop a culture-sensitive smartphone app for the promotion of sustainable mobility.