We have a wealth of data. This is great from an ethnographic research perspective, but also poses certain challenges. It’s ideal if we can keep the process recursive ---- instead of coding once and then organizing the data from there, being able to go back and forth so the categories of analysis are constantly being reshaped by the data itself.

All this to say — let’s do a little collective metaethnography! I would love to hear from people who have been READING lots of posts. Maybe you’ve been contributing a lot as well, or just lurking. Either way, I am interested to hear perspectives from readers. What are some common themes you’ve been seeing? Are there topics, or ideas, that have been coming up again and again? Anything you thought you’d find but feel is strangely missing? Or, just in general, anything that has particularly surprised or moved you.

If we are working towards making ethnography a collective endeavour inspired by mutiple viewpoints, why not start now?

(We can do this via text in the comments, but if anyone is particularly excited to share their interpretations, a call would also be lovely)


Like this

And I think we start with a call. Avid readers: @alex_levene , @johncoate. … others? Ping @Noemi .

interested to participate

Happy to join in. At present i’m not sure i’ve given much thought to the questions you’ve posed above, but i can make a little time today to delve back through and think about it. I imagine listening to others insights in a call might also bring some things to the surface as well.

When you thinking for a call? I’m out of action on Thursday but could do some time tomorrow or Friday. Let me know your preferred time.

Let’s get back to the people who participated in workshops/






Maybe you guys can help answer these questions:

  1. What are some common themes you've been seeing?
  2. Are there topics, or ideas, that have been coming up again and again?
  3. Anything you thought you'd find but feel is strangely missing?
  4. Or, just in general, anything that has particularly surprised or moved you. 

I can take it upon myself to summarise everything in one post, to share with the participants and get their own feedback… Also maybe we can send them out on the count on me list @Noemi?

Some thoughts

Sure, some things come to mind… Everyone seems to be looking for cooperation with others, but has little ideas or experience on how to set it up. We’re not wired for it and the system is not built for it. People mostly think of big plans come to mind for an intensive cooperation. These cooperations require trust, which is built by interacting and working together. However the trust building seldom takes place, because there is no other, smaller opportunity to interact or work together. It’s kind of an endless loop. So in my view this comes back to finding small projects to kickstart further cooperation. I think this was also mentioned during the workshop in Brussels on the 24th.

Another is the lack of time, skills and resources of people and initiatives to invest in building something that stimulates connection, interaction, collective learning, cooperation.

The people behind initiatives seem to share some characteristics. More will power than means, they often make personal sacrifices for the project, they have big ideas but little recognition or ways to make those ideas possible.

That’s all I can think of right now.


I can see where you’re coming from.

Just one note -the lack of resources and time that we perceice to not have in individual projects gets reduced when working in collectives because there is shared responsibility, commoning of things such as skills. For example working in the OPENandChange application the very clear mark of collaboration is sending the application in. So people’s time to share their stories and sign a collaboration agreement gets a very tangible return - the official bidding. We all contribute to making a proposal together, and that is in fact training in collaboration.

@Amelia, would be happy to participate in the call, thanks for proposing this!

Good point! And not everyone is in the same situation. Personally, I have more time to dedicate towards cultivating eg. cooperation in a larger network. Others lack the time, but if there are at least a few players working on it, we’ll get somewhere.

So I guess put up a Doodle?

Maybe it would be even easier, @Amelia , if you put up a Doodle. There clearly is some interest here, now we are down to firming up a date and time.

Doodle Poll

Hi all, thanks for your responses so far.

Here’s a link to a Doodle poll (times are by default CET, but you can toggle them in the upper right corner):

Let’s see if any of these times work — if not we can expand the poll a bit .


Amelia. I saw people can make Tuesday, unfortunately I’m traveling. Please go ahead and do Tue and I can reconnect with you later.


@Amelia , can I ask you to involve @Ezio_Manzini ? If hi has time, of course.

Also, please, confirm for the rest of us. :slight_smile:

Tuesday it is

It does look like Tuesday is our day. @Noemi we can definitely chat another time, let me know when works for you. Maybe we do meta-meta ethnography after this call :stuck_out_tongue:

Although I have to add that we only have 3 responses! So @Ezio Manzini , if you have a particular preference for time on Tuesday (if that works for you) let us know.

For now let’s say 15:00 CET so people have something to put in the diary.

Looking forward to it!

In my calendar

Any specifics? Skype? Hangout? Others? Any link?


Hi all,

I’d like to postpone the call til next week— it would be really be ideal to have a few more participants. This way people have a bit more time to read with the questions in mind. I’ll send out another poll a bit later in the week. thanks to those who responded, hope to discuss soon :slight_smile: