For our next podcast we focussed on the research method critical to Design Thinking: ethnography. Here we talk to Dr. Katie Gaddini and explore what ethnography is and its history as a research method. We look at the benefits of ethnography to business and how it can still be conducted remotely.

Katie Gaddini

Dr. Katie Gaddini

For this podcast we interviewed Ethnographer Dr. Katie Gaddini. Katie is a sociologist and a writer. She recently released a book called The Struggle To Stay based on five years of ethnographic research with single evangelical women, published by Columbia University Press.She is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the department of Social Science at the University College London (UCL), and an affiliated researcher at Cambridge University and the University of Johannesburg.  At UCL, Katie lectures on ethnography, teaching the methodology and the history.

Ethnography is about understanding a person, a set of individuals or a community on a very deep level, to produce a rich knowledge about them and in turn be able to relate to them better. It’s through understanding what their needs are, that you’re then able to actually affect change or have impact on them.

You can access the podcast below:


SoundcloudApple Podcasts 


Introduction to Ethnography on our Fundamentals course

For some examples of short term and auto-ethnography conducted by the Design Thinkers Academy London, have a look at our ethnography report on single use plastics, when we joined forces with SAP to look at the question of:

“How can we harness the appetite among UK citizen-consumers for swift action on plastic waste and pollution to deliver fresh, impactful and systemic solutions?”

If you would like to know more about ethnography, then have a look at our courses, including our Design Thinkers Bootcamp. Bootcamp includes a masterclass and working sessions with Ethnographer Becky Rowe. Becky is a research specialist and the owner and Head of Research at the award-winning strategic research agency, Revealing Reality.

To find out more or for any other questions, including about our new online courses, please get in touch.