We offer creative problem identification & solutions via a "walkabout".
We offer sophisticated ethnographic analysis, along with a full complement of other qualitative methods.
We can help you develop strategies for programs to connect with clients, customers, supporters, users, and vendors..
We can step in and give support to tactical projects that help you achieve your strategic goals.
We are on a mission to make the world a better place through human engagement.
Our goal is to improve processes and outcomes by including human factors from the outset.
You should come to us with hard to resolve questions and problems about connecting with and understanding people.
We are one of the few organizations doing large scale ethnographic research in the fields of energy and sustainability.
Our goal as an organization to work on climate change issues wherever they crop up - energy, water, pollution, air regulations, land use policy, transportation...
We will help you transform programs that run on outputs, into programs that run on outcomes. We bring theory and rigor to any design process.
Here are some numbers. Numbers can tell stories.
* 90 percent of Californians ranked energy conservation as important, but virtually no one was taking steps to do anything in their own homes. ~ opower.com
** In December 2014, 35% of Republicans believed there was consensus among scientists regarding climate change. In January 2015, that number rose to 52%. ~ yougov.com
*** In 2013, about 67% of electricity generated in U.S. was from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, petroleum) ~ eia.gov
**** Heating and cooling account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. ~ energy.gov
Energy Conservation *
Scientific Consensus **
Heating & Cooling ****
Susan Mazur-Stommen is a cultural anthropologist who has researched culture, behavior, and sustainability for over twenty years. Her work has included such high points as testifying before Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley with bright pink hair. Any given work day might find her:
Haley Gilbert is passionate about energy, climate and urban sustainability topics. She approaches projects with both a research and implementation perspective to develop impactful policies, programs, analysis, and products. This has included assisting cities in California to implement 'cool' community projects and policies to improve energy efficiency and adapt to climate change, collaborating with non-profits in Mexico to research building design strategies to minimize life cycle carbon impacts, and designing a social marketing program for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff to reduce their environmental footprint.
When she is not working, you might find Haley:
Adam is a hydrogeologist. He wants to put himself out of business by upending the broken model of regulation driving ridiculously expensive cleanups. Stakeholders generally support reducing environmental footprint when they understand value. For the last 15 years Adam thought he chose safer battles, overseeing very large soil, water and sediment cleanups. He'll now tell you that the Middle East is tame compared to our regulatory system.
Adam will gladly amuse you with his stories of:
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Helena Ottoson is an Applied Anthropologist. The past decade has been spend in consumer research, and as a Swede, she finds American contemporary living fascinating. She is equally happy hanging out with painters and plumbers rummaging through their trucks while discussing how the economy influenced their expansion of trade skills, as she is asking to see what is in the back of a woman's intimates drawer to figure out how personal life events change underwear preference.
More fun projects:
Moira has focused on nonprofit administration for the past 10 years. She started in opera management and eventually moved into the energy efficiency field to work in grants management. Moira is interested in all aspects of nonprofit administration and hopes to continue exploring for the rest of her career.
A typical day for Moira may include:
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Amy is a creative problem solver and community builder with deep experience in business and technology. She now uses her extensive business experience in the areas of energy, social justice, and non-profits. She speaks the languages of multiple functional areas, enjoys translating between them, and travels fluidly between the forest and the trees of business objectives. Her superpower is recognizing people's individuality.
Clarissa is currently an MA student in the department of Anthropology at San Diego State University. Her research falls at the intersection of human-technology interactions and educational anthropology. Her thesis project explores perspectives of both students and faculty on the use of digital technologies for educational purposes on her own university's campus. Clarissa would like to continue in a career involving consumer research or conducting research in educational settings.
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Stephen is a cultural anthropologist. With an additional background in mathematics and programming, he is interested in combining analytical approaches with ethnographic insights. As a former teacher, he strives to understand how culture influences human learning and decision-making.
In his free-time, he is:
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Our founder is a regular keynote speaker at conferences, has been featured in several major articles and has been the subject of several broadcasts like this one, where she speaks with Carbon Nation Director Peter Boyle, at Arizona State University.
The Practice of Anthropology in the National Capital Region: Private Sector Applications. A Special NAPA/WAPA Collaboration, December 6, 2014. Chair: Susan Diane Mazur-Stommen, with presenters: Cathleen E. Crain, Elizabeth Schill, Elzbieta Godziak, and Carol J. Ellick, and Ben G. Blount
Stream Audio (Format:MP3, Duration:1h35m).
We can conduct high-level, detailed proprietary research for you.
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Jumpstart internal brainstorming or use us as an idea incubator.
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You have questions? We tell you how to get the answers. We can design a strategic plan for internal research.
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New product line or program offering? Research you are uncertain about?
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Documented success across a variety of sectors.
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