A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Joint AQR/QRCA Inspiration In Action Conference, Prague, May 2010

Well, we went, we saw, we heard and we talked!  It was a big week!

Now to our formal report ....

Susan Stancombe and Bryant George attended the joint AQR/QRCA Inspiration In Action Conference, in Prague, Czech Republic last week.

Prague proved to be a great choice of location.  The old town of Prague is picture postcard perfect - cobbled streets, lovely stone bridges over a fast flowing river, exquisite examples of architecture (Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Contemporary), a castle, art galleries, street performers, museums galore, loads of goulash & dumplings and a very pretty clock. It is a city that is hard on the feet (we don't recommend pounding the cobblestone footpaths) yet very lovely to look at and very much a city that is managing to successfully shake off its communist past. Yes, consumerism is alive and well!  We managed to squeeze in a tour of some of the shops and came home with a pair of locally made trainers - very stylish

So, a fitting setting for the 5th biennual Worldwide Qualitative Research Conference. 

We are no strangers to this conference. Stancombe gave the Plenary address at the inaugural Worldwide Qualitative Research Conference in Paris in 2000, Susan presented at the Dublin conference in 2004 and last week, Bryant & Susan gave a joint paper in Prague titled: "Where the Wild Things Are, Group Instinct As Inspiration".  We think it was well received!  

As conferences go, this was a good-ish one.  

The conferenced opened with a series of workshops - a great way to start! 

Wendy Gordon kicked off with workshop 1. She was her usual inspiring self and facilitated a thought provoking workshop around the subject of "Making inspiring big theories into chunks that have value" which I found resonated particularly well.  Ava Lindberg conducted a workshop on "Facilitating Consciously" and Jay Zaltman, explore the notion of how to choose new qualitative methods 

I didn't go to the Zaltman workshop so not sure what the new methods are but given the tone of the conference, my money is on on-line research!  In my humble opinion (after sitting through half a dozen or so papers around the topic of on-line qualitative research methods and applications, I am glad I missed it. The way we (the industry, that is) talk about on-line research is hardly inspiring! (to me, anyway)

So who did inspire?  

Besides Wendy Gordon, Sheila Keegan inspired with her thoughts on how qualitative research can help create a better future in the workplace. Onya Sheila! It was great to hear a paper that explored well thought-out and carefully researched new ideas.

Sunderland + Denny inspired when they demonstrated the relationship between consumer generated art work (i.e. collages) and fine art and the cultural significance of this. Given Stancombe's love of the visual arts, it is no surprise that this paper went down so well with us!

The lovely Dr Goepp introduced a fresh perspective when he spoke on the benefits  of ethnography to the medical fraternity. He explained how ethnography can be used to identify better / different diagnostic and treatment pathways.  We suspect, Dr Goepp has a charming bedside manner. You'd want him looking after you if you found yourself 'under the weather'.

The 'grrls' from Sherbert (UK) rocked! They certainly inspired with their human, humourous, and intelligent dissertation on the "Science of the sleepover: Moderator-less research with tweens and teens" and the tweens on the video clip showed were hilarious. Needless to say, they provided much needed respite from papers on all things on-line 

GiGi Santiago, gave an inspiring 'performance' of the old subject, "Creative directors hate research?" 

There were some other interesting thoughts presented over the 3 days but I am afraid jet lag has the better of me so that is all I can do for now.

Do get in touch if you would like to know more



ps: Some pics of the city and my co-presenter.... Enjoy!

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