15 years of Experientia

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Today is the 15th birthday of Experientia. 

Much has happened in those years that reflect a more complex world of human-centered design, including the opening of other offices, a new focus on healthcare and social innovation, and a much stronger emphasis on insight analysis, stakeholder engagement, behavioral modeling and behavioral sciences, as well as on strategic interaction and service design.

The first ones to thank are all our collaborators (former and current ones), but also our clients, our partners and our network for their support and commitment. We wouldn’t have reached our 15 years without you.

Mark, Michele, and Jan-Christoph

UX Research

Behavioral Covid-19 research in Italy

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The Milan-based consumer and health research center EngageMinds HUB of the Università Cattolica has done some timely research on how Covid-19 has influenced the behavior of Italians.

The reports are all in Italian, so you should use a translation engine if you want to read them in full. Meanwhile here is a summary.

COVID-19 and food: opinions and behaviors of Italians
July 2020
24% of Italians feel at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to possible contamination of food products. The fear that food may be a possible vehicle of the virus is more pronounced among those living in the South and Islands (30%)


[Book] Smartphones: Une enquête anthropologique

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Smartphones: Une enquête anthropologique 
By Nicolas Nova
19.06.2020, 376 pages 

En un peu plus d’une décennie, le smartphone a envahi le quotidien de centaines de millions de personnes à travers le monde, devenant très rapidement l’objet fétiche de nos sociétés globales et numérisées. Mais au-delà des enjeux économiques, éthiques ou écologiques immenses dont il est l’emblème, quelle place occupe-t-il dans la vie de ses propriétaires et quelles significations ces derniers lui accordent-ils? Sur la base d‘une enquête de terrain menée à Genève, Los Angeles et Tokyo, cet ouvrage aborde la dimension proprement anthropologique du smartphone.

À travers six objets qui symbolisent autant de facettes de son usage — la laisse, la prothèse, le miroir, la baguette magique, le


Nordic lessons for people-first smart cities

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People First: A Vision for the Global Urban Age. Lessons from Nordic Smart Cities
by Olli Bremer, Niko Kinnunen, Johannes Koponen, Louna Laurila, Juha Leppänen, Maria Malho, Roope Mokka, Henrik Suikkanen
Demos Helsinki publications
June 2020, 104 pages
> Announcement


While it is argued that smart city development is at an impasse, we argue that it is at a crossroads. It is possible to simultaneously develop and adopt new technologies and strengthen people’s rights. This has been proven in the Nordic cities and Barcelona. The People-first vision presented in this report shows how it is possible for all cities.

The People-first vision


[Book] Slowdown

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Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration―and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives
by Danny Dorling
Yale University Press
May 2020, 400 pages
> Chapter 1

The end of our high-growth world was underway well before COVID-19 arrived. In this powerful and timely argument, Danny Dorling demonstrates the benefits of a larger, ongoing societal slowdown

Drawing from an incredibly rich trove of global data, this groundbreaking book reveals that human progress has been slowing down since the early 1970s. Danny Dorling uses compelling visualizations to illustrate how fertility rates, growth in GDP per person, and even the frequency of


[Book] How to Future

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How to Future: Leading and Sense-making in an Age of Hyperchange
by Scott Smith with Madeline Ashby
Kogan Page Inspire
September 2020, 288 pages

How can you be prepared for what’s next when emerging trends constantly threaten to turn your strategic plan on its head? The world of business is experiencing a state of hyperchange influenced by global movements, disruptive technologies, political uprisings and new consumer expectations. If your world is turned upside down, will you know how to pivot and thrive, or will you be roadkill in the ‘adapt or die’ business race? Futuring is the art of anticipating and testing


Reuters e-book about society after the pandemic

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Once in a Lifetime? What will change after the coronavirus pandemic has wrought its damage
Reuters, Breakingviews
June 2, 2020, 73 pages

Humanity either learns key lessons from the pandemic, corrects course and becomes a more resilient species. Or it tears further apart and expands the divisions in society that predated Covid-19. In a new e-book on what will change, Breakingviews (a unit of Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters) takes the more optimistic view.

The resulting e-book is a compendium of Reuters articles published mainly in the last five weeks.


Preface (Rob Cox – June 2, 2020)



Smart city visions and human rights

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Smart City Visions and Human Rights: Do They Go Together? – Understanding the impact of technology on urban life
by Tina Kempin Reuter, Ph.D
Harvard Kennedy School – CARR Center for Human Rights Policy
Discussion Paper Series, 2020-006, 24 April 2020

The document has no abstract so I quote this text from the conclusions

While many of those promoting smart cities have become attuned with the critiques and have endeavored to make smart city initiatives more citizen-centric, many attempts have been superficial and only changed discussion, not the fundamental principles that lie behind the development and implementation of technologies and smart city


[Book] New Laws of Robotics

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New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI
Frank Pasquale
Harvard University Press
October 2020, 352 pages

AI is poised to disrupt our work and our lives. We can harness these technologies rather than fall captive to them—but only through wise regulation.

Too many CEOs tell a simple story about the future of work: if a machine can do what you do, your job will be automated. They envision everyone from doctors to soldiers rendered superfluous by ever-more-powerful artificial intelligence. They offer stark alternatives: make robots or be replaced by them.

Another story is possible. In virtually every


[Book] All data are local

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All Data Are Local: Thinking Critically in a Data-Driven Society
By Yanni Alexander Loukissas
MIT Press
April 2019, 272 pages

How to analyze data settings rather than data sets, acknowledging the meaning-making power of the local.

In our data-driven society, it is too easy to assume the transparency of data. Instead, Yanni Loukissas argues in All Data Are Local, we should approach data sets with an awareness that data are created by humans and their dutiful machines, at a time, in a place, with the instruments at hand, for audiences that are conditioned to receive them. The term data set implies something discrete, complete, and