What we're about

The applied sector within anthropology in the Netherlands is starting to gain more common ground. More and more 'non-academic' organisations are recognising the need for anthropological research, and universities like the University of Amsterdam offer a special applied anthropology track. However, academic and non-academic spaces tend to be distanced from each other and the space of academia can only prepare you so much for the big wide world out there. Similarly, non-academic organisations still know relatively little about the things that anthropologists actually do ("something with people, right?") and how to integrate them. We feel this distance could be improved by maturing the field of applied anthropology into an established discipline.

How can we bridge academic and non-academic worlds of anthropology and revise the anthropological "toolbox" together so that it fits both worlds? How do we ask and give practical advice to each-other to help us in the day-to-day work of applying anthropology?

In other words, how do we interbuild applied anthropology: building on each other and building the discipline?

To answer such question, we plan to organise once every 2 months, a two hours meetup for applied anthropologists, where we:

a) share experiences of applying anthropological thinking and working in various fields outside academia
b) think and learn together, ask and provide practical advice and support to each other
c) use the knowledge produced in the group to support the shaping of a “toolbox” for applied anthropology

To advance the 'interbuilding', we plan each session to be hosted by a different person, who will prepare a topic case that they are currently struggling with in applied anthropology, on which the group will give advice. Here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iNXtEWFDm2j5xw1EVMXFbwPfu3RaE0gT-3f8XXYeHI4/edit#gid=0 you will find a link to register yourself as a host for a future session. If desired, the host can also share materials upfront with the group in preparation. If, for a session, we have no host, the organisers will take it over. Each meetup is hosted in the common room on the 5th floor of the Anthropology department of the University of Amsterdam (Roeterseiland Campus, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV, Amsterdam). Drinks will be provided.

Upcoming events (2)

Marrije Prins & Maud van Merrienboer: PEOPLE project - co-creating research

Marrije Prins, MSc, is an experienced development expert holding a Bachelor’s in Socal Work and a Master’s in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Since 2006, she has worked as a freelance applied ethnographic researcher and as a programme manager on education innovation projects outside of academia. Her strength lies in bridging the gap between multiple stakeholders in newly formed partnerships between profit and not-for-profit organizations focused on the realisation and acceleration of development. Since 2017 Marrije has worked as the project coordinator for the Dutch case of the PEOPLE Project. Maud van Merriënboer holds a Master of Science in Culture, Organization and Management. She is involved in the project management and evaluation of the PEOPLE project, and also has the role of Junior Teacher at the Organization Sciences department at VU Amsterdam. A lot of her teaching involves bridging the gap between industry and academia and teaching students ethnographic research methods. Within different courses, she has collaborated with several partners in the public and private domain, including municipalities, energy grid operators, energy providers and housing corporations. PEOPLE (People-Centred Development in Practical and Learning Environments) is an international 3-year project [masked], co-funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ Programme) in which universities and industry partners in 'sustainable living and energy efficiency' work together to - develop and integrate people-centred development approaches into research, teaching and learning practices; - bring together interdisciplinary groups of students, faculty educators and industry professionals to solve real-life business challenges; - enable students to gain valuable practical skills to complement their theoretical education; - demonstrate the value of social sciences for industry. Link to 3 min. animation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=zNa8CsrpmKY Within the Dutch context of this project, VU Amsterdam has been collaborating with energy grid operator Alliander to provide a ‘human perspective’ on the Dutch energy transition. Over the course of 2,5 years, master students ‘Anthropology’ and ‘Culture, Organisation and Management’ have provided valuable insights for Alliander based on ethnographic research. During the meet-up in September we would like to share some of the learnings of the People Project and share our experience on how to co-create research and learning with a non-academic partner organization.

Guido Verboom - Culture change through online communities

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166

Excited to introduce the speaker for our October session: Guido Verboom! he will share his experiences on cultural change through online communities. According to Guido: "Anthropologists have a unique perspective on how people interact. As an anthropologist, you have the ability to observe and participate at the same time. This makes you very well positioned to switch between perspectives and this ability of switching perspective is in high demand in a world that is getting more complex. Online communities are a great way for companies and other purposeful ventures to be in touch which their members, clients and coworkers. And as you might have guessed the core quality of people working with such communities is to be able to switch perspectives, from inside to outside and back again. Are you ready for a switch? Guido Verboom helps organizations stay close tot heir core values by creating a community mindset helped by interactive online platforms." This promises to be a very interesting and unique session :) Hope to see you there!

Past events (3)

Photos (9)