Throughout the project's life-cycle, we are sharing our experiences, disseminating our research results and findings, and building the PEOPLE community at conferences, symposiums, and events.

The PEOPLE project also cooperates closely with the Applied Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), the largest European network for scientists and practitioners who believe that anthropological theories, approaches, methods and skills can also be used beyond academic boundaries. We are engaged in organising the annual symposium Why the World Needs Anthropologists as one of the results of the PEOPLE project. 


Scroll down to see which are our upcoming events and past activities.




Applied anthropologists, designers, and other experts and practitioners will be designing the future in Lisbon, on 26 and 27 October 2018, at the 6th Why the World Needs Anthropologists international symposium.

Aptly titled Designing the Future, this year's event will focus on design anthropology, its methods, practical applications, and its potential for framing the future of humanity around the world. With four fabulous speakers lined up, we will explore human-centred design and design thinking with an emphasis on the value of ethnography in these type of processes and techniques. The event will bring together researchers, designers, and developers from various domains to ensure an enriched discussion, facilitate collaborations, create innovation momentum, and provide a networking platform for new job opportunities.


  • JOSÉ MANUEL DOS SANTOS (Head of Design and User Experience at Philips Lighting)
  • SARAH PINK (Distinguished Professor at RMIT University)
  • JAMER HUNT (Vice Provost for Transdisciplinary Initiatives at The New School)
  • ANNA KIRAH (Managing Director at Design Without Borders)

Online registration will open on 1 June 2018 on the event website. Mark your calendars and see you in Lisbon!





Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3 - 7 April 2018

Three members of the PEOPLE project team attended the 78th annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, which took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There were 255 sessions, 11 workshops, 24 films and 8 tours, attended by 1,400 registrants from 34 countries. The theme of this year's meeting was Sustainable Futures.

PEOPLE team member Dan Podjed (ZRC SAZU) was chairing the Building the Global Future of Applied Anthropology: Europe Meets America roundtable. What was our goal? Internationally, applied anthropologists live and work in separate worlds, defined by their continental or national activities. However, it is time to start working together to address the world’s political, environmental, and economic problems that cannot be solved only locally, such as poverty, climate change, racism and migrations. This roundtable, with representatives of several national and international associations and institutions, attempted to take a step in the direction of eliminating existing borders between applied anthropologies. It established new connections between American and European anthropologists and invites other experts to join a debate on collaborations of global East and West, North and South.

PEOPLE team members presented the project's approach, aim, goals, and the first results to an international audience, shared the consortium's experiences and looked for opportunities to connect and collaborate on a global scale.

Participants at the roundtable were: Laurie KRIEGER (Manoff Group), Riall NOLAN (Purdue U), Edward LIEBOW (AAA), Lenora BOHREN (CO State U), Tatiana BAJUK SENČAR (ZRC SAZU & PEOPLE),  Sara ARKO (Metronik & PEOPLE), and Meta GORUP (Ghent U & EASA).




The 5th international symposium Why the World Needs Anthropologists took place on 28 and 29 October 2017 at Durham University, Durham, UK.

The theme of the symposium was POWERING THE PLANET and we explored the questions of energy as an indispensable part of our domestic and working lives and the role of anthropology in the development of smart and sustainable energy systems that are environmentally responsible and people-friendly.

PEOPLE project was part of the symposium’s networking event Energy Hotspot. We presented our flyer and the second issue of the PEOPLE Newsletter, both hot off the press. As an introduction to the panel discussion with the speakers, we screened our new animated video and presented the PEOPLE approach and goals to the audience. We also brought the event online and worldwide by hosting the event’s live stream, now shared as five separate videos! Read more about our participation at the 2017 symposium here.

PEOPLE Flyer, PEOPLE Newsletter, Why the World Needs Anthropologists

The symposium brought together speakers from the academia, industry, and in-between, who gave their talks on the first day of the event. BENJ SYKES (UK Country Manager and Head of Programme Asset Management in DONG Energy's Offshore Wind Power) talked about the role of communities in the future of energy production and how engineers might work with social scientists on the introduction of new energy technologies. TANJA WINTHER (Associate Professor at Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo) drew on her experiences to explore what role could or should be played by anthropologists in the search for solutions to the energy dilemma – provision of modern energy for all and sustainable production and consumption. In her talk on the development of solar energy, SOPHIE BOULY DE LESDAIN (Expert Researcher at Electricité de France, EDF) has shown how anthropology provides insight into the issues involved in the installation of Photovoltaic by the locals. And in her talk on Empowering Infrastructures: Water, Steel and StoneVERONICA STRANG (Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University) shared her insights into the ‘power of materials’.

The second day of the event included workshops on energy and careers related topics, delivered by anthropologists, practitioners, and NGOs. (Find the full programme here.)



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