PEOPLE AT THE SOCIETY FOR APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY ANNUAL MEETING
Three members of the PEOPLE project team attended the 78th annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, which took place on April 3 – 7, 2018 in Philadelphia, USA. The theme of this year’s meeting was Sustainable Futures. There were 255 sessions, 11 workshops, 24 films and 8 tours at the event, with 1,400 registrants from 34 countries.
The roundtable Building the Global Future of Applied Anthropology: Europe Meets America was chaired by PEOPLE team member and convenor of the EASA Applied Anthropology Network, Dan Podjed (ZRC SAZU). Representatives of several national and international associations and institutions attempted to make a step in the direction of eliminating existing borders between applied anthropologies. Discussants included Edward Liebow (Executive Director of the American Anthropological Association), Lenora Bohren (Colorado State University and former president of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology), Laurie Krieger (Manoff Group), Riall Nolan (Purdue University), Tatiana Bajuk Senčar (ZRC SAZU & PEOPLE), Sara Arko (Metronik & PEOPLE), and Meta Gorup (Ghent University & EASA Applied Anthropology Network).
PEOPLE team members presented the project’s approach, aim, goals, and the first results to an international audience, shared the consortium’s experiences with the PEOPLE Learning Cycles and explored opportunities to connect and collaborate on a global scale. They screened the PEOPLE animated video, which was well accepted by the audience, and distributed copies of the PEOPLE Newsletters.
A lively discussion developed during the roundtable meeting with a truly active participation of the international audience. The participants agreed that it is time to start working together to address the world’s political, environmental, and economic problems that cannot be solved only locally, including climate change, migrations, or poverty, as well as in fields such as development of technological solutions. They explored existing and thought of future platforms that could bridge between applied anthropologists working in different continents, under differing conditions, and in different settings. In particular, they mentioned the annual symposium Why the World Needs Anthropologists, which is also a result of the PEOPLE project, as one of the possibilities to join forces across institutional and national boundaries. In the 2018 edition of the symposium, we’ll be exploring the role of anthropologists and social scientists in the field of design.