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Tema: LØRNSOC

#0402: Social context to technology

Gjest: Anna Kirah

Designantropolog and psychologist of Kirah


Med Vert Silvija Seres

In this episode of LØRN, Silvija speaks to design anthropologist and psychologist, ?Anna Kirah, about how you find solutions to the messy things that happen in everyday life. She also shared her thoughts on what's relevant knowledge for the future to be keeping creativity and curiosity in the schools, clearly stirring up from her love for students. As an advocate of the people, she applies a life-centered approach to the design and implementation of products, services and organisational change. She has worked in corporations such as Boeing and Microsoft, and consults with customers in a wide range of sectors including software development, advertising, transportation, retail, banking, public services and governmental policy making.

Full transcript (Available soon)

Who are you and how did you become interested in the cross between technology and society?
I am a soul that cares most about people, that which creates unity, that which is fellow human. I have worked in technology and society all my life. For 10 years I led design anthropology at Microsoft. I visited people at home, at work, on the way to work, at school all over the world. I researched life phases and life events to look at how technology could solve the challenges people face. That is, technology as an enabling factor. Technology in itself is never a solution. I am now most concerned with the balance between technology and humanity. That technology is both a blessing and a curse. We have to focus on society, the local community, to preserve humanity in a world of exponential technological growth.

What is the most important thing you do at work?
How insight into the everyday life of the people can be useful in creating meaningful and relevant useful and desired solutions in an age of turbulence. How to create good interfaces.

What do you focus on in technology?
A people-centric approach to innovative solutions.

Why is it exciting?
Because I want to do my part to save the world. I see time and time again examples of technologies that hurt while we talk only about the positive effects.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
Use and misuse of AI, Big Data. Lack of trans disciplinary work in technology-driven companies.

Your own projects last year?
Design without Borders, accounting services, teaches design anthropology (I love students), NAV change via management change.

Your other favourite examples of good social technology internationally and nationally?
Home energy, 3m roofing that fights smog, health ware, smart grids, water purifiers, Ognio.

What do you think is relevant knowledge for the future?
Empathy, adaptability to change, flexibility SOCIETY DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY, good old basic skills for making things with your hands - keep creativity and curiosity in the schools!

What do we do uniquely well in Norway from this?
The potential is enormous: We are only 5 million, imagine that we have the opportunity to create the vision for the rest of the world as a test bed, prototype,

Main points from our conversation?
Remember that technology has its own life, we as humans have to put more focus on belonging and unity if we are to retain humanity.

Refleksjonsspørsmål

Samle deg med en venn eller en kollega for å se om du klarer å svare på spørsmålet nedenfor.



Spørsmål:The social aspects of technology respond well to the rapid changes in our society. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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This is what you will learn:

Social context to technology Anthropology Diversity Culture Collaboration
Remember that technology has its own life, we as human beings have to put more focus on belonging and unity if we are to retain humanity.

- Anna Kirah

Recommended literature:
Educated Sapiens Homo Deus  

This is Kirah

As a Design anthropologist and psychologist, Anna Kirah creates meaningful, relevant, and valuable solutions through understanding people´s motivations and expectations. Anna facilitates change in organizations in both the public and private sectors through co-creation, to involve precisely the people who use, manage and provide the services and products. Her focus is to help her clients design meaningful and relevant services and products that meet the actual needs of the people the organization serves both internally and within the organization but also externally to existing and potential clients.