I have a prototype on the story website --
which is meant to suggest a brainstorming tool by having you think about a problem from the perspective of various cool people. This particular list is just based on some of my own favorites, but this morning I was thinking of the following variation for cross-cultural groups. Rather than "presume" an "American" methodology, what would it be like to actively elicit characters, methods, heuristics from the traditions of the cultures of the various people in a project.
For example, one of my managers at NYNEX was from Russia. He told me that an old Russian custom --- superstition -- is that when you are all ready to go on a long journey, you never rush out the door. You are always supposed to get all packed, get dressed and then sit for a few quiet moments first. Well!! This immediately struck me as brilliant! How often, after all, have you rushed out the door only to discover you forgot your (choose one) passport, computer, toothbrush, tickets, etc.?
Typically though when we interact with people from China, Japan, India, Brazil, etc., we just presume this sort of bland modernist approach to everything. What if we specifically asked people from each culture to think about something from their tradition that add to the diversity of views and methods of potential relevance.
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