People Nerds

Conversations with people who share our passion 
for understanding what makes people tick

Equity in Learning

UChicago’s Nicole Beechum on the experience of students in urban school districts from an equity and strengths-based perspective.

'Agile Qualitative Research' is not an oxymoron!

A qualitative researcher of 20 years, Carrie Yury has found that agile can make qualitative research process and findings more visible to stakeholders and even create new hunger for user understanding.

Riders, meet Drivers. Drivers, meet Riders.

Uber’s Molly Stevens walks us through the company’s recent project designed to foster moments of connection between drivers and riders—including the surprising things they don’t want to know about each other. 

Connecting the Cultural Dots

Researcher Jonathan Bean is an architect, sustainability consultant, ethnographer, marketing guru, and expert on consumer taste—and he brought all of those skills together to study the cultural and social movement unfolding at a Harlem restaurant. Bean takes us through his interdisciplinary approach to studying the current moment, and the importance of the environment around us.

Finding the "connective tissue" in human experience

Indigo Books’ Markus Grupp knows that when it comes to deeply human needs—how we’re inspired and how we communicate—algorithms don’t hold a candle to person to person connection.

ConTEXTual Feeling

Maci Peterson, founder of On Second Thought, wants to give us a chance to correct ourselves, and improve the way we communicate in the process. 

Curating Context

Credit Karma’s Yasmine Khan shows us how exhibit design can help stakeholders and product teams grasp research insights in a whole new way.

Gorillas in our midst: Observation over conversation

People Nerd John Dominski has spent countless hours studying gorillas. We chat about how the experience taught him to be a better observer, and how his learnings can be applied to human research.

Power of questions, power of silence

Leadership consultant Lisa Stefanac, group behavior expert, breaks down the importance of good questions, the value of silence, and everything you can learn about yourself from how you play with others.

Can We All Just Get Happy?

Ran Zilca, Chief Data-Science Officer at Happify, talks about what makes us happy—both what the data tells us, and what he found on his own personal 6,000 mile journey across the country.


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