We are real ethnographers
Expert ethnographers are different. And for real!
Decades of research at home and abroad meet business and policy consulting in Berlin and around the world. We learned from the best. Ethnography is not just one of the things we do. It defines our strength as consultants who really do think outside the box.
Where others are still running after the latest trend, we rely on well-grounded, proven methodology and practices. We spend days - not hours - in the field discovering new insights for our customers.
dr. eric a. heuser Founder
Eric has been an ethnographer for over 16 years, carrying out research at Ivy League universities worldwide. He has also delivered a range of diversity and intercultural trainings for business leaders. His work focuses on intercultural communication, critical whiteness, anti-racism, diversity, emergency humanitarian aid, pharma and policy.
He truly enjoys meeting new people from around the world and supporting them with their projects. Eric is trained in Social Anthropology and Intercultural Management and received his doctorate in Sociology.
Eric’s work has brought him to Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia and the US. He is eager to continue his work as researcher, consultant and trainer wherever great projects require for advice in market research, consulting, evaluation or monitoring!
Why are we doing this?
To be honest: Because we really do enjoy what we do! 15 years ago, Eric noticed that ethnography and strategic management consulting go together perfectly.
Whether in intercultural HR work, in advising start-ups, or in the management of health facilities. And also in market research, for example to better understand how various products are experienced and used in consumers’ everyday lives.
Applied ethnography at CONTEXTERS is not part of a tool box, but our sole focus. We did not attend weekend courses or rapid training classes. For us, ethnography is a way of looking at the world- and people. To understand their behaviour, imaginations, feelings, and moods. Inextricably linked to this is an image of interaction based on respect, equality, empathy and sustainability. Ethnography does not evaluate behaviour, but digs deep to uncover the perspective of the people. In order to be able to offer this methodology professionally, ethnographic consultants require years of research and consulting experience. CONTEXTERS deliver reliable and durable data, based on applied knowledge from real life.
Strong networks are a central component of applied agile work strategies. CONTEXTERS have access to an expansive international network of dedicated experts.
dr. katrin sonntag
Katrin is a passionate and experienced ethnographer, consultant, and coach. She works at the University of Basel in Switzerland and trains students in ethnography. She is also a certified coach (E.C.A.) and trainer and has previously worked as a senior business consultant leading an international team in China and Germany.
Building on her PhD research on the world of international start-ups, she is interested in new forms of work, organisations and future visions. In addition, migration and mobility, refugee migration, migration in the face of climate change, and democracy awareness are topics of her expertise and interest. Katrin’s international work and ethnographic experience includes India, China, Iceland, USA, Switzerland, Belgium, Thailand and Yemen. For her, ethnography and coaching are not only ways to understand contexts and individuals, but also to accompany change and development.
Silke has studied business administration and psychology and is also a certified intercultural trainer. More than 20 years ago, Silke started working with ethnography and conducted psychological-ethnographic field research in Java / Indonesia. Shortly afterwards, she moved to Indonesia permanently. She now commutes between Java and international locations for assignments supporting global companies as a change and intercultural communication consultant. An example of this work includes facilitating the development of diverse and inclusive corporate environments. It is important to her to create psychologically safe work environments where every individual, regardless of their personal, professional, or cultural profile, feels respected and supported.
As a Brain Gym therapist, Silke supports her clients in developing their personal potential and contributing to vibrant, innovative, and successful cultures.
Nelden D. Gericke
Nelden is a trained cross-cultural psychologist from Indonesia with an advanced Master’s degree in Cultures on Development Studies from Belgium - and a true transnational ethnographer! She has extensive teaching and training experience in Indonesia, applying a rigid ethnographic approach while conducting fieldwork in trauma recovery and psychosocial intervention in various cultural contexts. After taking on a research fellowship at Harvard University under the Harvard-Kennedy-School Indonesia Program and the “Program on Crisis Leadership”, she directed various intercultural and education policy projects in Lithuania and Germany.
In her free time, Nelden loves being creative and enjoys crafting, making jewelry, creative writing, and cooking up true (!) opulent Indonesian meals for her friends.
David is an enthusiastic, purpose-driven ethnographer who loves diving into diverse settings. He relies on qualitative data but is also experienced in designing and carrying out complex censi or focus group interviews.
He has worked in both rural and urban contexts – with farmers in a German-Polish International Park, Namibian policy-makers, asylum-seekers in England and Zambian tobacco growers. He knows how to dig deep and to uncover the reasons and motivations behind people’s behaviours and moods, why they consume certain things, why they love or hate certain ideas, products, or processes, and why they desire certain lifestyles- or not. David is an expert in following goods and processes, applying participatory methods also used in international development. This is how he provides customers with thick data which translate into truly participatory strategies.
David is a nature freak and loves climbing mountains and growing trees in his spare time!
Are you an ethnographer with a minimum of three years of proven research experience - also in the field of market research and/or consulting support of organisations and companies? You have facilitated workshops on diversity, inclusion, mindfulness, sustainability? Then we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact us and become part of the CONTEXTERS network!