Helga Wild was educated in the continental tradition of experimental psychology with heavy emphasis on quantitative methods, experimental design, statistics, and test theory. After her Ph.D. in Psychology/ Physiology at K. Franzens-University, Austria, Helga has been invited as research fellow to the Institute for Systems Theory, J. Kepler-University, Austria; Stanford University and Xerox PARC. At the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL) she acquired in addition qualitative, i.e. ethnographic, techniques. She has since combined qualitative and quantitative techniques in the service of attaining a better grasp of the multiple layers of social and organizational reality.


Over the course of eight years Helga Wild managed a large number of increasingly complex projects, carried out ethnographic research and social design, and developed tools to help embed new practices in the existing social fabric. She extended the IRL approach by using her skills in conceptual design to engage the client in an interactive design process whereby the results from the ethnographic research were re-embedded in the organization as new tools and/ or new practices, an approach which the institute adopted in 1998 under the term “Interactive Research and Design.”


In 2000, Helga Wild joined WestEd’s staff as a Research Associate within the Action Learning Group. Her work takes the form of: Ethnographic research: identifying unique work practices and knowledge through observation, interviews, video analysis, protocol analysis
Facilitation and Participatory Design: helping stakeholders and experts co-construct solutions to address existing problems and leverage inherent potential
Qualitative and/ or Quantitative Evaluation
Design and Development of visualizations, tools, and processes to help make visible and embed new practices
Assisting an organization or community in developing the internal competency to support their objectives and the way they work.



Affiliation: Principal, Water-cooler Logic