Business Anthropology with Dr. Alexandra Mack

On a recent episode of This Anthro LifeAdam Gamwell, Ryan Collins, and Matt Artz got to interview Dr. Alexandra Mack on the topic of applying business anthropology to innovation in enterprises.

About Dr. Alexandra Mack

Using her business anthropology toolkit, Alex leads innovative problem solving and strategy development based on a deep understanding of the surrounding culture and activities. She has brought this combination of human-centered design, innovation, market research, opportunity identification, business planning, and cultural change to projects across verticals, including healthcare, retail, software, and financial services. She was a Senior Fellow in Pitney Bowes’s Strategic Technology and Innovation Center, and prior to Pitney Bowes, she spent several years consulting in marketing, design, and strategic research. From 2011-2017 she served on the Executive Board of EPIC, an international organization whose membership drives the integration of human-centered perspectives, methods, and theory into business practices. Since 2013 she has been a member of the ACM’s Distinguished Speaker Committee. Alex received her PhD in Anthropology from Arizona State University. She also holds an MA in from the University of York and an AB in Anthropology from Harvard University.

About the Episode

What makes our discussion with Alex so distinct is her breadth of research and applications of anthropological thinking that has resulted in a unique narrative and career trajectory. Alex’s story is a good lesson for anyone who studies anthropology or is broadly interested in the social sciences, and the impact this kind of work can have across industries. One of the inspiring moments we explore in our conversation with Alex took place towards the end of her doctorate while at an American Anthropological Association (AAA conference). A software and digital agency called E-lab had an open house and something clicked with her… We will leave you to explore the episode to find out more. But, what is captivating about Alex’s epiphany moment and career transformation was that she began with Near Eastern museum collections, went to archaeology, and explored pilgrimage before developing her current interests.

Business Anthropology & Innovation

Today, Alex leads innovative problem solving and strategy development based on a deep understanding of the surrounding culture and activities. She has brought this combination of customer-centered design, innovation, market research, opportunity identification, and business planning to projects including healthcare, retail, software, and financial services. Additionally, Alex was a Senior Fellow in Pitney Bowes’s Strategic Technology and Innovation Center. Prior to her work with Pitney Bowes, Alex spent several years consulting in marketing, design, and strategic research. From 2011-2017 she served on the Executive Board of EPIC.


Also published on Medium.

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