In this episode of the Anthropology in Business podcast, Grant McCracken speaks with Matt Artz about his career as a business anthropologist. The conversation covers Grant’s journey from museums to being a consultant and author. It also touches on Grant’s new book Return of the Artisan: How America Went from Industrial to Handmade.
About Grant McCracken
Grant McCracken is an anthropologist studying American culture for 25 years.
He has worked for many organizations, including Timberland, New York Historical Society, IKEA, Google, Ford Foundation, Kanye West, Netflix, Sony, Coca-Cola, Sam Adams, Boston Book Festival, Delta, Oprah, Reddit, PBS, State Farm, NBC, Diageo, IBM, Nike, and the Obama White House.
He is a long-time student of culture and commerce, publishing two books on the topic: Culture and Consumption I, and Culture and Consumption II. He argues that all corporations need to take culture more serious, publishing a book called Chief Culture Officer (Basic Books). This was named one of the best innovation books by BusinessWeek in 2009.
His most recent book, Return of the Artisan, delves into the evolution of the artisanal movement from the fringes of the 1970s to the spike of domesticity—home-cooking, gardening, and DIY crafting—caused by COVID-19 and what it means for the future of work and American culture.
He is the inventor of The Griff, an early warning system for social and cultural change (see ). He is credited with spotting the rise of Donald Trump, the fall of Second Life, and the disruption of CPG by Alice Waters and the artisanal movement.