Louise Vang Jensen on Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz

  • Louise Vang Jensen on Anthropology in Business
Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz
Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz
Louise Vang Jensen on Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz

In this episode of the , Louise Vang Jensen speaks with  about her career as a . Louise discusses the evolution of applying anthropology in business within a Copenhagen context. She also shares her journey from studying anthropology to joining Is It a Bird and becoming the Co-CEO. She also discusses how the practice has matured over the years and emphasizes the importance of shifting from a focus on methodology to a mindset. 

About Louise Vang Jensen

Louise Vang Jensen is a partner and co-CEO at Is It a Bird, a Copenhagen-based strategic innovation agency. With a background in anthropology and over a decade of consulting experience, she focuses on integrating anthropologically informed, human-centered approaches into business. Throughout her career, Louise has led projects and facilitated teams to build innovation capacity and enact organizational change. Her competencies extend to ethnographic research, co-creation, analysis, and project management. She has collaborated with a diverse range of organizations, including commercial companies like NIKE and public sector organizations such as the Municipality of Copenhagen.

Key Takeaways

  • Shifting from a focus on methodology to a mindset of curiosity and reflection is crucial in applying anthropology in business.
  • Combining anthropology and design thinking offers strategic potential by integrating slow, reflective approaches with fast, experimental ones.
  • Embracing friction and uncomfortable truths can lead to valuable insights and transformation in client interactions.


  • 00:01:28 – Louise discovers anthropology
  • 00:03:08 – The focus of anthropology education in Copenhagen was not on business
  • 00:05:07 – Louise reached out to agencies to apply anthropology in business
  • 00:06:22 – Louise joined Is It a Bird after selling a project
  • 00:10:11 – The name “Is It a Bird” is a reference to Superman
  • 00:11:00 – The philosophy of Is It a Bird is to start with questions and curiosity
  • 00:15:00 – Shifted focus from methodology to mindset and value of anthropology.
  • 00:19:00 – Transitioned from data collector to trusted advisor.
  • 00:21:00 – Anthropology is now recognized and acknowledged in business contexts.
  • 00:24:23 – The combination of anthropology and design in strategy
  • 00:25:44 – The potential of anthropology in strategy and problem-solving
  • 00:27:13 – The importance of curiosity and looking around in strategy
  • 00:28:20 – Exploring the role of anthropology as a trusted advisor
  • 00:30:29 – Staying in the trouble and embracing friction
  • 00:32:00 – Encouragement for those starting their own practice
  • 00:32:53 – The value of holding on to uncomfortable truths

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