Gemma John: Anthropologist and Applied Researcher in Built Environment: on the obligation to create social value and the new opportunities social scientists can embrace – The Human Show Podcast 74






Gemma John is an anthropologist and applied researcher creating social value in the built environment. She holds an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews. After 10 years in academic research, in research and teaching roles at Edinburgh and Manchester, she has spent the last 5 years applying her knowledge and skills to help real estate professionals create spaces that work for both business and society. She is the founder of Human City where Gemma conducts fine-grained ethnographic research to help property investors and development teams, and other stakeholders to report and measure social value. To date, she has strategically advised on alternative housing, affordable housing, and shared accommodation schemes.

In today’s episode we talk to Gemma about the role and value of the anthropologist in the field of built environment. She invites us to reflect on the knowledge and its relation to the environment and to be aware of its interdependency. In a time when industry is beginning to look at social scientists for answers, how can we – says Gemma – step in as anthropologists while making sure we maintain our critical stance? Everyone is now obliged to think in terms of social value, so how can social scientists assist by providing those solutions? Gemma also gives us some insights into her talk in the WWNA Conference in Oslo. Listen to the episode to hear more about it.

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Mentioned in Podcast:

Why The world Needs Anthropologists, Sustaining Cities, 25-27 October, Oslo, Norway,
Human City,
UCL Institute for Global Prosperity,

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