Laith Ulaby: On moving between academia & business; from knowledge creator to facilitator; from researcher to builder – The Human Show Podcast 52



Laith Ulaby is Director of Research at Udemy, Lecturer in the MIMS (Master of Information Management and Systems) program at the UC Berkeley School of Information and teaches UX Research Methods as part of the UC Berkeley Extension UX Program. After completing his PhD in Ethnomusicology (anthropology of music and popular culture) at UCLA, Laith made the jump into applied research through a Mellon Foundation Post-doc in Washington DC. Since then he has worked as a User Researcher at AnswerLab, Google, Shyp, Uber, and the United Nations Center for Humanitarian Data.

In today’s episode we talk to Laith about his career and education start in anthropology and his transition from academic to applied research; focusing on the quick wins to build social capital and value to accelerate integration in a business ecosystem; adapting academic ethnographic methods to quick paced applied environment; how to mitigate reflexivity with politics; meaningful work and its connection to impact and curiosity to learn; ethics, social engineering and the value of gut checks; ethics and asymmetries of power. Lastly, he shares his thoughts on positive relationships between academia and business, gives advice to academics moving to industry and industry considering to employ social scientists.  


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Mentioned in Podcast: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation AnswerLab UXPA Code of Professional Conduct Dark Patterns Ethical OS

Laiths work: Getting started in User Experience and Design Research Careers in UX: How different organizations approach user experience design

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