Simon Lex: Business and Organizational Anthropologist – on the design of social practice imaginaries and the opportunities that collaborative anthropology creates
Simon Westergaard Lex is a tenure track Assistant Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. He holds an industrial PhD in anthropology during which he was employed by the Danish national post office to do research on innovation and organizational change. Simon also works on sustainable transitions and the design of “smart” urban infrastructures. He is responsible for collaborative projects between industry and University – designs courses for students to be able to engage in the industry. His research interests center around the themes of innovation, organization, collaboration, knowledge economy and trans-disciplinarity.
In today’s episode we explore together with Simon the topic of designing applied anthropology courses and industry/academia collaboration. What are the challenges when designing such courses? How does Simon avoid dilemmas an anthropologist might face working with the corporate world and what methods and principles does he embrace to ensure that all parties involved benefit from the applied research? He tells about projects of productive collaboration in which the interlocutors are equal partners throughout the fieldwork and after. Lastly, Simon shares what he believes to be the conditions needed to create spaces where transdisciplinary community can achieve the best results.
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Mentioned in the podcast:
University of Copenhagen, Department of Anthropology, https://anthropology.ku.dk/dep/
Smart Cities Accelerator (Co-Pi), https://smartcitiesaccelerator.eu
COMPASS (Collaborative Movements and Pathways to Sustainable Societies), http://compass.ku.dk
The People Project, http://people-project.net/