Simon Roberts, anthropologist and Partner at Stripe Partners: embodiment and the role our bodies play in the technological world – The Human Show Podcast 62




Simon is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of business anthropology and the use of ethnography in corporate research, design and innovation activities. His career began with a PhD on the satellite TV revolution in mid 1990s India. He started the UK’s first dedicated ethnographic research company, Ideas Bazaar, before leading an R&D team at Intel’s Digital Health Group. In 2013, Simon co-founded Stripe Partners, a strategy and innovation consultancy which supports teams working on near-term product launches and longer-range strategy engagements.

Simon has written and spoken widely about ethnography, business anthropology, innovation and ageing. His work has been covered by The FT, WSJ, Quartz, Bloomberg, The Daily Telegraph and the BBC. His book on embodied knowledge, Hard Wired: How Our Bodies Acquire Knowledge and Why We Should Learn to Trust our Instincts will be published by Bonnier in 2020.

In this podcast, we talk with Simon about embodiment and embodied knowledge, a pivotal concept in his commercial work and his forthcoming book. Many of Simon’s interests and projects revolve around the connection between humans and technology, and he questions the idea that technology undermines our humanity. Simon calls for more acknowledgement of the critical role that the body plays in how we make sense of the world. The body is not a mere transportation device for our brain but is a partner in creating what we take to be our intelligence. Simon also discuss why he is looking forward to the Anthro+Tech conference taking place in Bristol on 3rd October, reflects on anthropological innovation at Stripe Partners, and gives us an insight into his book.


Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast here:


Mentioned in podcast:

Anthropology + Technology Conference, Bristol October 3rd  2019:

2G Tuesdays

Daniel Miller on Materiality of Technology,

EPIC, Advancing the Value of Ethnography in Industry,

Stripe Partners,

Crossroads Foundation’s Refugee Simulator,


Simon’s soon-to-be published book:

Hard Wired: How Our Bodies Acquire Knowledge and Why We Should Learn to Trust Our Instincts


Social media and other links:


Twitter: @ideasbazaar

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