I am passionate about making organizations human-centric.
I'm a global tech ethnographer. I co-founded PL Data, a start-up that designs human-centered research systems by integrating data science and social science. We customize our process, Data Framing©, for Fortune 500 companies to burgeoning startups.
I advise corporations and start-ups on cutting-edge ethnographic research methods to improve strategy, policy, services, and products. I have worked with numerous institutions from the United Nationa to NASA and Nokia. My work has been featured in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Fast Company, Makeshift, and Wired.
Through extensive fieldwork in China and Mexico as a Fulbright Fellow and National Science Foundation Fellow, I have developed expertise on digital communities, leading to the formulation of an innovative sociological framework for understanding online behavior, The Elastic Self. I'm also cofounder of Ethnography Matters, the leading blogs for ethnographic community, which covers how ethnographers, designers, programmers, engineers are using ethnographic approaches. Along with my consulting work, I am also a visiting scholar at New York University's Interactive Telecommunication Program and a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet Studies. I am currently in-residence at IDEO in Shanghai, China.
I love speaking to organizations about Big Data, Thick Data, social media, innovation, and China (for speaking inquiries, please contact Leigh Bureau). I am the proud owner of an internet famous dog, #ellethedog.
Updates: Giving a talk on Feb. 18, 2014 at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University / Transcript to my opening keynote EPIC 2013 / Video of "Elastic Self" & "Designing for Trust" talk in Sweden / Article on why Big Data Needs Thick Data / Fast Company interview with me & slideshow of my fieldwork / comment on Clive Thompson's Wired article on Weixin / Wired UK article on Transparency in China