I am passionate about making organizations human-centric.
I'm a global tech ethnographer. I co-founded Constellate Data, a new consultancy that helps companies create integrated data practices for leap growth.
With more than 15 years’ experience working with designers, engineers, and scientists, I have a particular interest in designing human-centered systems. I advise corporations and startups on using Thick Data--quantitative, ethnographic research methods that uncover emotions, stories, and meaning--to improve strategy, policy, products, and services. Organisations I have worked with include P&G, IDEO, Nokia, GE, Kickstarter, the United Nations and NASA. My work and writing has been featured in places such as Fast Company, The Atlantic, 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, an ex-fellow and now affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet Studies, and an affiliate at Data & Society.
I love speaking to organizations about integrating big and thick data, organizational design, and China (for speaking inquiries, please contact Leigh Bureau). I am the proud owner of an internet famous dog, #ellethedog.
Recent Updates: TedxCambridge, "The Cost of Missing Something" / Article for Slate, "Attempts to Stop Terrorists on Social Media Threaten Both Privacy and Anonymity" / Keynote at The Conf, "Don't Trust the Truth" / Keynote at Interaction Design Association (IXDA), "Designing for Perspectives" / MoMA Salon, "The Elastic Self" / Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, "The Elastic Self, Social Media & Youth in China"