Global Business Anthropology Summit
June 19-20, 2021
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Freie Universität Berlin

Are we ready for 2030?

How about 2080?

Join a growing global network of anthropologists, organizations, and businesses.

Exchange experiences and strategies.

Learn from each other and prepare for new challenges of a sustainable future.


Business anthropology is a collaboration that yields healthy futures for humans and ecosystems.

Integrating anthropological insights, businesses are seizing opportunities for innovation in product development, diversity and inclusion, safety culture, UX and beyond.

The Summit offers hands-on workshops, keynotes by luminaries in business and business anthropology, and discussions about what we want tomorrow to look like.

Bring your ideas, concerns and interests about these and more ...

Digitization    Privacy    Supply chain    Technology    Mobility    Taxation

... and come away with new knowledge, new tools and new ways to prepare for a sustainable future.


The summit starts with a broad view examining models that are being used in business to prepare future outcomes, including  exploration of mega-trends and cultural drivers and shifts, followed by a session on the role of taxation in shaping business decisions.

The next two sessions sharpen our perspectives, one looking at the extent of human centricity in business models that allow needs of the planet to be overlooked, and the other learning from feminist approaches to marginalization and inclusivity.

The Summit concludes with two sessions that focus on immediate fields that call for business anthropologists’ attention: understanding shifts in complex behaviors within organizations; and identifying ways to make the contributions of the discipline recognizable for businesses in different cultures and countries.


Session 1: Demystifying the future + Building Action Plans

We will explain the need to understand the future as a society with unknown peoples, territories and landmarks.


Through a business example we will show possible future scenarios.

We will discuss implications for the future by exploring ways that prepare businesses to envision the extra-long view (the future of the future).

Session Contributors:

Lucia Laurent-Neva, Visual Signo, UK

Marion Grimberg, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Dominique Desjeux, France

Carsten Claus, Oberkorn, Hamburg, Germany

Session contacts: Carsten Claus and Lucia Laurent-Neva

Session 2: Taxation + Social Responsibility

We will explain the need for new ways to think about the benefits of paying corporate tax.

Through business examples we will show the invisibility of taxes in the relationships between companies and the public in different cultures using the case of the iPhone (tax payments for its many components along the manufacturing chain) and Norsk Tipping, a Norwegian gambling company.

We will discuss implications for the future by showing how relationships between companies and the consuming public could be nurtured through increased transparency of tax payments and the role of taxes in creating sustainable communities.

Session Contributors:

Pavle Menalo, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Niccolò Marino, Beyond Research srl, Milano, Italy

Lotta Björklund Larsen, University of Exeter Business School, UK

Hera Brown, Fulbright-Schuman Researcher to the European Union, USA

Christine B. Avenarius, The Central Agency for Continuing Vocational Education and Training in the Skilled Crafts (ZWH), Berlin, Germany

Session 3: Beyond Sustainability

We will explain how the extent of human centricity in technology and business makes us overlook the needs of other types of life on and beyond the planet – to the detriment of all.

Through a business example we will show how building for the broadest ecosystem leads to behavior change among consumers using the case of Mobistyle energy design systems.

We will discuss implications for the future by showcasing how overcoming the concept of sustainability might enable us to integrate the needs of all elements of ecosystems.


Session Contributors:

Pablo Mondragón Valero, Antropología 2.0, Spain

Dan Podjed, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Slovenia

Veronica Reyero Meal, Antropología 2.0, Spain

Lucia Laurent-Neva, Visual Signo, UK

Session contacts: Dan Podjed and Veronica Reyero

Session 4: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity + Equitable Business and Workplaces

We will explain how gender, race and ethnicity shape and impact people’s experiences in the workplace. 


Through business examples of aged-out factory workers in Bangladesh, immigrant cleaners in Berlin, young people’s gendered use of social media, Black professionals in market and consumer research, and essential service workers in the USA during COVID-19, we will expose that more can and should be done to champion diversity and inclusivity in business.


We will discuss implications for the future by illuminating cases where anthropological insights can help businesses create more inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace opportunities and experiences.


Session Contributors:

Autumn D. McDonald, ADM Insights and Strategy

Jordan Kraemer, NYU Tandon, USA

Lamia Karim, University of Oregon, USA

Melissa S. Fisher, NYU IPK and The Conference Board, USA

Jana Costas, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Germany

Session contacts: Melissa Fisher and Lamia Karim

Session 5: Change + Diffusing Behaviors within Organizations

We will explain how roles in business respond to internal and external forces that bring new managerial practices and technology.

Through business examples we will show how the need for internal change is identified and managed in two cases: AB InBev and ACR Corporation.

We will discuss implications for the future by revealing ways organizations communicate the need for change across sectors, motivating individual, societal, and governmental commitments with concern to technology access, environmental sustainability, equality, and wellness.


Session contacts: Natalia Usme and Kyle Gibson

Session Contributors:

Kyle Gibson, University of Nebraska, Center for Entrepreneurship, USA  
Natalia Usme
, Flipa Consultora, Colombia

Melissa Vogel, Business Anthropologist at Hanover Research, USA

Karen Smits, Organizational Anthropologist at Practical Thinking, Australia

Laura Korculanin, Design Anthropologist at Give a Shit, Portugal

Session 6: Business Anthropology for the Future + Building a Knowledge Commons

We will explain how business anthropology can work in different industries in the future.


Through business examples we will show the ways companies manage transitional conditions and unimaginable futures, including the case of Maersk (shipping and logistics), the case of Lotto Sport (fashion industry), and the case of branding business anthropology across all sectors.

We will discuss implications for the future by exploring how business anthropology contributes scope and rigor to innovation in business of different industries/sectors. A growing knowledge-commons of business anthropology practices globally can help businesses become future-proofed.

Session Contributors:

Rosa Ester Snyder, User Experience Researcher, Berlin, Germany

Allegra Pochtler, TraceMap, Berlin, Germany

Robert J. Morais, Columbia Business School, USA

Susan Kresnicka, Kresnicka Research and Insights , USA

Alberto Guglielmone, Marketing Innovation & Business Anthropology, Milan, Italy

Session contact: Alberto Guglielmone








Keynote TBA

Session 1: Demystifying the Future + Building Action Plans


Session 2: Taxation + Social Responsibility

LUNCH (brown-bag style)

Short presentations by businesses


Session 3: Beyond Sustainability




Joana Breidenbach and DasDach

Session 4: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity + Equitable Business and Workplaces


Session 5: Change + Diffusing Behaviors within Organizations

LUNCH (brown-bag style)

Session 6: Business Anthropology for the Future + Building a Knowledge Commons

REFLECTIONS, Rallying Cry for the Future: Sustainable Business Practices + Business Anthropology 

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Who Is Behind It

This web page has been created by Berlin based anthropologists engaged in using anthropology in different ways. The Global Business Anthropology Summit, held annually, in different places in the world, is a collaboration among anthropologists from an array of professional environments across a global network. The aim of this network is to continue to draw out and learn from the experiences of these practitioners, exposing new ways and conditions for collaborating with different institutions, organizations, and companies, using anthropology in work. Read more about us here.

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