What Is Anthropology? Why Is It a Competitive Advantage for R&D and Innovation?

What Is Anthropology? Why Is It a Competitive Advantage for R&D and Innovation?

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Presenter: Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal is an award-winning cultural anthropologist and a pioneer in digital ethnography and the study of implicit and symbolic meaning using the internet. In 2015, he co-founded MotivBase, which is the world’s first predictive anthropology research technology that enables the study of meaning and consumer beliefs with big data. He speaks passionately and keynotes on the value of anthropology to corporate innovation across major conferences around the globe and has written two books on the topic. His most recent book, Microcultures: Understanding the Consumer Forces That Will Shape the Future of Your Business, was published in 2020.

Since the acquisition of MotivBase by Lux Research in April 2022, Ujwal serves as the Executive Vice President and Group Director for the Anthropology and Consumer Insights portion of Lux Research’s business.

This is a foundational session on the purpose and application of anthropology to corporate innovation and product development. Using real-world examples of emerging shifts in sectors like oil and gas, tobacco, and consumer packaged goods, Cultural Anthropologist and MotivBase Co-Founder, Ujwal Arkalgud will outline how anthropology can become a critical competitive advantage for companies looking to innovate in an ocean of sameness.

What you’ll take away from the session:

  • What is Anthropology and why does it have clear practical application in business innovation and R&D?
  • How it can become a real competitive advantage, allowing companies to identify spaces and opportunities previously misunderstood or under-valued.
  • How it can help engineering and science-driven teams to start thinking through a consumer and human-centric lens.

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