Current Research: Ian is writing his PhD dissertation in economic anthropology, on the topic of economic change in Flores, Indonesia. His work explores the shifting, unstable ways that multiple regimes of value collide, and the economic behaviors emerging in a rapidly developing economy.
Why anthropology? Ian’s path wandered from history (at Pomona College) to art (at the Metropolitan Museum) to NGO work (at Threads of Life in Bali) to big-time development (at an obscure office of the World Bank in Jakarta) before he realized that everything he was doing–ethnography, social analysis, studying economy as a cultural system–already had a name: anthropology. Ian sees it as his mission to carry anthropological forms of knowledge-building and analysis back to the development industry, and be part of building a more economically just and diverse future.
TFS: Ian is the executive producer of The Familiar Strange podcast, as well as a frequent contributor to our blog.