Current Research: Ian is writing his PhD dissertation in economic anthropology, based on field research in Flores, Indonesia. His work explores the collision of multiple regimes of value in a rapidly developing economy, and the shifting, unstable behaviors that emerge as a result.
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.