How to survive the startup psycho and retain a soul

Ethnographic solutions to the innovation challenge

2 July 2019
Versione stampabile

Time: h.14.00 - 16.00
Venue: Via Sommarive 5 - Polo Ferrari 1 (Povo, TN), Garda room


  • Fabio Mattioli - Lecturer in Social Anthropology, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne,


According to “futurologists” and regulators alike, the future of global economies will be shaped by the disruption and innovation generated by emerging startups. To capitalize on the next Facebook-scale enterprises, countries that have missed out on the first wave of digital technologies are investing heavily in innovation eco-systems, that is networks of support such as incubators, accelerators, or excellence centers, where startups can emerge, grow and, theoretically, flourish.
Yet, conspicuously absent from these hyped proclaims, are other crucial actors of innovation: users. It is users, i.e. citizens or consumers, who determine whether innovative solutions are sustainable - not only based on their technological value, but on a series of cultural and social evaluations. In this workshop, we will consider some case studies of user-research, and interrogate hands-on how can ethnographic tools help in (re)designing innovative solutions.

About the Speaker

Fabio Mattioli is a Lecturer in Anthropology at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His work focuses on the connection between economy and politics in urban settings. Fabio is interested in the social conditions that lead to financial expansion in peripheral and postsocialist cities, especially when connected to illiberal politics - a conjuncture he explores in his book, Illiquidity and Power (Stanford University Press, 2020). Previously he was a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies. He obtained a Master's degree from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and Sciences Sociales and a PhD in Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Contact: Prof. vincenzo.dandrea [at] (Vincenzo D'Andrea)