Bringing an Anthropological Lens to Covid-19. With Gitika Saksena


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My guest today is Gitika Saksena. Gitika is a Director at LagomWorks, a research and innovation consulting firm she founded in 2018. Before that she was a Vice President at Accenture Technology in India, where she led the strategy and design for various talent initiatives.
Gitika gave a talk at the 2021 Response-ability Summit in May.
Gitika has degrees in Economics and Business Management, as well as a second Master's degree in Social Anthropology from SOAS University of London. During our conversation, Gitika explains what drew her to anthropology and to study full-time at SOAS.
She reflects how her experience at Accenture helped her on her new path, and shares some advice for other anthropologists looking to set up their own consultancies. She explains, for instance, that "clients won't engage with you for anthropology in and of itself. They demand, and will demand, very tangible outcomes and to be challenged and offered fresh perspectives."
We explore the Covid-19 research that she and her colleague, Abhishek Mohanty, have variously conducted in both the UK and India on masks, well-being, as well as privacy with respect to contact-tracing apps. They presented their research at the RAI Film Festival 2021, ASA 2021, and the 2021 Response-ability Summit respectively.

Lastly Gitika explains the value that she believes anthropology brings to understanding the unprecedented shifts that the world is undergoing, saying that it's essential that anthropologists "bring our conceptual rigour to understand these shifts".
You can find Gitika on Twitter at GitikaSaksena. Follow LagomWorks on LinkedIn and check out their website where you can sign up to their newsletter.

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