The Human Show: Innovation through Social Science

Erin B. Taylor: Researching mobile money in Haiti & The Netherlands; the ethics and methods for asking people about money; regulation and financial design

Episode Summary

We talk to Erin B Taylor, about her experience of applying anthropology to research the financial technology sector (like mobile payments), both in Haiti and The Netherlands; the ethics of money and business ethnography.

Episode Notes

Erin B. Taylor is an economic anthropologist with experience both in the applied financial sector and in the academic sector. She holds a PhD in Socio Cultural Anthropology from Sydney University and was a postdoctoral researcher on financial mobility at the University of Lisbon. She is the co-founder of Canela Consulting, an ethnography-driven research and consulting group focused on finance and technology. Currently, she works as a senior researcher for Holland Fin-tech where she researches the changing fin-tech landscape, including insur-tech, identity & security, payments, regulations, and financial inclusion.

In today’s episode we talk to Erin about her experience of applying anthropology to research the financial technology sector (like mobile payments), both in Haiti and The Netherlands. We also explore what is money, what types of relationships people build with it and its financial service providers, and how fin-tech fits into that. We explore the ethics and methods of asking people about their relationship to money (quick tip - ask for stories and not data). Lastly, we talk about the relationship between regulation and design, and the spaces of convergence between ethnographic and design research in the business sector.

Mentioned in Podcast:
Graeber, David, Debt: The First 5000 years
https://www.amazon.com/Debt-First-5-000-Years/dp/1612191290

Sibel Kusimba on mobile money in Kenya:
Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sywez6yKEbo&feature=youtu.be

Article - https://www.imtfi.uci.edu/files/kusimba_working_paper_final.pdf

Ethnoborrel, networking for professional ethnographers, https://ethnoborrel.eu

Koos Service Design, https://www.burokoos.com

Erin’s work:
Taylor, E.B. and H.A. Horst. 2017. Designing Financial Literacy in Haiti. In Design Anthropology: Object Cultures in Transition, edited by Alison J. Clarke. Springer.

Taylor, E.B. 2015. Mobile money: Financial globalization, alternative, or both? In MoneyLab Reader: An Intervention in Digital Economy, edited by Geert Lovink, Nathaniel Tkacz and Patricia de Vries, pp.244-256. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.

Taylor, E.B. and H.A. Horst. 2014. The aesthetics of mobile money platforms in Haiti. In Routledge Companion to Mobile Media, edited by G. Goggin and L. Hjorth, pp.462-471. Oxon and New York: Routledge.

#applied-anthropology #ethics #fintech #mobilemoney