From Art School to Industry: Passion, Ethics, and Business Impact with Phil Surles


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Phil Surles is a cultural anthropologist and consultant who focuses on branding. He works with companies to change their culture for the better and focuses on integrating anthropology into industry. From art school to anthropology to industry Phil discusses how he combined all of his passions into his consulting work. Phil, Astrid, and Adam discuss what it means to be an anthropologist working in industry and ethical issues that may arise. Phil is also working on a new platform called Mindshare where businesses can tap into the expertise of human scientists for expert interviews, consulting and more.

On today’s Episode

  • How to study anthropology with the intention of going into industry, not academia
  • To intervene or not intervene-- the anthropologists ethical dilemma
  • How anthropologists can bring their ethics and methodology to industry and change it for the better
  • What is a public intellectual and how does it relate to thought leadership and activism

Where to Find Phil Surles:




Episode Credits

Music (Epidemic Sounds)

Intro: Embody by Ballpoint

Outro: Tried in Fire by Ballpoint

Episode art- Sara Schmieder

Production- Sara Schmieder, Elizabeth Smyth, and Adam Gamwell

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149 episodes