Ken Banks on Anthropology in Business


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In this episode of the Anthropology in Business podcast, Ken Banks speaks with Matt Artz about his career as a business anthropologist. The conversation covers Ken's career as a social entrepreneur working in mobile technology, his current role as Head of Social Purpose at Yoti, and his upcoming book The Pursuit of Purpose.

About Ken Banks

Ken Banks is a British award-winning social entrepreneur, mobile technology and global development expert with an undergraduate major in Social Anthropology with Development Studies. He is best known for developing FrontlineSMS, a mobile messaging platform used today by non-profits in over 190 countries around the world.
Ken is also a published author. His first edited book, The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator, was self-published in late 2013 and came with a Foreword from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A follow-up, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, published by Kogan Page, was released in March 2016.

The Pursuit of Purpose
The Pursuit of Purpose is an honest, poignant, and emotionally powerful book. It’s a story about struggle, finding a purpose in life, striving to build a fairer society, and discovering who you are along the way.
It's a book in three parts. Purpose Pursued begins on the beautiful island of Jersey, where a difficult early childhood shaped and influenced Ken. We learn how a global music event lead to an unexpected awakening, and the incredible lengths he went to try and find some sort of purpose and meaning in life. Later, in Purpose Lived, we’ll find out what happened when he eventually found it, and lived it, and the wider impact that finding purpose has had not just on him, but many others he met and worked with along the way. Then, to wrap things up, Purpose Explored looks at the meaning of purpose, how and why it matters in different cultures, the role our ancestors might play in our own drive for purpose, and any lessons we might learn from Ken's own fascinating journey.
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About the Anthropology in Business Podcast
The Anthropology in Business podcast is for anthropologists and business leaders interested in learning more about the many ways anthropology is applied in business and why business anthropology is one of the most effective lenses for making sense of organizations and consumers. It is hosted by Matt Artz (, a business anthropologist specializing in design anthropology and working at the intersection of product management, user experience, and business strategy. To learn more about the Anthropology in Business podcast, please visit the website (

18 episoder