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Meet guest researcher Visvanath Venkatesh

Professor Visvanath Venkatesh. Photo.

Professor Viswanath Venkatesh has been working as a guest researcher with the Theme Designing Sustainable Digital Work in spring 2023.

What is your background and research interests?

My research focuses on the diffusion and impacts of technology in organizations and society. In more recent times, I have become more and more interested in how technology can be used for social good, especially in marginalized communities. On the one hand, technology helps us do many things more easily and effectively. On the other hand, by having only technology as the way to access some services, say the only way to book an appointment is using an app, there leads to marginalization of the already digitally naïve. Aside from this, being able to leverage technology to help the poorest of the poor is important.  

What are your plans as a guest researcher at the institute?

We have been working on sustainable digital work, what that means and how we can promote it in the short- and long-term.

How do you hope to benefit from your work with the Theme? 

The team in the Theme has been heavily focused on an interdisciplinary conversation on this important topic. A topic that will only continue to rise in its ubiquity. This means, as technology evolves, it is critical for us to find sustainable ways of conducting digital work. The conversations and ideas have been incredibly helpful to me in thinking about this problem holistically. And, then, there is the people side, both in terms of the Theme team and the folks at Pufendorf. My work has already been enriched by the experience and inspiration. All of this will surely continue well after this year.

What do you reckon your main contribution to the Theme will be?

My main contribution is like everyone else on the team! It’s to add to the dialog from my experience in studying technology diffusion in various contexts.

Read more about the Theme "Designing Sustainable Digital Work".

Short bio

Viswanath Venkatesh, who completed his PhD at the University of Minnesota, is an Eminent Scholar, Verizon Chair and Director of the Executive PhD program at the Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech. His research focuses on understanding the diffusion of technologies in organizations and society by focusing on various aspects of technology implementations in a variety of settings ranging from organizations in the US to organizations in India to consumers in China to rural citizens in India.