Tricia Wang
Tech Ethnographer

Tricia Wang, a social scientist and consultant, is on a relentless quest to ensure technology serves humanity, fostering social impact at the intersection of data and humanity. She is currently writing a book on how the emergence of AI is leading to a shift in how we relate to tech as users to what she calls “Shapers,” people who have a new set of skills to cooperate with AI.

Renowned for helping companies unearth pivotal customer behavior insights to unlock growth, Tricia co-founded Sudden Compass and has advised industry giants like Google, Spotify, and P&G. Her insights have been featured in publications like Quartz, New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Techcrunch, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Slate, Wired, The Guardian, and Fast Company.

In a world where data is the cornerstone of innovation, Tricia has long recognized its potential, well before the recent rush of consumer-facing AI products. Tricia’s unique fusion of ethnography and data science offers an invaluable perspective on technology, design, and human experience. She has been instrumental in launching tech labs with clients, including a recent collaboration with The World Economic Forum in founding the Crypto Research and Design Lab (CRADL).

As an acclaimed speaker, Tricia’s enlightening keynotes and her TED talk delve into AI, data, and their societal, economic, and personal impacts. Her concept of “thick data” advocates for deep human understanding in AI and emerging technologies, transcending conventional data analysis.

Her ethnographic fieldwork spans from China to South America and North America, offering unique insights into the adoption of social media under authoritarian regimes and advocating for consumer-centric approaches in the private sector.

Tricia’s diverse career began in the mid-1990s with mobile phone services, evolving to developing tech centers in low-income NYC neighborhoods and global business research. Her roles have ranged from filmmaker at NASA for Sally Ride, to director at New York’s first youth television network, and an HIV/AIDS education advocate. She is a Fulbright Fellow, National Science Foundation Fellow, and the first Western fellow at The China Internet Network Information Center in Beijing, China.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tricia co-founded Last Mile, an underground supply chain that distributed over 1 million masks across the USA, gaining recognition in The New Yorker in a feature story.

Tricia currently serves as an advisor to Dangerous Ventures, ReSeed.Farm, and SKU. Tricia holds affiliations with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, US Japan Leadership Program, and Data & Society. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Data Council and Climate Coalition and has served as a fellow at the Geo Tech Atlantic Council.

Tricia holds a Ph.D. in Sociology.

She is a semi-pro salsa dancer with the world’s first queer Latin dance academy, Inlakech Dance Academy. She cherishes time with her grandmother. She honors her greatest teachers who have dropped their bodies, her grandfather and her dog, Elle. She holds Perú, Oaxaca, and Malmö close to her heart. Tricia’s life philosophy is that you have to go to the edge to discover the center. Follow her on Twitter or instagram @triciawang.

Sessions by Speaker
From Users to Shapers of AI: The Future of Research
Monday, March 25, 2024 | 4:25pm - 5:05pm ET