Keynote Speaker

Sam Ladner, Ph.D., senior principal researcher at Workday

“Professional Strangers: Ethnographic Research in The Private Sector.”

What are the major differences social scientists encounter when leaving academia? In this session, Dr. Ladner will present her autoethnographic analysis of working in software companies over the course of 15 years. She will outline 3 major social structures that challenge the qualitative social scientist working in the applied setting, and how to grapple with these in professionally and personally meaningful ways.

We are delighted to announce that Sam Ladner, Ph.D., will be the MQIC 2024 keynote speaker. She recently retired from her role as the first Senior Principal Researcher at Workday. Sam has a history of firsts — she was also the first Principal Researcher at Amazon. Prior to that, she worked in various roles at Microsoft. She is a popular public speaker at leading design and research conferences.

Sam is the author of “Mixed Methods. A short guide to applied mixed methods research” and “Practical Ethnography. A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector”. She has worked at major technology companies including Microsoft and Amazon. She holds a PhD in sociology from York University in Toronto, and has published widely on the social uses of technology. She specializes in ethnographic research, design thinking, and strategic foresight for product design. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has driven innovative products and smartphone apps from major technology companies. She served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Toronto Metropolitan University, and has taught at several universities including University of Washington and the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

You can find out more about her work here.

Date & Time

Thursday, February 29th, 2024 – 10:30 am – 12:00 am