Caitlin McDonald

Digital Anthropologist

Caitlin McDonald

Dr Caitlin McDonald is the LEF’s resident Digital Anthropologist. She gives businesses the leading edge through boosting customer empathy, finding new solutions to old problems, and enriching the insight power of big data through multidisciplinary approaches. Caitlin was included in Mia Dand’s inaugural list ‘100+ Brilliant Women in AI Ethics’ in 2018. Her research has been featured in publications like CEO Today, Verdict, and Computer Weekly. She has presented her research at the Microsoft Research 2020 New Future of Work Symposium, the UN’s International Labour Organisation, and Mozilla Festival.  

Recognised for her domain knowledge in qualitative methods like ethnography and participant-observation, Caitlin spent six years at the quantitative coal face developing analytical models and designing dashboards for the world’s largest collaboration and talent network for education professionals. Before that Caitlin earned her PhD following dancers around the world and across the internet, understanding how information flows for cultural bodies of knowledge like dance is impacted by technoscapes (the digital world around us.) Her combined expertise gives her a uniquely balanced perspective for gleaning wisdom from the intersection between human imagination and digital systems. 

Caitlin was a founding trustee for Ellpha Citizen (2018-2020), a charity leveraging the power of data science and AI to create a more gender-balanced world, faster. Her passion projects include building the Facebook Messenger bot Duologue, which rescues people from uncomfortable silences by providing the user with questions to help keep the conversation going. 


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