Advancing the Value of Ethnography

A Personal Research Project that Turned into My Life’s Work


Cite this article:

“A Personal Research Project that Turned into My Life’s Work,” Shipra Kayan. 2023 EPIC Proceedings p 489, ISSN 1559-8918

A research topic became a life's work for the founder of a social impact organization.

My journey to becoming a social impact founder that started with a simple research question: “Why didn’t we see college educated refugees (who generally don’t have the right to work in their host countries) work on remote work platforms like Upwork instead.” This initial question led me down an unlikely path of discovery, experimentation and entrepreneurship that I hadn’t planned on. In sharing my story, I want to inspire reflection on pros and cons of getting deeply invested in your research topic, so deeply that it becomes your life’s work.

Shipra Kayan is an entrepreneur and designer dedicated to transforming the way we work together as a global community. She led the research function at Upwork, ran a consulting practice, and is now the evangelist at Miro. Based on her core belief that every human is inherently valuable and capable, Shipra’s vision is to create a world where two people of any cultural or geographic origin can come together to collaborate and build.


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