PhD Fellows – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Anthropology > Staff > PhD Fellows

Simon Westergaard Lex

Simon Westergaard Lex


Current research

Project title: Innovation's elements (part of CoNeXT)

I examine innovation and collaboration in interdisciplinary fields, with a focus on the development of the synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV and the neutron scattering facility ESS, both in Scania, Sweden.

As part of CoNeXT research project at the University of Copenhagen, I examine how actors try to realize the public owners' vision of creating knowledge about things composition and character, and that will lead the market and use new insights into innovative products, the establishment of new business areas and to creating economic growth and innovation.

Research areas


In my research, I try to raise awareness of innovation as a concept and practice. I examine innovation mainly as a modern economic phenomenon in Western society and neoliberal contexts.

I focus on human attempts to colonize the future and innovative performance and here actualize its potential and yet unknown.

In my work with innovation diving I "in (to) the box" and consider innovation as a social, material and cultural phenomenon that is being created and recreated in everyday interactions between people and things (innovation as product and process). The new becomes in social negotiations and unfolds in a forward improvisational design that does not end in a final product or a defined result.

I ask: How do people in private and public institutions with innovation, and what happens when business developer, contractor, consultant or leader takes the innovative hat on?


I examine collaboration between research and industry, and between different disciplines. I discuss the "lonely" researcher's production of knowledge, and I work with the anthropological subjects as a collaborative project.

Methodically experiment with my (researcher) role and position, and I let myself be seduced by the field in close and constructive cooperation. I work in and with the field, and with a goal of creating academic and practical value, I try to balance between participation and observation, performance and composition as well as empathy and reflection.

Politics and culture in South America

I have since 2000 studied the political and cultural development in South America, with a focus on left-wing political projects, communities and the enemy against the United States and the West. I have particularly studied the Bolivarian revolution and political missions in Venezuela.


I teach and tutor in "Business and Organisational anthropology" with a focus on innovation, design and organization.

I teach "Innovation & Co-Creation" and "The Anthropology of Design and Innovation".

Primary fields of research

Thematic: Innovation, design, organisation, collaboration, business anthropologi.

Regional: Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweeden), Latinamerica (Venezuela og Colombia).

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