Juan Ocampo

Doctoral Student

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Personal profile

Research

After some years working as a consultant on governance and organizational design for public institutions in Latin America, I understood that real transformations were also needed in the ‘roots’. This internal tension took me to Denmark and later motivated me to study social innovations that tackled problems of economic growth and inequality. See more here.

A growing scholarship points to the internal design of money as a key factor in today’s inequality. As a social technology to organize the economy, money shapes the social and political relations amongst its users and stakeholders, thus influencing the distribution of wealth in our societies. The fact that those in lack of money are usually people in conditions of vulnerability, makes it imperative to study the actors and practices involved in designing Complementary currencies as financial infrastructures for excluded populations and explore the relationship between modern money’s design and the challenges and opportunities in a post-pandemic scenario.

In my Ph.D., I study on the organization processes of money. Specifically, by studying the social, technological, and ideological components of money I want to reflect on how populations in conditions of vulnerability can design their financial commons. My research asks: how is money influenced by its design? I follow the stories of a group of researchers and a local community-based organization in Kenya where they design and used their own Complementary Currency (CC) as a unit of account and means of payment. A video on my research here.

With an ethnographic approach and building on qualitative methods, I have created a computer model that studies monetary design. In my path to understanding and reflecting on these issues I have found my way through what I call: "Reflexive Modeling". Models are just "limited" abstractions of reality. Part of our job as researchers is to dig into the stories behind our models and learn to engage in a dialogue between both worlds.

As a Ph.D. fellow for the Agenda 2030 Graduate School (2019-2023), and framed under "Grassroot Innovations and Complementary Currencies" I expect to identify challenges and conflicting elements in the sustainability agenda, contribute with new perspectives, and create solutions for the challenges ahead. My main Supervisor is Ester Barinaga.

Outreach

Aware of the importance of outreach in academia I am constantly developing and participating in events and activities that bring attention to topics of my interests.

I have moderated different panels on Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Development in collaboration with different actors in Sweden, and coordinated seminars on Computer Modeling and Qualitative methods for the European Association of Social Simulation.

I also post regularly on the Agenda 2030 Graduate School blog

Creativity is key in my research, so I am continuously looking for different ways of developing content based on research. For example, I have produced a short movie on socio-economic realities, developed educative material on community currencies, and have been invited to present my research at different popular science events (e.g. Forskar Grand Prix 2021)

Teaching

I have teaching interests in Organizational Theory, Governance Model Design, Alternative Monetary Systems and Reflexive Modeling

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering and Technology

Keywords

  • Digital Financial Inclusion
  • Complementary Currencies
  • Algorithm design
  • Agent-based modelling
  • Social Innovation
  • Artificial Intelligence

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