Tim Weiss is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Work, Technology & Organization in the Management Science and Engineering Department. He studies the global startup movement in rapidly evolving digital economies. Tim is interested in the question of the conditions under which novel organizations emerge and reach scale (or fail to do so) in particular contexts. His “home base” is in management and organization theory, from which he is working to create an organizational lens to help better understand the underlying drivers of socio-economic change and progress. His toolbox encompasses qualitative methods augmented by ethnographic techniques and a long-term commitment to his research setting.
In 2014 Tim conducted a large-scale qualitative study of the startup scene in Kenya’s fast growing digital economy (also known as Digital Nyika). He has multiple working papers on the topic and is co-editor of the open-access book Digital Kenya: An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making, published in 2016, by Palgrave MacMillan. Currently, Tim is running a long-term ethnographic project, accompanying 20 high-impact entrepreneurs in Kenya for a period of 10 years to track their entrepreneurial journey and performance in order to develop novel insights into entrepreneurial strategies in what have traditionally been known as “resource-scarce” environments.
In his free time, Tim wrestles with questions that deal with Africa’s digital futures, in particular the impact — both opportunities and challenges — that artificial intelligence will have on the future of work and socio-economic development.
Before joining Stanford, Tim was a research fellow and doctoral candidate in the Civil Society Center in the department for Strategic Organization and Finance at Zeppelin University in Germany. During his Ph.D. work, he was a visiting student at the Management and Organizations Department at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago. Tim has several years of work experience in Kenya and Ethiopia, among other countries, with international nongovernment organizations in both humanitarian and development aid. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Corporate Management and Economics from Zeppelin University and his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Vienna.