BSc, MSc, PhD
Hugh Price Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford; Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research, associate member of the Department of Sociology, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute

Academic background

PhD in Economic Sociology from the University of Turku (2009)

MSc from the Helsinki University of Technology (2005). 

BSc from the National University of Singapore (2004)

Associate Professor & Senior Research Fellow

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford 2013 – Present (7 years)

Steering Board member, Oxford Internet Institute, March 2017 -

Hugh Price Fellow, Jesus College Oxford, January 2017 -

Associate Professor, May 2016 -

Senior Research Fellow, May 2016 -

Principal Investigator of iLabour, a €1.5M research project funded by the European Research Council, 2015-2020

Director of the department's doctoral programme (DPhil in Information, Communication, and the Social Sciences), October 2014 - December 2016

Research Fellow, May 2013 - May 2016

Visiting Associate Professor

Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan, Apr 2020 – Present (4 months)


The Alan Turing Institute, London, United Kingdom, Feb 2016 – Present (4 years 6 months)

Co-founder, Director

Amimaru Ltd, Nov 2011 – Dec 2018 (7 years 2 months)

I co-founded a startup that tried to introduce global digital distribution to Japanese manga comics (Amimaru Ltd). Global digital distribution eventually happened but not our particular approach to it. Out of the ashes I and a partner spun out a modest but successful manga digitalization and translation business (amimaru株式会社). I sold out to my former partner in 2018.

CEO & Co-Founder

Virtual Economists, Ltd, Helsinki Area, Finland, Sep 2007 – Jan 2014 (6 years 5 months)

From 2007, I provided virtual economy related consulting and market research services for a number of game developers, publishers, online communities and virtual currency operators around the world. In 2008, I incorporated this business together with Eino Joas as Virtual Economists Ltd. We are not currently seeking new consulting engagements.

Consultant and advisor

The World Bank, Jul 2010 – Sep 2013 (3 years 3 months)

I have worked for the following World Bank programmes/units:

July 2010 - April 2011: The infoDev programme, project: Knowledge Map of the Virtual Economy

June 2011 - June 2012: The infoDev programme, project: Mobile Microwork Challenge (m2Work)

January 2013 - September 2013: ICT Sector Unit project in Morocco

I have also taught at the World Bank/infoDev Training Program on Innovation Policy for ICT events.

Visiting Fellow, Associate Director of the ICCLab

London School of Economics, Jan 2012 – Mar 2013 (1 year 3 months)

I was a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Asia Research Centre, where I conducted research on "microworkers" who earn their living from small online jobs in Asia and elsewhere. I also taught classes on "Open Innovation" and "Business Model Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid" at the LSE Department of Management. I also acted as an Associate Director of the LSE Innovation Co-Creation Lab (ICCLab) under professor Harry Barkema.

Member of the Advisory Board

Microtask, Aug 2011 – Aug 2012 (1 year 1 month)

Visiting Scholar

The University of Tokyo, Jan 2010 – Dec 2011 (2 years)

Graduate teaching

Digital Technology and Economic Organization

Research interests

In broad terms, my research deals with the socioeconomic dimensions of information and communication technologies. My current research focuses on the business and policy implications of digital marketplaces and platforms, popularly described with such terms as the “sharing economy”, “gig economy” and “app economy”. I lead a major research project on online labour platforms, funded by the European Research Council. 

My other projects have dealt with the digital economy’s implications to global development, consumer behaviour, and business models. My first book Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis (MIT Press 2014; Chinese translation by China Renmin University Press 2015) examined the economics and sociology of digital games and virtual currencies. I use both novel data science approaches as well as conventional social research methods in my work.

I am on the journal editorial boards of Policy & Internet and Electronic Commerce Research, and on the European academic advisory board of MIT Press.