Wallis Motta is a Research Officer at the LSE Department of Media and Communications. She currently works with Dr. Myria Georgiou and Prof. Sonia Livingstone in the project: Community through digital Connectivity, Communication Infrastructure in Multicultural London.
She previously worked as a Research Associate in The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at UCL, where she was responsible for community engagement in the www.screensinthewild.org project.
She has been Visiting Lecturer at Riga Stradinis University (2013) and Visiting Researcher at the University of Cambridge (2007). She has worked in industry as Senior Planner in advertising agencies like DDB and JWT, as well as a Market Research consulting expert for Flamingo International.
Wallis earned her PhD in Anthropology at UCL (2011). She has an MA in Material and Visual Culture (UCL) and a BSc in Communication Sciences (Universidad Iberoamericana).
As an anthropologist Wallis is particularly interested in city development, entrepreneurialism, innovation, cultural and social change. In her PhD thesis she studied the construction of Cambridge city as a Technopole, and the emergence of a local high-tech start-up culture rooted in scientific values. Her dissertation aimed to critique the ways in which the discipline of Anthropology has portrayed entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs through an exotic lens. She insisted it is important to examine entrepreneurship not only considering culturally deviant populations, but also as happening in more prominent and mainstream institutions, like Universities, private corporations, regional development agencies, NGOs and other professional support networks within the city. Ultimately entrepreneurship in Cambridge has emerged as an alternative cultural idiom, which is simultaneously a radically innovative proposition and a conservative effort. Entrepreneurship provides the residents of Cambridge a way to manage tensions and anxieties regarding the reproduction of privilege, enabling to better position themselves and their city as prominent actors to address 21st century challenges.
In her current work Wallis is developing a better understanding of communication infrastructure, place-making, community building, knowledge sharing, resource mapping, multiculturalism, social capital, social innovation and new media.