Dr. Michael Baran
Senior Partner and Digital Solutions LeadCompany: inQUEST Consulting
Role: Session Presenter
Dr. Michael Baran is a senior partner and the Digital Solutions lead at inQUEST Consulting. Michael drives organizations toward innovative evidence-based diversity, equity and inclusion solutions by drawing on a deep understanding of the social science behind culture and cognition, identity and communication. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience from his own cultural anthropology research, he knows what works and uses those insights to create real change for organizations. As a senior partner at inQUEST, Michael brings his unique perspective to his speaking engagements, writings on critical DEI topics, consulting, leadership development and workshop facilitation. As Digital Solutions lead, he ensures best practices are incorporated into scalable digital products that incorporate cutting-edge social science and real scenarios, while engaging users. He customizes sustainable change-management plans that integrate the best of in-person and scalable digital platforms for organizations.
In addition to his inQUEST work, Michael has taught courses on race and identity, Latin America, child development, and research methodology at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He has worked as associate director at the FrameWorks Institute and principal researcher at the American Institutes of Research, conducting ethnographic research to inform strategic framing and culturally competent campaigns around a variety of pressing social issues.
Michael received his BA from Emory University and his MA and PhD in cultural anthropology with a certificate in Culture and Cognition from the University of Michigan. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Michael, along with Dr. Tiffany Jana, is the co-author of “Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions.” The book, published in 2020 with Berrett-Koehler Publishers, uses real examples to build deep understanding around the subtle acts of exclusion that people commit every day without bad intentions. In the book, Jana and Baran argue that deep understanding can help reduce these subtle exclusions in the workplace, and they provide a system for productively addressing these subtle acts when they do happen.