Xiang Biao is a Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He has worked on various types of migration—internal and international, unskilled and highly-skilled, emigration, left behind and return—in China, India and Australia. Instead of taking migration as a distinct phenomenon to be explained, he sees migration as a particular means of social change that reveals larger forces at work. Through the lens of migration, he has examined the changing Chinese state, labour relations in the high-tech sector in India, and other political economy issues in Asia. Currently, Xiang is trying to understand why commercial recruitment intermediaries have become so prominent in unskilled labour migration in east Asia, given that modern institutions and technologies are supposed to be dis-embedding and dis-intermediating.
John Surico is a journalist and researcher who thinks and writes on the complexities of cities. His reporting can be found in outlets such as The New York Times, VICE, and CityLab, where he focuses on mobility and sustainability. Currently, he is pursuing an MSc at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning in transport and city planning. Previously, John was a research fellow at Center for an Urban Future, a NYC-based policy organization, where he studied the city’s parks and libraries. He also taught undergraduate reporting at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, his alma mater. He has reported from Havana, Stockholm, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Olympics. He is now based in Oxford, UK, where he helps out the PEAK Urban program and Oxford Urbanists with editorial content.