EPIC2019

Submission deadline is April 12! Join the premier global conference on ethnography in business, 9–12 November.

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Intelligences

The best collection of global expertise in ethnography in business, including papers, PechaKucha, keynotes, tutorials and video.

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Culture Needs a Fool-Proof Definition

by OLIVER SWEET and ELLIE TAIT, Ipsos People love the idea of culture. Finding out what makes France French, Spain Spanish or Denmark Danish is why we travel. We see culture as a manifestation of the greatest human achievements – we flock to art galleries and read the latest Booker Prize–winning novel. But if we’re so naturally gripped by the idea of culture, why is it so hard to get traction for the value of culture in business? Cultural intelligence doesn’t come naturally in corporate settings, even for researchers. When we go to work we often switch off our cultural curiosity. We begin client debriefs with penetration statistics, household expenditure and demographics, but we rarely attempt to immerse our clients in the culture their product is inextricably nestled within. Variations in survey results are described as ‘market differences’, a damp squib of a term for what is actually a complex web of cultural influences. Why do we fail to integrate cultural insight in a meaningful way, when we know that culture...

Automation Otherwise: A Review of “Automating Inequality”

by DANYA GLABAU, Implosion Labs What if we thought differently about how to integrate human and machine agencies?  Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the PoorVirginia Eubanks2018, 272 pp, St. Martin's Press As I sat down in to write this review of Virginia Eubanks’ latest book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, I couldn’t help but consider it in light of the growing restiveness among tech workers in response to their companies’ perceived ethical lapses. Rank and file employees have begun to speak out against the use of big data-driven software systems and infrastructure for ethically questionable ends like warfare, policing, and family separation at the United States-Mexico border. To date, these protests have mired several public-private contracts between government agencies and some of the world’s biggest tech companies in controversy, including Google’s Project Maven, a collaboration with the Pentagon to target...

EPIC Announces New Executive Director

We are proud and excited to announce that we’ve hired EPIC’s first Executive Director. Rita Denny is known to many of you as a researcher extraordinaire, consultant, author, and teacher, and she’s been a leader in our field for two decades. This is another important milestone for EPIC that reflects collective efforts over 14 years. In 2004, ken anderson and Tracey Lovejoy created EPIC as an annual conference to support our emerging field. As the event itself, and its legacy of publications, became increasingly central in our professional lives, in 2014 the board moved to establish EPIC as a year-round…

EPIC2018 Proceedings Are Here!

The phenomenal content from EPIC2018 is ready for you to access on demand—including papers, case studies, keynotes, panels, and PechaKucha. All articles are FREE to read, download, and share with your colleagues, teams, client, and in-laws. Video is available to EPIC Members. Membership also includes access to excellent learning opportunities and supports the important work of our global community—details here. To access EPIC2018 proceedings you can: DOWNLOAD FULL PDF (16 M) SEARCH THE LIBRARY BROWSE 2018 VIDEO ALL PROCEEDINGS BY YEAR Don’t know where to start? How about the Opening Remarks by Dawn Nafus. Contact us if you have questions…

How Is Evidence Created, Used & Abused? EPIC2018 Opening Remarks

by DAWN NAFUS (Intel), EPIC2018 Co-chair We chose Evidence as the EPIC2018 theme in part to explore this question of why some things constitute evidence and not others. There are lots of factors we could point to, but since I’m standing next to a data scientist the first one I’ll talk about is digitization. Digitization changes how people live, and it creates forms of evidence about people’s lives that we need to reckon with methodologically. Many of us are in the thick of organizations that handle some complicated datasets, traces of people and their environments, and so on. We’ve got to figure out how to engage with them, and I think that means we need new approaches if we are going to meaningfully intervene. The toolbox of user experience is only going to get us so far. So we’re going to need some friends, particularly those data scientists who are, like us, committed to the idea that datasets ought to be moored in some kind of social reality, and that they can’t just be built based on what’s expedient at the time. While...