Intelligences

The best global expertise on ethnography in business, including articles, case studies, webinars & conference video.

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EPIC2020 Will Be a Virtual Event—Join Us from Anywhere in the World!

→ Submissions Accepted through JUNE 1 → Proposal Review Starts APRIL 1 As the pandemic escalates, we’ve been contemplating the forecasts, listening to our communities, and rejigging our lives. It’s now clear that EPIC’s treasured annual gathering must transform into a virtual event this year. Although it’s heartbreaking to abandon our plans in Melbourne, our conference committee is energized by this opportunity: We can create new kinds of collective experience, truly taking on the EPIC2020 theme SCALE at a time when the isolation of social distancing is converging with an intimate sense of global proximity. We can locate the event around the world, expanding participation and reducing carbon-intensive travel. Our committee…

EPIC in Uncertain Times

Hello EPIC friends, As ethnographers we are tenacious, resilient, curious, improvisational, thoughtful, and reflective. It is ironic that the thing we do best—being on the ground with people—is exactly not what we should be doing at this time. For most of us, without doubt, it’s a profoundly disconcerting state. If only that were all. As individuals, parents, friends, children, partners, neighbors, employers and employees, and citizens, each update to our newsfeed is a harbinger of future disruption to life-as-lived. Scrambling, worried, unmoored are probably pretty good descriptors around the globe. What can we do? As a community we can decode,…

Do I Have to #MeToo? The Productivity of Silence in Instances of Sexual Harassment and Assault in Field Research

by TAHNI CANDELARIA - How did you two meet again? - Let’s head back to the yacht club for sunset. - What happened to that bottle of champagne? - Please don’t fall off the boat. - Live music doesn’t have the same raw character here. - Tahni, go deal with your friend. - What happened to that bottle of champagne? - Please stop touching me. - Haven’t you been paying attention to the news? - You really shouldn’t drink anymore. - We would make a beautiful couple. - She’s an influencer in Korea, I hate that shit. - His job is so cool! - What happened to that bottle of champagne? - I used to be polyamorous. - I’ll call you whatever I want to call you. - They act so adventurous, they didn’t even sit in the sand. - You need to get in a taxi, now. - WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE?! What did happen to that bottle of champagne, I wonder. In fact, I never knew of it in the first place. That bottle whose presence, or rather—whose absence—persists months later. That miserable hour, the one which was punctuated...

Agency & Tech Colonialism: Extending the Conversation

“What can those of us who work in, and maybe even love, computing cultures do about computing’s colonial expansions?” Sareeta Amrute’s keynote address “Tech Colonialism Today” opened EPIC2019 in a provocative, mobilizing spirit that inspired discussions on stage, in breakout sessions, and around breakfast tables. Sareeta journeyed across time and territory to explore what characteristics make something colonial to begin with, such as extractive and hierarchical systems. As you might guess, she argued that yes, the tech industry today has core colonial attributes. But goal wasn’t just critique; Sareeta showcased counterconduct—the agency that people, communities, and companies have to build alternatives. If colonial legacies and socioeconomic systems seem a bit “out of scope” as context for standard product or user research projects, check out Sareeta’s award-winning book Encoding Race, Encoding Class. You’ll learn about Meena’s daily tea ritual, hear Bipin describe why he sometimes chooses to write bad code,...

EPIC2019 Proceedings Are Here!

EPIC2019 AGENCY in Providence, RI, was a blast of activity, provocation, conversation, and learning. Now you can access the conference online! All articles are FREE to read, download, and share with your colleagues, teams, clients, and in-laws. They include full-length papers and case studies, as well as abstracts of all presentations. Conference video is available to EPIC Members and includes all presentations—keynotes, panels, papers, cases, PechaKucha, and tutorials. In addition to accessing our extensive video library, EPIC Members come together for online events and support the collective work of our global, nonprofit community. Jump into EPIC2019: DOWNLOAD FULL PROCEEDINGS (PDF,…