Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Letter from Simon Roberts, EPIC Board President

Photo of Simon Roberts
EPIC Board President

Dear EPIC Community:

In this momentous 20th year of EPIC, I want to take a moment to recognize what our members have achieved and invite you to be part of our future.

Our community-driven, nonprofit organization has been grown and sustained by people who connect across disciplines, industries, and sectors to create:

  • The essential community of practitioners who put social and system-centric expertise at the heart of how businesses and organizations act in and on the world.
  • A treasured annual conference and year-round program offering valuable professional development, fostering careers and creative partnerships, and sparking lasting friendships.
  • An open-access library that is the most important global resource for the practice of ethnography to address the challenges and opportunities faced by organizations and communities.

Today we’re launching a membership drive to expand participation and sustain our community into the future. I invite you to commit or recommit to EPIC by becoming an EPIC Member. Membership is an investment in yourself and in the community that makes all of this possible:

Over the years, we have expanded member benefits without raising the annual fee. Membership is an exceptionally good value that includes:

There so much going on at EPIC—it is a credit to our members, volunteers, and micro (but mighty!) staff that people tend to think our organization and our revenues are much larger than they really are. We’d like to share a bit more about how it all works and why your participation matters:

  • Conference sponsors support operations for the conference, our year-round programming, open-access resources, and scholarships.
  • Membership also supports year-round programming that benefits members.
  • Volunteers power EPIC. Every year over 200 EPIC Members serve on committees, perform peer review, lead programs, and contribute in countless ways. Nothing would be possible without their commitment and expertise.

Recent layoffs that affected so many people also affected our sponsorship revenue in 2023 and 2024. Thanks to some reserves, we have been resilient this year. To remain resilient, our community must continue to support membership, equity funding, and organizational sponsorship.

In addition to being a member yourself, if you are fortunate to have employer support for professional development, or sufficient personal funds, you can expand access to the benefits you receive by donating to our Equity Fund (100% of your donation directly funds scholarships; there are no “administrative” or other fees removed).

Critically, your membership supports our ongoing, collective work and enables EPIC to build on a sustainable foundation to thrive in its third decade.

We hope you’ll join or renew now. If you’re already a member, jump into the Member Community and update your profile – Learning & Networking Week is just a few weeks away! And we can’t wait to see you at EPIC2024 in August, either in Los Angeles (register before May 1 to get the best rates) or among our spirited group of live-streamers (livestream is free with your membership).

We are here to answer any questions you have and to welcome you to our Member Community:

With gratitude and anticipation for our next twenty years together,

Simon Roberts, EPIC Board President