About EPIC

EPIC promotes the use of ethnographic principles to create business value.

EPIC advances ethnographic principles in business, bringing conceptual leadership and practical skills to the problems and opportunities faced by organizations, markets, and society. EPIC people draw on the immense expertise of our global community to learn, connect, and develop as professionals, amplifying our impact and influencing futures.

EPIC is a nonprofit driven by volunteers and supported by members and sponsors. We are a global community of practitioners—from technology corporations, product and service companies, a range of consultancies, universities and design schools, government and NGOs, and research institutes—who work to ensure that innovation, strategies, processes, and products are anchored in deep understandings of people and their everyday lives. EPIC people draw on tools and resources from the social sciences, humanities, data analytics, design, agile, scenario planning and other approaches to realize value for business and communities.

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EPIC people come together year-round: participating in online events, sharing job opportunities, connecting to ethnographic agencies and services, and writing on our blog Perspectives. Our library is a treasure trove of articles and video resources, and a constant companion of practitioners.

We also gather at unique locations around the world for our annual conference—the premier international event on ethnographic practice in business. Through paper presentations, cases studies, workshops, and many other forms of engagement, we develop robust practices and conceptual leadership to inform innovation and strategy in a changing world.

EPIC is powered by participation and your membership is vital to sustaining the collective work of our community.

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History of Epic

In 2005, Ken Anderson and Tracey Lovejoy conceived of a new kind of conference—one that was not discipline specific and could speak to practitioners and academics about a type of work that was bringing increasing value to business. The label “ethnographic” was chosen not to indicate a methodology, but to illustrate a mindset around the intersection of theory and practice, the basis for the kind of innovation ethnography provides. With the support of Microsoft and Intel, the conference was first held at their respective corporate campuses. Since that time, EPIC has grown an increasingly active international presence, hosting the conference around the world.

In 2014, EPIC set as its objective to grow beyond the annual conference and to provide practitioners with the ability to interact and to access basic professional resources beyond the conference. www.epicpeople.org is the site where we hope to continue to enhance the environment for practitioners and organizations to engage in relevant conversations together.