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EPIC2022 Call for Participation!

Resilience: EPIC2022 Amsterdam

Present at the premier global conference on ethnography in business & organizations—submission deadline March 31. Now in its 18th year, EPIC is a treasured annual gathering of practitioners who use ethnography to drive innovation and change. Our conference is an interactive, inclusive event that combines practical learning, global expertise, meaningful networking, and the inspiration and…

EPIC2021 Video & Proceedings Now Available on Demand!

EPIC2021 Video & Proceedings

Above: EPIC2021 welcome & opening from San Jose, California EPIC2021 Anticipation was the 17th edition of the premier global conference on ethnography in business and organizations. Now you can watch all conference presentations on demand, and read the full-length papers and case studies: EPIC2021 Papers and Case Studies are FREE to read, download, and share…

How New is the New? Reflecting on How to Design for Tomorrow through the Case of Autonomous Vehicles

How New is the New?
An EPIC2021 Sponsored Panel by Waymo Moderator: MELISSA CEFKIN (Waymo) Panelists: BENEDIKT FISCHER (Waymo), LAURA FORLANO (IIT Institute of Design), JACK STILGOE (University College London) How do we anticipate the futures of the things we are bringing into the world, and the experiences they will help shape? The autonomous vehicle is posited as a net-new innovation. Never before have vehicles without human drivers at the helm roamed the same streets that we traverse daily while on a jog or in a bleary-eyed morning search for a cuppa-joe. Someday soon(ish) you may hail a fully autonomous ride for a trip to the office or for the once-in-a-lifetime race to the hospital for the birth of a first born. What a fantastically new product and world this will be! Or will it? How much are innovators tweaking and updating the existing, instead of inventing the new? Join us for a conversation between members of the Waymo Insights team and invited panelists to explore “how new is the new?” Following decades of imagination, development,...

Eyes on Tomorrow: How Pathfinders Help Facebook See beyond the Horizon to Build Responsible Products

Eyes on Tomorrow
An EPIC2021 Sponsored Panel by Facebook Moderator: JAY HASBROUCK, Facebook Panelists: SANYA ATTARI, Facebook Reality Labs; GENEVIEVE CONLEY GAMBILL, Facebook; JAMIE KIMMEL, Instagram Pathfinders, foresight strategists, and responsible innovation researchers help Facebook understand how cultures and communities evolve so our teams can create products that meet future needs. They think beyond the current moment to provide insight that minimizes potential risk to people, societies, and environments and help build toward promising opportunities. Although these researchers come from different backgrounds, they all share characteristics that are quite familiar to ethnographers: a propensity to think holistically, an appreciation of evolutionary patterns, and the ability to situate insights within large, complex systems across time horizons. Attendees will learn how pathfinders, foresight strategists, and responsible innovation researchers apply these qualities to their work at Facebook, as well as how attendees might apply...

Feedback Fatigue: Re-designing the Research Process for Sustainable Insights

Feedback Fatigue
An EPIC2021 Sponsored Panel by Atlassian Moderator: LEISA REICHELT (Atlassian) Panelists: CAITLIN MCCURRIE (Atlassian), CARA MARITZ (Atlassian), JAKE MOODY (Atlassian) & ADAM WRIDE With nearly 6,000 Atlassians, achieving customer-centricity that’s meaningful, sustainable, and respectful of people’s attention can be a challenge. Standard approaches and tools can overwhelm populations and lead to “Feedback Fatigue,” particularly in small populations of users. To solve this, we’ve made opportunistic use of the tools and mechanisms for engagement that we have immediately around us: we use Confluence for diary studies, Jira Service Management as an intercept, and we triangulate with feedback captured by our customer-facing collaborators. In this panel, moderated by Head of Research & Service Experience, Leisa Reichelt, Atlassian researchers and a member of our customer community will discuss how iterating our methods and ways of working helped our product teams achieve customer-centricity without our customers...

Tutorial: Leading with Care—How to Support the Mental Well-being of Your Team

Leading with Care: How to Support the Mental Well-being of Your Team
SHANNON LUCAS & TRACEY LOVEJOY, Co-CEOs, Catalyst Constellations Leaders and managers develop care strategies and plans of action for supporting their teams, their people, and themselves. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. Research shows that people who work passionately to drive change, like EPIC members, experience regular cycles of burnout. But two pandemics—COVID itself plus a widespread decline in mental well-being—is causing organizations to rethinking their role in supporting the health of their employees. As leaders and ethnographers, we have an opportunity to create and implement new models of leadership with care. In this tutorial, Shannon Lucas and Tracey Lovejoy, authors of Move Fast. Break Shit. Burn Out: The Catalysts Guide to Working Well, bring a wealth of research and experience on leadership and well-being to bear on this emergent reality. They will share research about burnout, new data on global...

Tutorial: Ethnographic Video—Storytelling for Impact

Ethnographic Video: Storytelling for Impact
Instructors: CHARLEY SCULL (UX Researcher, Facebook), NICK AGAFONOFF (Director, Real Ethnography) & PRABHAS POKHAREL (CEO, Reduct) An end-to-end approach to scoping, planing, shooting, editing and sharing video ethnography projects. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. We’ve all seen the power of a well-crafted ethnographic video to capture the attention, and imagination of the room, whether that room is a design studio, a classroom or a boardroom. At its best, it can generate empathy, reveal insights that would be impossible to describe, and build conviction and consensus, in ways that can lead to alignment on what action to take next. In this EPIC 2021 tutorial we will show you just how accessible this powerful form of expression can be to produce. Join experienced video ethnographers and editors, Nick, Charley, and Prabhas, to explore the craft of ethnographic storytelling for impact, through video. You will leave...

The Future of Business in a Post-COVID Landscape

The future of business in a post-COVID world
Moderator: MARC LAFLEUR, ZS Associates Panelists: JACQUES BARCIA, Institute for the Future; JORGE CAMACHO, Institute for the Future / Diagonal; JENNIFER LEE FUQUA, Ogilvy; DEVON POWERS, Temple University Events of the 18 months have upended questions of the future and, for business, cast a new light on how it might better contemplate and plan for uncertainties. COVID has also opened up a new sense of potential when it comes to re-inventing or designing better or new futures for ourselves, providing a sense of agency and fluidity that had, until recently, seemed less tangible. This panel will engage in this dialogue with the future, particularly as it relates to the future of business and the ways in which business could contemplate, confront and shape the future. Panelists Marc LaFleur believes that at the heart of every business challenge lies a question of human experience. While he has practiced in many industries, Marc has spent much of his career working in the fields of health and life sciences. There, Marc...

Redesigning the Social Safety Net

Redesigning the Social Safety Net
Moderator: NADINE LEVIN, City of San Francisco Panelists: MORGAN G. AMES, University of California, Berkeley; , Monumental; MITHULA NAIK, Canadian Digital Service The past two years have laid bare that we inhabit a world with enormous and increasing inequality. We've also seen a decreasing level of faith in public programs and institutions to provide quality health care and education or even fair access elections. And the very systems designed for the betterment of all are often siloed and ineffective. This session comes at a time when policy and regulations affecting social safety net benefits are more in flux than usual in many countries. Using the tools of data, design, activism, technology, and innovation, these panelists have led an ethnography-forward approach to reimagining these systems and move toward safety nets that work for all. Panelists Nadine Levin, PhD, is an anthropologist, Rhodes Scholar, and UX researcher who focuses on improving equitable access to technology. After several years of academic research...

The Future of Audiences & Mixed Reality Performances

Future of audiences and mixed reality performances
Keynote Speaker: SARAH ELLIS, Director of Digital Development, Royal Shakespeare Company Sarah Ellis is an award-winning producer, the Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a fellow of the University of Worcester for her work in arts and technology. She has been awarded The Hospital Club & Creatives Industries award for cross industry collaboration for her work on the RSC’s The Tempest (with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios.) In 2013 she was listed in the 100 most influential people working in Gaming and Technology by The Hospital Club and Guardian Culture. She is an Industry Champion for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, which helps inform academic research on the creative industries. She has been appointed Chair of digital agency, The Space, established by Arts Council England and the BBC....

Exiting the Road to Hell: How We Reclaim Agency & Responsibility in Our Fights for Justice

Exiting the Road to Hell
Keynote Speaker: PANTHEA LEE, Reboot Panthea Lee is a strategist, organizer, designer, and facilitator, and the Executive Director of Reboot. She is passionate about building transformative coalitions between communities, activists, movements, and institutions to tackle structural inequity—and working with artists to realize courageous social change. Panthea is a pioneer in designing and guiding multi-stakeholder processes to address complex social challenges, with experience doing so in 30+ countries with partners including UNDP, MacArthur Foundation, Luminate, CIVICUS, Wikimedia, Women’s Refugee Commission, and governments and civil society groups at the national, state, and local levels. The global co-creation efforts she’s led have launched new efforts to protect human rights defenders, tackle public corruption, strengthen participatory democracy, advance equity in knowledge access, reform international agencies, and drive media innovation. Panthea began her career as a journalist, ethnographer, and cultural...

We Have Always Dreamed of (Afro)futures: Notes beyond the Dark Fantastic

We Have Always Dreamed of (Afro)futures
Keynote Speaker: EBONY THOMAS, University of Michigan Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is Associate Professor in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. She studies how people of color are portrayed, or not portrayed, in children’s and young adult literature, and how those portrayals shape our culture. As children’s and young adult literary empires continue to dominate publishing and Hollywood, she strongly believes that the field has the potential to become one of the most effective postcolonial, critical, and activist projects of all. A former Detroit Public Schools teacher and National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Thomas was a member of the NCTE Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color’s 2008–2010 cohort, served on the NCTE Conference on English Education's Executive Committee from 2013 until 2017, and is the immediate past chair of the NCTE Standing Committee on Research. She is co-editor of Research in the Teaching of English, and her most recent book is The Dark Fantastic:...

Immersive Ethics: Anticipating Risks and Harms in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Immersive ethics
Moderator: JILLIAN POWERS, Cognizant Panelists: JORDAN KRAEMER, Anti-Defamation League; ARWA MICHELLE MBOYA, Magic Leap; JESSICA OUTLAW, The Extended Mind LLC As new technologies, from AI to immersive experiences, are developed at scale, they raise ethical concerns for research and design. Data-driven systems have repeatedly been shown to entrench social biases along lines of race, gender, and class, from racist algorithms in the criminal justice system to misgendering trans and nonbinary people. Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), however, raise separate and thorny questions for ethical design. Immersive technologies create novel experiences of embodiment and reality, not to mention new sources of personal data. These facets create distinctive challenges for ethics, equity, and inclusion, intensifying the potential harms of misinformation, harassment, privacy violations, surveillance, or unequal access. How can ethnographic research anticipate emergent ethical questions specific...

Creating Future Imaginaries through Indigenous AI

Creating Future Imaginaries through Indigenous AI
Keynote Speaker: JASON LEWIS, Concordia University Jason Edward Lewis' multidisciplinary research and creative practice has been central to developing Indigenous media art in North America and worldwide, establishing a vital conversation about the interaction between Indigenous culture and computational technology. His contributions comprise scholarly writing, art making and technology research, as well as his leadership of the Initiative for Indigenous Futures and his creation of the Indigenous Futures Research Centre. A digital media theorist, poet, and software designer, Lewis is currently University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary and Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University. At Concordia he also serves as Special Advisor to the Provost on Indigenous Spaces. Lewis spent a decade working in a range of industrial research settings, including Interval Research, US West's Advanced Technology Group, and the Institute for Research on Learning, and, at the turn of...

Catching up to the Present to Reimagine the Future

Catching up to the Present to Imagine the Future
Moderator: AFRA CHEN, Fudan University Panelists: CHUMA ANAGBADO, Artist & Designer; NATASCHA NANJI, LAY IT ON THICK; RASA SMITE, RIXC Center for New Media Culture; RAITIS SMITS, RIXC Center for New Media Culture In the age of pandemics and climate crises, reality is represented via varied narratives on health, politics, and the environment across different cultural and social contexts. As artists, designers, and ethnographers practicing the art of narration within different specialties and contexts, this panel aims to showcase how creative professionals re-organize their methods, practices, relationships, and lives in the face of present circumstances. Panelists will share how art and design can help us reflect upon the present and address any future challenges. Panelists Afra Chen is a PhD candidate in medical anthropology from Fudan university, her research interests mainly centered around medical/biological technologies and how do they intersects with societal changes in China, her recent research focused...