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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...

Tutorial: Ethnography for Project Risk Analysis and Quality Assurance

Ethnography for Project Risk Analysis and Quality Assurance
Instructor: PATRICIA ENSWORTH, Harborlight Management Services LLC & New York University Learn the core vocabulary, concepts, and methods of project managers, risk managers, and quality assurance managers, and explore how they align with ethnographic practices and expertise. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. In this tutorial participants will learn the core vocabulary, concepts, and methods of project managers, risk managers, and quality assurance managers, and explore how they align with ethnographic practices and expertise. This understanding helps us build bridges to domains such as Legal, Operations, and Compliance, and elevate the impact of our work on the products, services, and strategies of the organizations you serve. Participants will become familiar with standard Project Management Body of Knowledge and Agile processes, tools, and templates for risk and quality management: identification of seldom-noticed...

Tutorial: Frameworks and Foundations for Research Team Development

Frameworks and Foundations for Team Development
Instructor: MOLLY STEVENS, Director of UX Research, Booking.com Develop a strategy for cultivating a successful research team and growing yourself as a leader. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. Growing a successful research team within an organization can be overwhelming—you must consider a variety of elements to grow yourself and your team, at the same time that you create value for customers and stakeholders. There are many moving pieces, and often not enough time to consider which elements are essential for that next step. This tutorial will help you navigate where and how to focus your efforts. We will cover a framework that includes individual people and groups of people (your role, the individuals on your team, the research team as a whole), as well as cross-cutting elements such as the organization, the domain, and the research itself. Topics include: Yourself: What are the key attributes and capabilities you...

Tutorial: Using Analogs to Research the Unknown

Tutorial - Using Analogs to Research the Unknown
Instructor: JO AIKEN, Google Learn strategies to design research of inaccessible or future environments. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. Ethnographers seek insights by studying people in their natural environments. What if the thing you are designing will not be used for 20–40 years from now? What if the natural context is inaccessible—an infrequent event, a dangerous environment, an exclusive space? How do you understand environments and users that do not yet exist? This tutorial breaks down the complexity of conducting ethnographic research of environments that are unknown or inaccessible. Using real NASA case studies, Jo will walk you through frameworks and methods, such as analogs and scenario testing, for conducting practical research when you can’t get to the “real” field site. This interactive tutorial will include a combination of presented content, small-group activities, and discussion. Participants...

Tutorial: From Research to Action—Leading Teams Through Synthesis

from research to action: leading teams through synthesis
Instructors: KSENIA PACHIKOV (Principal, Field Studio) & MARTA CUCIUREAN-ZAPAN (Design Director, IDEO) Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. After the richness of fieldwork, the research and design team must figure out, “What does this mean?” and “What should we do?” The synthesis phase presents a tough set of issues: we want to accurately represent all of our participants, yet we must make hard decisions around whose stories and learnings to prioritize. New data and points of view, sometimes conflicting, are introduced by other stakeholders in the project. And we must move from being descriptive to being directional. In this tutorial you’ll learn strategies for two key challenges of synthesis: emotional dynamics—how we navigate interpersonal relationships to come to alignment—and convergence—how to prioritize when faced with tons of data and ideas. Participants will learn how to externalize the hidden criteria...

Tutorial: Research Recruitment—How to Find and Connect to Participants

Instructors: JOANNA BEER, CECILIE LøVESTAM & ANNA LUCAS, Generation Focus Learn how to create and execute a recruitment plan, strategies for recruiting quality respondents, practices for engaging and motivating participants, and more. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. This tutorial teaches best practices for human-centered recruitment and strategies to create win-win-win experiences for participants, clients and recruiters. Participant recruitment is a comprehensive process. It involves several activities, including identifying qualified participants, explaining the study to potential candidates, obtaining informed consent, and retaining participants until the study is completed. Finding, recruiting, and retaining articulate and engaged participants in the right target audience is critical for the success of a study. In this interactive workshop, attendees will learn how to create and execute a recruitment plan,...

Tutorial: Research for Accessible and Inclusive Design

Research for Accessible and Inclusive Design
Instructors: GREG WEINSTEIN (Senior Accessibility Designer, CVS) & ERICA MCCOY (Senior Accessibility Designer, CVS) Gain tools and strategies for integrating people with disabilities into your research and driving inclusive design. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. Including people with disabilities in user research is fundamentally the right thing to do, because their experiences matter just as much as those of the non-disabled users that are typically represented in research. In addition, including people with disabilities in research makes good business sense, because it leads to products that are more inclusive and generally more accessible, usable, and delightful for everyone. This tutorial will help participants to expand their research practices by integrating people with disabilities into research. We will discuss barriers to conducting inclusive research and strategize about lean and robust ways to address...

Tutorial: Power Tools for Equity in Research & Design

Power Tools for Equity in Research & Design
Instructors: CHELSEA MAULDIN (Executive Director, Public Policy Lab) & NATALIA RADYWYL (Research Director, Public Policy Lab) This tutorial gives you robust, actionable tools for navigating inequity through a project life cycle. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. To do ethical, equitable work in any domain, we need robust tools for assessing and addressing power. Whether we’re creating products, services, or policies, inequities can create direct and indirect risks for research participants and underserved populations. This tutorial gives you robust, actionable tools for navigating inequity through a project life cycle. Public Policy Lab developed Power Tools over many years of innovative and effective work with at-risk communities. Across planning, research, design, and implementation, the instructors will teach you how to use Power Tools to check biases, inform theories of change and logic models, identify effective...

Tutorial: Designing Ethnofutures Research Projects

Designing Ethnofutures Research Projects
Instructors: ROD FALCON, (Director, Technology Futures Lab, Institute for the Future), LYN JEFFERY (Director, IFTF Foresight Essentials) & VANESSA MASON (Research Director, Institute for the Future) Learn how to design ethnofutures research projects and expand the time horizons of your work. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. How do you take ethnographic data from today and turn it into futures forecasts, scenarios, personas, and stories about how the world could be different in ten years? How do you define a “futures” research domain, develop an ethnofutures interview process, and scope the right people to interview? And once you have your data, how do you use it to develop an informed, provocative view of the long-term future? Researchers leaders from the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a 50+ year nonprofit futures research group, will unpack the structure of an ethnofutures project, which translates ethnographic...

Tutorial: Business Thinking for Ethnographers

Instructors: REBEKAH PARK (Director of Strategy, Gemic), ABBY FIFER MANDELL (Professor of Entrepreneurship, USC Marshall School of Business), LOUIS ELTON (Strategist, Gemic) Learn concepts and mindsets of business culture to make your work more intelligible and influential. Overview This tutorial was conducted at EPIC2021. Exercises and discussions have been omitted to protect the privacy of participants. Ethnography and social science bring value to business, but we often struggle to articulate that value in business terms. In this tutorial you’ll become more fluent in the vocabulary and mindsets of business culture, and practice using this fluency to make your work more intelligible and influential. We will review basic terms that have currency in corporate spaces (B2B/B2C, ROI, revenue streams, market sizing…) and what it means to frame researchers as consultants operating within business cultures and industry paradigms (whether our “clients” are internal or external). The tutorial will be strongly interactive,...

Practicing Foresight in China—A Public Event Hosted by EPIC China

Foresight: a conversation with Martha Cotton (Accenture/Fjord) & Rui Rao (Tencent), hosted by EPIC China

How do businesses and organizations anticipate the future in China and the United States? Join a conversation with Martha Cotton (Accenture/Fjord) & Rui Rao (Tencent), hosted by EPIC China! Friday, August 27, 6:30–8:00 pm US Pacific Time / Saturday, August 28, 9:30–11:00 am China Standard Time REGISTER NOW Join Martha Cotton (Managing Director with Accenture…

Watch Party—Design & White Supremacy Culture

by Hello to the global EPIC Community! I’m the new community manager for Ethnography Hangout Slack, a space to discuss applied ethnography created by EPIC, Anthrodesign, and Ethnography Matters. I’m excited to energize even more engagement and inspire you to develop valuable connections and conversations there. To kick that off, I hope you’ll join our…