Talks

EPIC Talks is a webinar series created by our community, for our community. Talks cover topics that are highly relevant to us as practitioners, introducing methods, technologies, ideas, and best practices that make our work better and foster meaningful professional connections. Formats can range from lectures or seminars to panels, discussions, and debates. EPIC Talks are proposed and created by EPIC members, bringing together a global community on the leading edge of ethnography in business. Participation is free and open to EPIC Members—join now!

Work/Life in the Pandemic: Strategies and Support

The novel coronavirus pandemic has dramatically altered our work and lives in a matter of weeks. Our ethnographic sensibility, which keeps us immersed in the lives of people on the ground, has shifted to meticulous social distancing, or even more extreme isolation. At work, research projects are cancelled or radically altered; teams are adapting to…

Decoding Organizational Culture: An Anthropological Mindset

An EPIC Talk with JOHN CURRAN (JC & Associates) SCHEDULE CHANGE! Thursday, 9 April, 10:00 Pacific Time (GMT-7) This online event is free for EPIC Members Overview What is organisational culture and how does it shape how we work? Why does the business world and organisations tend to misunderstand organisational culture? How can an ‘anthropological…

Branding in an Age of Consumer Agency

An EPIC Talk with TIMOTHY DE WAAL MALEFYT (Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University) and MARYANN MCCABE (Cultural Connections LLC) Overview Consumers often exhibit complex, even contradictory behavior with brands. Ask mothers about making dinner and their immediate reaction may be: “cooking is a drag.” So a food company responds with brand communications addressing ‘the…

Reflexive Interviewing for Consumer Insights

An EPIC Talk with ZEYNEP ARSEL, Concordia University NEW DATE/TIME: June 23, 2020, 11:00 am Pacific Time (UTC -7) This online event is free for EPIC Members Overview In-depth interviews are an essential resource for consumer insights and can inform product and service design, brand management, human-technology interface, customer service, amongst others. Nothing gets to…

Blockchain and the Social Challenge of Cooperation

An EPIC Talk with ELLIE RENNIE, RMIT University Approx 50 minutes Overview The value of blockchain is often expressed in terms of what it eliminates—the cost of establishing trust. Portrayed as a “trustless” technology or itself a “trust machine”, it seems to open horizons for innovation by “solving the trust problem.” In fact, the technology…

Agency and Change: Using Anthropology to Improve Organizational Change

An EPIC Talk with KATE SIECK (RAND) & STEVEN GARCIA (TeamOne) Approx 57 minutes Description The language of change is practically ubiquitous these days: from tech startups to legacy manufacturers and government agencies, organizations of every stripe want to innovate, grow, pivot, reorient, or disrupt. But although the language of change is varied, the burgeoning…

Moral Crumple Zones: Agency and Accountability in Human-AI Interaction

An EPIC Talk with MADELEINE CLARE ELISH, Data & Society Approx 50 minutes Overview Breathless rhetoric about AI has promised safer, more accurate systems that would take the “human out of the loop.” With more nuanced visions of AI, not to mention some high-profile catastrophes, the prevailing rhetoric now promises that keeping a “human in…

Ethnography, Independent Consulting, and the Gig Life

An EPIC Talk with SHELLEY SATHER & HAL PHILLIPS Approx 85 minutes Overview Calling all independent consultants and freelance ethnographers! Join seasoned and successful freelancers Shelley and Hal for a presentation and discussion about strategies, opportunities, and challenges of gig work. They will share their own stories of taking the leap from employee to freelancer…

Framing Brands and Markets: Consumer Culture Theory

An EPIC Talk moderated by RITA DENNY (Practica Group & EPIC) with: DAVID CROCKETT (University of South Carolina), AMBER EPP (University of Wisconsin), CRAIG THOMPSON (University of Wisconsin), & SUNAINA SCHULTZ (Grounded Insights LLC) Approx 78 minutes Description Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) looks at consumers, brands, and markets from a social and cultural vantage point.…

Using Video to Think Ethnographically: Core Approaches to Research, Production, Deliverables, and Mindset

An EPIC Talk with & Overview Ethnographers have long used video for research and storytelling in their practices. Today a powerful array of evolving visual technologies offers unprecedented possibilities for access, representation, collaboration and dissemination, but the options can also be overwhelming and with this power comes great responsibility. Questions of ethics and vulnerability must…

Collaboration by Design: Engaging Deeply for Better Business Outcomes

An EPIC Talk with NATALIE HANSON, Principal/Partner, ZS Approx 71 minutes Overview A critical part of our work in the social sciences and design is to conduct activities and create artifacts that bring together the varying perspectives on the team; the shared goal is to deliver the best possible business outcome. Yet, the pressured facing…