EPIC2016 at the University of Minnesota was wonderful for all sorts of reasons—in particular, the hard work of our fabulous organizing team and the fact that our community is more diverse than ever. EPIC People are practitioners in technology, consumer product, work process and healthcare, working in industry as well as consulting. With backgrounds ranging from the social sciences and design to computer science, business and everything in between, you come to EPIC with tremendous interest to network and expand your awareness, skills and capabilities.
Today there are more options than ever for ethnographic work across industries and yet change remains at the heart of the EPIC community. Our job is not only to do research, but to get organizations to act on the knowledge that we create. Our collective project is about change for the simple reason that, as businesses work to create value through a range of levers (products, services, brands, R&D, M&A investments), deep understanding of people needs to keep up. We have an activist agenda because we engage with partners and business divisions that don’t understand business opportunities in terms of what is meaningful to people. This is our work.
It is in this context that EPIC formulates its aspirations for practitioners of ethnography. If our motto is to advance the value of ethnography in industry, we want to do so by enabling you who are doing the tedious and hard work of change to stand out in your home organizations, to work more effectively with partners, and to grow into new areas of value. At this year’s conference we worked with our organizing team to prototype a few new opportunities for attendees, including the pre-conference Business Strategy Series, Case Studies in the main program, and an expanded Tutorials program. We will continue to develop offerings that benefit businesses and organizations by enabling the people who make up our community.
On behalf of my colleagues on the Board, ken anderson and Alex Mack, thank you for attending the 2016 conference in Minnesota, which was a truly excellent event, and for supporting EPIC through your membership.
President, EPIC Board