Getting the Most out of EPIC2018

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September 20, 2018, 10:00am–11:30pm PST

To watch the video recording of this event: or


Aloha! In anticipation of the most epic-ly big EPIC ever, Martha Cotton (EPIC Board Secretary and Group Design Research Director at Fjord) plus three EPIC veterans come together to prepare conference attendees for getting the most out of their EPIC experience. Please join if you are new(ish) to EPIC, or if you just want to learn more about the conference. We will cover topics such as: a bit of EPIC history, overview of the 2018 program, insight into how the program is shaped, networking events, new things we are trying this year, and how we are hoping to make EPIC a great experience for new members. Ample time for Q&A as well! This session will be recorded for EPIC2018 attendees who are unable to join.


Martha Cotton is Group Design Director at Fjord/Accenture Digital, where she is responsible for developing the design research practice for North America. Previously she was a Partner at gravitytank, where she led the research discipline and external marketing efforts. Her career began at eLab in 1990s and has included leadership roles at Sapient, Hall & Partners, and HLB, working across a wide variety of industries as an applied ethnographer and business consultant with clients ranging from General Mills to General Motors, SCJ to J&J, and Fidelity Investments to the U.S. Department of Security. Currently Martha is also adjunct faculty at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering, where she developed and teaches the Design Research curriculum for the MMM graduate program. She's a former co-chair of EPIC and current Secretary of the EPIC Board, and author of "The Sustaining Impact of Anthropology in Business" in the Handbook of Anthropology and Business.

Rogerio De Paula a Senior Research Scientist at IBM Research Brazil and Manager of the Visual Analytics & Insights Research Group. He also leads the healthcare research strategy in Brazil. Rogerio's main research interest is in the intersection of AI and human machine interaction. His current focus is on leading research efforts to develop advanced AI and visual analytics techniques for image and document understanding across different industries, such as, natural resources and healthcare. He has more than 50 articles published in international conferences and journals. Rogerio has been active on the program committees of several international conferences, such as ACM CHI, ACM CSCW, ECSCW, and was co-chair of EPIC2015. Read his important EPIC papers here. Rogerio holds a PhD in computer science and cognitive sciences from University of Colorado Boulder.

Abbas Jaffer is a User Researcher at Facebook focusing on political ads transparency and a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at Harvard University. Before that, he spent 5 years as research consultant for verticals including financial services and telecom in addition to completing a Masters at Harvard Divinity School. He has conducted ethnographic work on four continents, with participants ranging from toddlers to corporate presidents. He lives in San Francisco and has been hooked on EPIC since first attending in São Paolo. 

Meg Kinney has built her reputation on delivering actionable insights and cultural context that inspires new products, new markets, and new growth. After years as an advertising agency executive, she recognized a critical truth: despite a surplus of data in business, there is a short supply of meaning and clarity about why people do the things they do. With her partner Hal Phillips she founded Bad Babysitter, a research and consulting boutique specializing in video-based ethnography that helps clients pair hard data with a human-centered ethos to create brand value and growth. Four years ago, they found themselves weary of conferences that lacked substance or avoided necessary debate. Meg and Hal were seeking a professional community that would challenge them to grow while embracing their multi-disciplinary approach. Late one night, they stumbled across the EPIC website and Bad Babysitter found their people!