Advancing the Value of Ethnography

New EPIC Board President


EPIC welcomes Simon Roberts as our new Board President! Simon is Co-founder and Partner at Stripe Partners, a strategy and innovation consultancy based in London. He has been a committed member of the EPIC community since our first conference in 2005, and he co-chaired EPIC2012 and EPIC2013. He recently published The Power of Not Thinking, and has contributed many EPIC articles and presentation.

Simon RobertsI’m delighted and honoured to step into the role of EPIC board president, and I want to start by acknowledging our outgoing president Maria Bezaitis. During her tenure Maria led EPIC beyond our original mission to convene an annual conference. Her vision and dedication catalyzed a vibrant membership organisation that now offers year-round learning, professional resources, and a true sense of community.

This is a time of significant upheaval and pain on many fronts around the globe. COVID-19 is disrupting the ways we work, think, and organize our lives. #BlackLivesMatter is shining light on the deep structures of white supremacy, demanding change at every scale. How will we respond?

Under Maria’s leadership the EPIC Board stated, “we are obligated professionally to connect these dots and to speak clearly and rigorously about the ways in which businesses, product categories, and existing strategies…frequently introduce or perpetuate reductions, exclusions, and repressions.” Our board, staff, and community can do more to meet this obligation.

I am joining the board during what is also an unusual year for EPIC—the 15th anniversary of our annual conference will be a virtual event. Although we will miss the opportunity to get together face-to-face, this is a fantastic opportunity to advance many of EPIC’s priorities: becoming more robustly global, facilitating more peer-to-peer interactions, expanding access, and developing new ways to learn together. The EPIC2020 Conference Chairs and program committees are doing amazing work and soon we will announce details about the exciting international experience they’re creating.

I fervently believe that the crises we currently face represent opportunities for inclusive growth and the imperative for us to focus on positive impacts in our communities. I’m hugely looking forward to working with EPIC people around the world to make this happen. Please reach out to me at any time:

Simon Roberts, President, EPIC Board