Little Dramas Everywhere: Using Ethnography to Anticipate the Future

J.A. ENGLISH-LUECK San Jose State University SAM LADNER Workday, Inc. JAMIE SHERMAN Netflix Inc. In this article, the chairs of EPIC2021 reflect on the idea of Anticipation, and what ethnography reveals to us that may not be readily apparent through other means. Looking backward at the year of planning a conference that was to be focused on the future, the authors describe various revelations that unfolded and revealed themselves over the course of time. They raise questions of method, of epistemological position, and ethical responsibility. The authors conclude that anticipation is very much an ethnographic activity, one in which we can ask difficult questions about power and practice. Article citation: 2021 EPIC Proceedings pp 7–14, ISSN 1559-8918,

Come to Your Senses: Ethnography of the Everyday Futuring

JANA JEVTIC Gemic REBEKAH PARK Gemic Our practices of research, design, and strategy create landscapes of possibility. Anticipation, an approach that has informed much of the recent ethnographic work on the future, is shaped by how these symbolic and material landscapes, and the forms of agency they make possible, are distributed. This makes anticipation politically significant, prompting an empirical question of when and with respect to whose experience broader future visions occur. Seeking to bring attention to processes of future-making that capture these disparities, we ground anticipation in lived experience. Drawing on two long-term fieldworks, we recognize significant variability in how the future manifests in the course of practical and reflective engagements in everyday life. To explore these engagements, we turn to “future senses” of memory, foresight, voice, optimism, and yearning. We then demonstrate how “future senses” can be productively integrated within conversations about advancing not only more diverse...

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…

Best Laid Plans…An Ethnographic Approach to Foresight

by STEWART ALLEN, MindSpark With an ethnographic lens on foresight and planning, we can see how futures unfold through people's daily journeys of anticipation and improvisation. What is Foresight? Foresight is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of methodologies and approaches for considering and preparing for possible and probable futures in order to help inform present and future courses of action. Today, it is an important and widely deployed practice that has developed in a variety of fields, from public policy such as state and town planning, to technology and R&D, and more recently strategic and financial approaches in business fields to help ensure the long-term survival and success of companies. Many of the approaches that come under the umbrella of foresight blend into one another. The majority of approaches to foresight typically employ pre-defined categories in their analysis – identifying trends in the social, technological, economic, and political spheres and extrapolating these using various...