Work/Life in the Pandemic: Strategies and Support

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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 remote collaboration; companies and organizations are scrambling to create policies, procedures, product strategies, and financial forecasts at a time of radical uncertainty. And all of this is likely taking place in kitchens and bedrooms, where we're simultaneously partners, parents, friends, children, care givers, neighbors, and citizens.

In this gathering EPIC people will share strategies and resources for this time of massive disruption and anxiety. First, a panel of members from various countries will describe their approaches to leading their projects, teams, and organizations. Then, the session will shift into Q&A and open discussion, a time for all of us to share, learn from each other, and generate new ideas and initiatives for collective action. As a community, how can we use our talents of empathy, curiosity, resilience, tenacity, and sociality as we navigate uncertain futures?

You are welcome as you are and wherever you are.

After reviewing the video of this session for sensitive comments, we plan to post the video publicly, as well as as list of shared resources.


Nichole Carelock is the Principal User Experience Researcher at Ad Hoc LLC, where she works in remotely on Civic-Tech large scale digital transformation. She holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from Rice University.

Martha Cotton is a Managing Director at Fjord/Accenture Digital, where she is responsible for developing the design research practice for Fjord globally. She is also Secretary of the EPIC Board.

Tamara Hale (she/her, they/them) is the Research Strategy Manager at Workday, where she leads the Research Community and Research Operations across Workday’s suite of enterprise software products; and a Co-Organizer of Flatirons LGBTQ Tech.

Glaucia Holzmann is the owner of GHz Research Fieldwork in Brazil, offering local support to global companies for ethnographic, qualitative, design and innovation research projects.

Benson Low is the User Experience Research Manager at REA Group in Melbourne, Australia, and a Board Member of the ResearchOps community.

Olive Minor is a UX Researcher who holds a PhD and MPH in cultural anthropology and public health. She was part of an Ebola response team in West Africa and has worked in international health and technology.

John Payne Head of Service Design at Verizon. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Public Policy Lab and has chaired EPIC and IxDA annual conferences.

Simon Roberts is Co-founder and Partner at Stripe Partners, a strategy and innovation consultancy based in London. He co-chaired EPIC2012 and EPIC2013, and is author of The Power of Not Thinking.

Mark Vanderbeeken is CEO and Founding Partner of Experientia, an international UX research and service design agency with offices in Switzerland, Italy, and Singapore.