Tuesday,

October 12

9:00-10:00 am

Terra Tour
We’ll help you navigate our virtual conference home Terra, give you some tips for getting the most out of EPIC2021, answer your questions, and kick off some networking.
10:00-12:00 pm

Tutorials

Research for Accessible and Inclusive Design
Instructors: Greg Weinstein (Senior Accessibility Designer, CVS) & Erica McCoy (Senior Accessibility Designer, CVS)

Learn tools and strategies for integrating people with disabilities into your research and driving inclusive design.
*Pre-registration required

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Championing Qualitative Research: Replacing Quantitative Bias with Qualitative Value
Instructor: Jenny Gove (Global Head of UX Research and Content Strategy, Google Pay and Payments)

Learn to identify “quantitative bias” so you can practice and communicate about qualitative research according to its unique value.
*Pre-registration required

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Designing Ethnofutures Research Projects
Instructors: Rod Falcon, Lyn Jeffery & Vanessa Mason, Institute for the Future

Learn how to design ethnofutures projects and expand the time horizons of your work.

*Pre-registration required
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Ethnographic Video: Storytelling for Impact (Part 1)
Instructors: Charley Scull (UX Researcher, Facebook), Nick Agafonoff (Director, Real Ethnography) & Prabhas Pokharel (CEO, Reduct)
(10:00am–12:00pm)

An end-to-end approach to scoping, planing, shooting, editing and sharing video ethnography projects.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

10:00-11:00 am

Meet & Greet with EPIC Board & Staff

6:00-9:00 pm

Tutorial

Frameworks and Foundations for Team Development
Instructor: Molly Stevens, Director of UX Research, Booking.com

Develop a strategy for cultivating a successful research team and and growing yourself as a leader.
*Pre-registration required

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Wednesday,

October 13

9:00-12:00 pm

Tutorials

Integrating Sustainability in Ethnography & Design
Instructor: Mike Youngblood (The Youngblood Group)

Learn how to put sustainability principles into research practice and make the case for sustainability with stakeholders, clients, and organizations.
*Pre-registration required

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A Practical Approach to Multi-Dimensional Ethnography: Using Paco, a Behavioral Research Platform

Instructors: Julia Haines (Senior User Experience Researcher, Google) & Bob Evans (Senior Software Engineer, Google)

Learn to open-source research platform using sensors and logs, surveys, experience sampling, triggers, and prompts.
*Pre-registration required

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Using Analogs to Research the Unknown
Instructor: Jo Aiken (Google)

Learn strategies for designing practical research of inaccessible or future environments.
*Pre-registration required

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Thursday,

October 14

9:00-10:00 am

Networking

Speed Networking
Jump into EPIC2021 with a set of new connections to build on. A round-robin of fun, bite-sized moments offers just enough structure to spark relationships across the EPIC community.

Thanks to dscout for supporting this session.
Learn about EPIC2021 sponsors.

10:00-11:00 am

Sponsored Panel

Feedback Fatigue: Re-designing the Research Process for Sustainable Insights

Presented by Atlassian

Panelists:
Leisa Reichelt, Head of Research & Service Experience, Atlassian
Caitlin McCurrie, Lead Researcher, Atlassian
Cara Maritz, Researcher, Atlassian
Jake Moody, Research Senior Team Lead, Atlassian
Biro Florin, Founder & CEO, Jexo

With nearly 6,000 Atlassians, achieving customer-centricity that’s meaningful, sustainable, and respectful of people’s attention can be a challenge. Standard approaches and tools can overwhelm populations and lead to “Feedback Fatigue,” particularly in small populations of users. To solve this, we’ve made opportunistic use of the tools and mechanisms for engagement that we have immediately around us: we use Confluence for diary studies, Jira Service Management as an intercept, and we triangulate with feedback captured by our customer-facing collaborators.

In this panel, moderated by Head of Research & Service Experience, Leisa Reichelt, Atlassian researchers and a member of our customer community will discuss how iterating our methods and ways of working helped our product teams achieve customer-centricity without our customers feeling the toll of “feedback fatigue.” We’re looking forward to a lively conversation with our panelists and attendees about the relationships we want to build and process for gathering insights as we co-create the future.

More Info

11:00-12:00 pm

Sponsored Panel

Eyes on Tomorrow: How Pathfinders Help Facebook See beyond the Horizon

Presented by Facebook

Panelists:
Jay Hasbrouck (moderator), Pathfinder—New Product Experimentation, Facebook
Heather Patterson, Responsible Innovation Manager, Facebook
Jamie Kimmel, Researcher, Instagram Labs

Pathfinders and foresight strategists help Facebook understand how cultures and communities evolve so our teams can create products that meet future needs. Thinking beyond the current moment, pathfinders and foresight strategists provide insight that reduces potential risk and helps build toward promising opportunities. Although people in these roles come from different backgrounds, they all share characteristics that are quite familiar to ethnographers: a propensity to think holistically, an appreciation of evolutionary patterns, and the ability to situate insights within large, complex systems. Attendees will learn how pathfinders and foresight strategists apply these qualities to their work at Facebook, as well as how attendees might apply pathfinding approaches to their own work.

More Info

6:00-7:00 pm

Sponsored Panel (Repeated)

Feedback Fatigue: Re-designing the Research Process for Sustainable Insights

Presented by Atlassian

Panelists:
Leisa Reichelt, Head of Research & Service Experience, Atlassian
Caitlin McCurrie, Lead Researcher, Atlassian
Cara Maritz, Researcher, Atlassian
Jake Moody, Research Senior Team Lead, Atlassian
Biro Florin, Founder & CEO, Jexo

With nearly 6,000 Atlassians, achieving customer-centricity that’s meaningful, sustainable, and respectful of people’s attention can be a challenge. Standard approaches and tools can overwhelm populations and lead to “Feedback Fatigue,” particularly in small populations of users. To solve this, we’ve made opportunistic use of the tools and mechanisms for engagement that we have immediately around us: we use Confluence for diary studies, Jira Service Management as an intercept, and we triangulate with feedback captured by our customer-facing collaborators.

In this panel, moderated by Head of Research & Service Experience, Leisa Reichelt, Atlassian researchers and a member of our customer community will discuss how iterating our methods and ways of working helped our product teams achieve customer-centricity without our customers feeling the toll of “feedback fatigue.” We’re looking forward to a lively conversation with our panelists and attendees about the relationships we want to build and process for gathering insights as we co-create the future.

More Info

Friday,

October 15

9:00-10:00 am

Networking

Navigating Our Ethnographic Journeys
verizon logo
As we “skill up” in tutorials this week, this fun networking session focuses on sharing stories as different kind of professional development. Doing ethnography requires intention, rigor, resilience, improvisation, creativity, and straight-up serendipity. We’ll share some of the triumphant, humbling, and humorous moments that shape our professional journeys as much as formal skills.

Thanks to Verizon for supporting this session.
Learn about EPIC2021 sponsors.

10:00-12:00 pm

Tutorial

Ethnographic Video: Storytelling for Impact (Part 2)
Instructors: Charley Scull (UX Researcher, Facebook), Nick Agafonoff (Director, Real Ethnography) & Prabhas Pokharel (CEO, Reduct)

An end-to-end approach to scoping, planing, shooting, editing and sharing video ethnography projects.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

Tuesday,

October 19

10:00-11:00 am

Conference Kickoff

EPIC2021 Co-chairs Jan English-Lueck, Sam Ladner, and Jamie Sherman launch the main program! Dig into key themes that will unfold over the next three days and meet up with attendees from North and South America and Asia Pacific.
6:00-7:00 pm

Papers Session

Methods of the Future

This session examines how we leverage the natively digital spaces where our participants live, work, and play. The authors look at these systems with a critical, informed eye on the context, and on ourselves, to offer methodological innovations that maintain ethnographic integrity.

Building Target Worlds
Markus Rothmüller, Bridgemaker GmbH

Anticipating Future (UX) Design Practice
Mette Kjærsgaard, Institute for Design and Communication
Jacob Buur, University of Southern Denmark
Wafa Said Mosleh, Danske Bank

Feature versus Future: Anticipating Musical Futures in an Online Present
Iveta Hajdakova, Stripe Partners

7:00-8:00 pm

Keynote: Sarah Ellis

The Future of Audiences and Mixed Reality Performances
Sarah Ellis is an award-winning producer currently working as Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Sarah is a fellow of the University of Worcester for her work in arts and technology, has been listed in the 100 most influential people working in Gaming and Technology, and was awarded The Hospital Club & Creatives Industries award for cross industry collaboration. She is an Industry Champion for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, which helps inform academic research on the creative industries. She has been appointed Chair of digital agency, The Space, established by Arts Council England and the BBC.

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8:00-9:00 pm

Networking

Mingle with Oozma
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Pacific regions.

Wednesday,

October 20

9:00-10:00 am

PechaKucha Session

Alternative Methods

What does it mean to use creative methods in our research? From which techniques and toolboxes do we begin, if we want to anticipate the toolbox for our future practice? How can we incorporate alternative methods, paying attention to feelings as well as facts? In this session, authors become bricoleurs who put their assumptions about knowledge creation on hold in order to explore a range of unexpected sources.

Our Advocacy Practice for Their Change

Amanda Rosenberg, Workday

Intuition: Thinking through Loopholes

Laura Reiss, Independent

Reconfiguring Home: Seeing Remote Work and School through Mothers and Their Children
Chloe Chang & Vinay Kumar Mysore

10:00-11:00 am

Case Studies Session

Anticipating Civic Needs and Skills

COVID-19 was a catalyst for rethinking the future of workers and public service providers. Across countries and contexts, researchers needed to understand the changing landscape of labor. These case studies demonstrate how researchers have anticipated new worker realities.

Anticipating Needs: How Trauma-Informed Research During COVID-19 Changed Our Everyday Work
Meredith Hitchcock, Airbnb
Sadhika Johnson, Airbnb

Human Skills as Essential Skills: Preparing Low-Skilled Job Seekers for Inclusion in the Future Economy
Minnar Xie, Blueprint
Ebony Bertorelli, Blueprint

Reconnecting with the Public
Lok Yi Lee, Brandnographer
Lyra Jiang, Brandnographer

11:00-12:00 pm

Networking

Mingle with Urras-Anarres
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Asia Pacific and North and South America.
6:00-7:00 pm

Panel

Catching up to the Present to Reimagine the Future

Afra Chen, Moderator (Research Director, Inner Chapter)
Chuma Anagbado (Managing Partner & Co-founder, Aziza Design)
Natascha Nanji (Writer and Creator)
Rasa Šmite (Founder, RIXC Art Science & Culture Center)
Raitis Šmits (Founder, RIXC Art Science & Culture Center)

In the age of pandemics and climate crises, reality is represented via varied narratives on health, politics, and the environment across different cultural and social contexts. As artists, designers, and ethnographers practicing the art of narration within different specialties and contexts, this panel aims to showcase how creative professionals re-organize their methods, practices, relationships, and lives in the face of present circumstances. Panelists will share how art and design can help us reflect upon the present and address any future challenges.

More Info

7:00-8:00 pm

Networking

Mingle with Oomza
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Europe, Africa, Asia & Pacific regions.
8:00-9:00 pm

PechaKucha Session

Framing Devices

These presentations share a productive commitment to storytelling as a way to address what is uncertain or even risky. They dig deep into the ways that stories—and critically, the way stories are told—can have great bearing on how we anticipate and create futures.

Change the Category, Change the World
Jennie Leng, Independent

Who Deserves to Be Observed? Wrestling with the Avant-Garde
Letizia Nardi, InProcess
Lola Billaud, InProcess

Anticipating Shared Futures: Emotion, Connection & Relationships
Sarah Heffernan, Deloitte Digital

Thursday,

October 21

9:00-10:00 am

Papers Session

Ownership of Ideas

A digitally connected world ostensibly signifies “progress” and “betterment”—but for whom exactly, and in what ways? In this session, we consider how ideas that lead to progress can be better situated within communities, and how anthropology  supports communities that originate ideas to continue to be stewards, even within the context of the instantaneous and digital sharing.

Weaving textile futures: Indigenous resistance and Intellectual Property
Amapola Rangel Flores, University of the Americas Puebla

Cities as anticipatory systems: analyzing “weak signals” to explore beyond the predictability of their future.
Nora Morales,UAM Cuajimalpa
Salomon Gonzalez, UAM Cuajimalpa

10:00-11:00 am

Keynote: Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas is Associate Professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She studies how people of color are portrayed—or not—in children’s and young adult literature, and how those portrayals shape our culture. As this literature continues to dominate publishing and Hollywood, she strongly believes that the field can become one of the most effective postcolonial, critical, and activist projects of all. Professor Thomas has been interviewed about her work in international media, including MSNBC, the BBC, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Chicago Tribune.

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11:00-12:00 pm

Panel

The Future of Business in a Post-COVID Landscape

Marc LaFleur, Moderator (Partner, Human Centered Design, Cognizant)
Devon Powers (Associate Professor, Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Temple University
Jacques Barcia (Research Fellow, Institute for the Future)
Jorge Camacho (Co-Founder, Diagonal)
Jennifer Lee Fuqua (Experience Design Director, Ogilvy)

Events of the 18 months have upended questions of the future and, for business, cast a new light on how it might better contemplate and plan for uncertainties. Covid has also opened up a new sense of potential when it comes to re-inventing or designing better or new futures for ourselves, providing a sense of agency and fluidity that had, until recently, seemed less tangible. This panel will engage in this dialogue with the future, particularly as it relates to the future of business and the ways in which business could contemplate, confront and shape the future.

More Info

6:00-7:00 pm

Papers Session

Communities

The emic position is an ethnographic tradition, fraught with contradictions of the multiple perspectives brought to bear on the interpretation of culture. Ethnographers in this session call upon us all to examine how ethnography can truly embrace the communities it watches. These authors show us that where and how the emic tradition can be brought forth, reinvented, and invigorated.

Reimagining Livelihoods: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Anticipation, Agency, and Reflexivity as India’s Impact Ecosystem Responds to Post-pandemic Rebuilding
Gitika Saksena, LagomWorks
Abhishek Mohanty, LagomWorks

Empowering Communities: Future-making through Citizen Ethnography
Sophie Goodman, Sophie Goodman Research
Monty Badami, Habitus

7:00-8:00 pm

Case Studies Session

Wellbeing in the Future

Retooling ethnographic inquiry during the pandemic, researchers worked with corporate, governmental, and community stakeholders to anticipate the future of hygiene and shape sensitive governmental crisis-response strategies.

The Future of Hygiene: Constructing Expansive Futures
Siddharth Kanoria, Quantum Consumer Solutions
Dimitri Berti, Quantum Consumer Solutions
Christi Kobierecka, Unilever

Anticipating the Unanticipated: Ethnography and Crisis Response in the Public Sector
Christina Cheadle, Stripe Partners
Hannah Pattinson, Surrey County Council

8:00-9:00 pm

Networking

Mingle with Oomza
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific Regions.

Friday,

October 22

9:00-10:00 am

Papers Session

Power & Publics

Future visions are products of their locations. But what if those visions are crafted at the periphery and not at the centre? This session decenters visioning, to explore futures from those often silenced, and to highlight ways of doing this decentering.

Come to Your Senses: Ethnography of the Everyday Futuring
Rebekah Park, Gemic
Jana Jevtic, Gemic

Futures in Things: Locating the Promise of Infrastructures in Public Libraries
Sandjar Kozubaev, Georgia Institute of Technology
Carl DiSalvo, Georgia Institute of Technology

10:00-11:00 am

Keynote: Jason Lewis

Creating Future Imaginaries through Indigenous AI
Jason Edward Lewis is University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary and Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University. His multidisciplinary research and creative practice has been central to developing Indigenous media art in North America and worldwide, establishing a vital conversation about the interaction between Indigenous culture and computational technology. His contributions comprise scholarly writing, art making and technology research, as well as his leadership of the Initiative for Indigenous Futures and his creation of the Indigenous Futures Research Centre. Lewis also spend a decade working in a range of industrial research settings, including Interval Research, US West’s Advanced Technology Group, and the Institute for Research on Learning, and the venture capital firm Arts Alliance.

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11:00-12:00 pm

Closing

EPIC2022—The Big Reveal!
EPIC2021 co-chairs close this year’s conference, and EPIC2022 co-chairs reveal our next location and theme.