Monday,

October 11

4:00-5:00 pm

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.
5:00-7:00 pm

Tutorial

Research Recruitment: How to Find and Connect to Participants
Instructors: Joanna Beer, Cecilie Løvestam & Anna Lucas (Generation Focus)

Learn how to create and execute a recruitment plan, strategies for recruiting quality respondents, practices for engaging and motivating participants, and more.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

5:00-8:00 pm

Tutorial

From Research to Action: Leading Teams Through Synthesis
Instructors: Ksenia Pachikov (Principal, Field Studio) & Marta Cuciurean-Zapan (Design Director, IDEO)

Learn strategies and abductive methods for key challenges in the synthesis stage of research and design projects.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

Tuesday,

October 12

8:00-11:00 am

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

More Info

4:00-6:00 pm

Tutorial

Research Recruitment: How to Find and Connect to Participants
Instructors: Joanna Beer, Cecilie Løvestam & Anna Lucas (Generation Focus)

Learn how to create and execute a recruitment plan, strategies for recruiting quality respondents, practices for engaging and motivating participants, and more.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

5:00-8:00 pm

Tutorials

Leading with Care: How to Support the Mental Well-being of Your Team
Instructors: Shannon Lucas & Tracey Lovejoy, Co-CEOs, Catalyst Constellations

In this tutorial leaders and managers will develop care strategies and plans of action for supporting their teams, their people, and themselves.
*Pre-registration required

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Power Tools for Equity in Research & Design
Instructors: Chelsea Mauldin (Executive Director, Public Policy Lab) & Natalia Radywyl (Research Director, Public Policy Lab)

This tutorial gives you robust, actionable tools for navigating inequity through a project life cycle.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

Wednesday,

October 13

5:00-6:00 pm

Sponsored Panel

How New is the New? Reflecting on How to Design for Tomorrow through the Case of Autonomous Vehicles

Presented by Waymo

Panelists:
Megan Neese, Research Manager, Insights Team
Benedikt Fisher, Insights Researcher, Trucking
Melissa Cefkin, Insights Researcher & Lead, Driving Behavior and Tertiary Communications

How do we anticipate the futures of the things we are bringing into the world, and the experiences they will help shape? The autonomous vehicle is posited as a net-new innovation. Never before have vehicles without human drivers at the helm roamed the same streets that we traverse daily while on a jog or in a bleary-eyed morning search for a cuppa-joe. Someday soon(ish) you may hail a fully autonomous ride for a trip to the office or for the once-in-a-lifetime race to the hospital for the birth of a first born. What a fantastically new product and world this will be! Or will it? How much are innovators tweaking and updating the existing, instead of reinventing the new? Join us for a conversation between members of the Waymo Insights team and invited panelists to explore “how new is the new?” Following decades of imagination, development, and narratives of hope and futures, the autonomous vehicle presents the future product/concept par excellence for this conversation amongst social and human-centered researchers and designers! The Waymo Insights team is dedicated to critical, yet engaged thinking about the emergence of new technologies in general, and autonomous vehicles and the future of mobility in particular.

More Info

Thursday,

October 14

8:00-9:00 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

4:00-7:00 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

More Info

Ethnography for Project Risk Analysis and Quality Assurance
Instructor: Patricia Ensworth, Harborlight Management Services LLC & New York University

Learn the core vocabulary, concepts, and methods of project managers, risk managers, and quality assurance managers, and explore how they align with ethnographic practices and expertise.
*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
More Info

4:00-5:00 pm

Networking

360° Mentoring
Everyone has something to learn and something to offer. Share and receive wisdom of all sorts in this fun session designed to foster connection and reciprocity.

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

Friday,

October 15

4:00-7:00 pm

Tutorials

Business Thinking for Ethnographers
Instructors: Rebekah Park (Director of Strategy, Gemic), Abby Fifer Mandell (Professor of Entrepreneurship, USC Marshall School of Business), Louis Elton (Strategist, Gemic)

Learn concepts and mindsets of business culture to make your work more intelligible and influential.
*Pre-registration required

More Info

4:00-5:00 pm

Networking

EPIC Conversations

Co-create themes and threads to discuss during the conference, and connect to people who want to have those conversations with you.

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

5:00-6:00 pm

Meet & Greet with EPIC Board & Staff

Monday,

October 18

4:00-5:00 pm

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, Europe, Africa, and South and West Asia.

Tuesday,

October 19

8:00-9:00 am

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

9:00-10:00 am

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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10:00-11:00 am

Networking

Mingle with Kaze no Tani
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Pacific regions.
4:00-5:00 pm

Keynote: Panthea Lee

Exiting the Road to Hell: How We Reclaim Agency & Responsibility in Our Fights for Justice
Panthea Lee is a strategist, organizer, designer, and facilitator, and the Executive Director of Reboot. She is a pioneer in designing and guiding multi-stakeholder processes to address complex social challenges, with experience in 30+ countries with partners including UNDP, MacArthur Foundation, Luminate, CIVICUS, Wikimedia, Women’s Refugee Commission, and governments and civil society groups. Panthea began her career as a journalist, ethnographer, and cultural producer. She has been featured in Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, CNN, Fast Company, New York Times, MIT Innovation, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, and serves on the boards of The Laundromat Project, RSA US, Development Gateway, and People Powered: The Global Hub for Participatory Democracy.

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5:00-6:00 pm

Panel

Immersive Ethics: Anticipating Ethics in Virtual and Augmented Reality Research

headshots of panelists

Jillian Powers, Moderator (Responsible AI Lead, Cognizant)
Jordan Kraemer (Director, Policy & Research, Center for Technology & Society, Anti-Defamation League)
Arwa Michelle Mboya (Spatial Computing Product Designer, Magic Leap)
Jessica Outlaw (Research Director, The Extended Mind)

Immersive technologies create novel experiences of embodiment and reality, not to mention new sources of personal data. These facets create distinctive challenges for ethics, equity, and inclusion, intensifying the potential harms of misinformation, harassment, privacy violations, surveillance, or unequal access. How can researchers and designers develop an anticipatory vision for ethical VR/AR research and development? This panel brings together academic and industry voices to discuss frameworks for ethical tech, inclusion and accessibility in VR/AR, new research strategies for designing ethical VR/AR, and how to advocate for people-centered VR/AR applications across product design and research teams.

More Info

6:00-7:00 pm

Papers Session

Seeing New Futures

How do we innovate for the future without understanding the past? How do we simultaneously prevent the past from locking us into just reproducing what we’ve already experienced? The papers in this session span theory to practice, all in service of unleashing a better unknown, but through the structure of controlled methods.

Searching for the Next Billion
Jennifer Zamora, Google

Leveraging Speculative Design to Re-imagine Product Roadmaps
Sanya Attari, Facebook
Charley Scull, Facebook
Mahboobeh Harandi, Syracuse University

Anticipating Headwinds: Using Cultural Tacking and Narrative Navigation to Build an Inclusive Future
Kate Sieck, AgencyAgile

Wednesday,

October 20

8:00-9:00 am

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

9:00-10:00 am

Networking

Mingle with Kaze no Tani
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Europe, Africa, Asia & Pacific regions.
10:00-11:00 am

PechaKucha Session

Framing Devices

These PechaKucha 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

4:00-5:00 pm

Case Studies Session

Designing Emergent Products and Services

Ethnographers must use insights about the consumers of current products and services in order to anticipate future ones. In this session, researchers demonstrate how they do this such diverse contexts as immersive media, virtual primary care, and future vehicles.

Building for the Future, Together: A Model for Bringing Emerging Products to Market, Using Anticipatory Ethnography and Mixed Methods Research
Stefanie Hutka, Adobe, Inc.

Anticipating the Arrival of a Clean-Sensitive Driving Future
Annicka Campbell-Dollaghan, Rightpoint Consulting
Omer Tsimhoni General Motors
Edward Gundlach, General Motors
Camille Sharrow-Blaum, Rightpoint Consulting
Ashlynn Denny, Rightpoint Consulting

Designing Virtual Primary Health Care
Marie Mika, Grand Rounds, Inc.
Arvind Venkataramani, Sonic Rim

5:00-6:00 pm

Networking

Mingle with Urras-Anarres
A facilitated social event connects attendees in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and West and South Asia
6:00-7:00 pm

PechaKucha Session

Decentering the Human
These presentations call on us to think beyond the human-centered approaches that are now so well-received and much-loved. They offer alternative lenses on the whole environment—of which human are just a part—at a time when so much of the world is at stake.

Microbes that Matter
Carrie Yury, Fjord

On Being Well in a Time of Hell
Chloe Evans, Spotify
Camie Steinhoff, Spotify

Hands Are People Too: Reflections on the Value of Hands (and How to Study Them) from Ethnographic Research to Inform the Development of Haptic Technology
Maria Cury, RED Associate
Kahyun Sophie Kim, Facebook Reality Labs

Psychology: The Ballast in Anthropology’s Ship
Ben Doepke, IX

Thursday,

October 21

8:00-9:00 am

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

9:00-10:00 am

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

10:00-11:00 am

Networking

Mingle with Kaze no Tani
A facilitated social event connects attendees in Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific Regions.
4:00-5:00 pm

PechaKucha Session

Imagining Future Ways / Retrospective Futures

The PechaKuchas in this session go beyond peering into our futures—they unsettle long-standing truisms about what it means to be human, as bodies and beings in space and time. Presenters offer new and even experimental approaches to understanding what a future might look like when we reimagine bodies and senses.

Do Not Fear Mistakes
Katherine Metzo, Lowes

Ethnographic Fiction: Exploring Bio-technological Possibilities through a Retrospeculative Lens
Oshin Siao Bhatt, Design Academy Eindhoven

Holidays and the Anticipation of Ritual
Rob Murray, IBM

5:00-6:00 pm

Panel

Redesigning the Social Safety Net

panelist headshots

Nadine Levin, Moderator (Senior UX Researcher, San Francisco Digital Services)
Zahra Ebrahim  (CEO, Monumental)
Mithula Naik (Head of Design Research, Canadian Digital Service, Government of Canada)
Morgan G. Ames (Associate Director of Research, Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society, University of California, Berkeley

In the past two years, enormous and increasing inequality has been matched with a decreasing level of faith in public programs and institutions to provide quality health care and education—or even fair access elections. Systems designed for public good are often siloed and ineffective; policy and regulations affecting social safety net benefits are in flux. Using the tools of data, design, activism, technology, and innovation, these panelists have led an ethnography forward approach to reimagine these systems and move toward safety nets that work for all.

More Info

6:00-7:00 pm

Networking

Mingle with Urras-Anarres
A facilitated social event connects attendees in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and West and South Asia.

Friday,

October 22

2:00-3:00 pm

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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(To offer this keynote at reasonable time for attendees in Oomza, the presentation will be pre-recorded.)

3:00-4:00 pm

Closing

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