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Upcoming events, conferences, talks, & seminars.

Massively EPIC 2013! Your Contributions Wanted, March 9th!

Simon Roberts Editor’s Note: One of the reasons we started Ethnography Matters was to bring ethnography to a wider audience. Before Ethnography Matters, the founders of EPIC  @epiconference had a similar goal: to give ethnographers outside of academia a space to build community, to share best practices, and to educate the industry about the value of human driven research. EPIC has been, and continues to be, a critical space for ethnographers working in the industry. We are very excited to announce that Ethnography Matters and EPIC will be collaborating this year to bring you closer to the amazing organizers, papers, workshops, and conversations in the lead up to and after the conference. 

In a special guest contribution from co-organizer of EPIC13 (and EPIC12), Simon Roberts from ReD Associates tells us about the exciting things to expect from this year’s conference. He tells us about the massively radical decision to make EPIC13  a no theme year! No theme conferences are quite radical in the conference world, especially considering that EPIC has always had a theme since it started in 2005. This will be the first of many posts from the awesome organizing team behind EPIC13.

Simon Roberts @ideasbazaar is a well known anthropologist with a long history of working with a diverse group of clients. He is currently a consultant at ReD Associates, an innovation and strategy consultancy. In 2002 he founded Ideas Bazaar,  UK’s first ethnographic research company and in 2006 he moved to Intel to develop an R&D lab focused on ageing and healthcare. 

Check out past posts from guest bloggers! Join our email groups for ongoing conversations. Follow us on twitter and facebook

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To theme or not to theme
EPIC, the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, is “the premier international gathering on the current and future practice of ethnography in the business world.” That’s the headline, the formal statement of intent.

But to my mind, Bruce Sterling, in his keynote at EPIC 2011, put it well when he said that EPIC is a big tent. It’s a tent under which a diverse group of people gather each year – people with odd titles and jobs which they can’t explain to their mothers, and a shared belief in the importance of applying ethnographically derived knowledge to the world of business.

Under the big tent of EPIC each year come together an array of professional committed to putting people at the heart of business decision making. In this respect, we hope that EPIC 2013 in London will be no different. However, in 2013 we are making at least one change which may stretch that canvas a little more than in past years.

EPIC Calling
This year’s call for contributions (for Papers, Pecha Kuchas and Artifacts) has no theme.

Over the years organizers have framed the conference around meaty ideas and concepts and expected would-be authors or presenters to respond to that theme. Read More…

Renewing Ethnography: Exploring The Role of Applied Ethnography At EPIC 2012 [guest contributor]

Editor’s note: This month’s guest contributor, John Payne, is also the co-chair of EPIC 2012, an annual conference for ethnographers working in  industry. Below, John shares with us some of the highlights for this year’s conference, like guest speakers and panels. We’ll be hearing more from John about history of ethnography as a method in design.  In the meantime, it’s not too late to register for EPIC!

If you are attending EPIC in Savannah, we would love to feature your notes and experience! 

And do read over John Payne’s insightful 3-part series post in this month’s edition of Ethnography Matters: Teaching Ethnography For User Experience: A Workshop On Occupy Wall Street.  -Tricia

Check out past guest bloggers. Ethnography Matters is always lining up guest contributors, we would love to feature your work! Send us an email!

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After several years of economic recession, a year of political ferment and the rise of the global Occupy movement, it is hard not to conclude that renewal is part of the zeitgeist of our times. This opens up an important question for those who practice applied ethnography: What’s our role in renewal and how and why might we renew ourselves?

This year, EPIC (The Ethnographic Praxis In Industry Conference) takes on the ambitious topic of Renewal, renewal of economies, of society, of business and of the practice of ethnography itself. What are our responses when calls for renewal are made inside and outside of the organizations in which we live and work? Are we agents of renewal or do we have a role to play challenging such agendas? We invite you to join us and a few hundred of your peers in ethnographic practice this October 14th -17th at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA for the 8th annual gathering of EPIC to discuss these, and other critical questions.

Our program includes three-and-a-half days of presentations of peer-reviewed papers, short and ‘to the point’ Pecha Kucha presentations, workshops to expand and share your skills, and an artifact installation (an expansion of our posters category). Recognizing that the value of events like this are truly realized through informal conversation, we have designed in spaces and times for reflection, conversation and dialogue with our presenters.

In addition, we welcome an invited panel on the intersection of ethnography and design, and our two Keynote speakers, Emily Pilloton, 2009 Pop Tech Social Innovation Fellow and founder of non-profit design firm Project H Design, and Philip Delves Broughton, journalist and bestselling author of The Art Of The Sale: Learning From The Masters About The Business of Life.

Rounding out the program are our social activities. We are lucky enough to have an exhibition, on loan from AIGA, of posters from Occupy Wall Street and a series of Local Pursuits to facilitate direct engagement with some of the cultural and economic organizations who contribute directly to the ongoing renewal of Savannah itself. Each Local Pursuit sets attendees out into Savannah on an adventure to discover aspects of it’s 279-year history-it’s exemplary but sometimes troubled relationship with preservation and renewal. We are lucky to be in Savannah this year as it offers a unique context in which to explore and reflect on the conference theme.

Intrigued? Well the countdown to the conference is on and it’s time to register – do it now to take advantage of our ‘early bird’ rate of $299. We hope to see you there.

John Payne
Simon Roberts
EPIC Co-Chairs

For further information, check out EPIC on the web:

IDEO.org Opens 2012-2013 Call for Fellows

IDEO is opening it’s call for fellows at Ideo.org. This seems like a great opportunity for ethnographers to apply!

IDEO.org has issued its second annual call for fellows to serve as “innovators in residence.” The 2013 class of fellows will follow eight diverse fellows, currently part of the nonprofit start-up’s inaugural year. Those eight were selected from an applicant pool in 2011 of over 400. Phase 1 applications for the 2012-2013 fellowship year are due Friday, December 9, 2011; select candidates will be invited to participate in a more in-depth round of reviews, followed by interviews.

The IDEO.org Fellowship Program enables future global leaders from the design, business, and social sectors to spend one year working with experienced IDEO designers to address poverty-related challenges using the tools of human-centered design. Over a 12-month period, Fellows will deliver solutions for non-profits, social enterprises, and foundations on an array of topics, such as: agriculture, gender equity, financial services, health, water, and sanitation.

Click here to learn more about IDEO.org and its fellowship program.