Since its inception, the EPIC conference has brought together a dynamic community of practitioners and scholars concerned with how ethnographic thinking and methods for understanding the contemporary social world are used to transform design, business and innovation contexts. Presenters and attendees come from innovation consultancies, design firms, universities and design schools, government and NGOs, research agencies and major corporations.
In 2013, EPIC comes to London for the first time. The dates are 15-18 September. The organizers are taking advantage of this opportunity by reaching out for contributions from a broad range of organizations and communities of practice in the hope of further enriching the EPIC ‘gene pool’ with those dedicated to illuminating social phenomena through ethnographic theory and practice. They are seeking engagement with social design firms, public policy developers, think tanks, the variety of marketing sciences, business schools, the service design sector, in fact anyone using ethnographic research to inform design, business, or innovation.
EPIC strives to serve as the premier site for deepening the contributions of ethnographic theory and practice in business and for maintaining a vibrant discussion about the significance of this work for industry and the world. In 2013, they break from the tradition of having a specific conference theme to refocus on how ethnographic ways of knowing the world are currently being used to transform it.
In 2013 they’re particularly interested in submissions of original research and material that address how ethnographic work is being thought about and practiced in the contemporary world. This may take the form of various theories made relevant and useful today, present discussions on technology such as Big Data, and the future of various public sectors which are in a state of transition.
In particular they seek submissions that illuminate:
- how ethnographers are pushing the boundaries of theory from the social sciences and humanities (i.e., rituals, symbolic interpretation, gift-exchange, kinship, participation, access and agency, etc.), to interpret, understand and render contemporary practices and processes intelligible
- the phenomenon of Big Data and the use of technology to support ethnographic data collection, organization and analysis
- how ethnographic research and social science thinking inform sectors in transition, such as finance, education and energy
– Papers and PechaKucha: 9 March 2013
– Artifacts: 9 April 2013
– Doctoral and Masters Colloquium: 11 May 2013