EPIC conference programming offers diverse formats for sharing and learning. Through formal presentations, interactive sessions, and informal networking, attendees gain expertise, skills, and invaluable connections in our global community.

Like ethnographers in the field, conference attendees have opportunities to pursue their own areas of interest as well as be inspired or challenged by unexpected people, practices, and ideas. Our attendees are diverse, and this is our strength—we are constantly learning and improving the ways that we achieve innovation and inform business strategy in a constantly changing world.

Explore 14 years of open-access conference proceedings here.


In thematic sessions members of the EPIC community present work selected through a highly competitive review process. Presentations are open to all conference attendees, with time for audience questions and discussion. Formats include:


Keynote speakers are luminaries from diverse fields—from ethnographers and business executives to artists or journalists—who inspire and provoke us with new perspectives.

Case Studies

Case Studies show how ethnographic approaches have addressed specific product, service, or organizational issues, with concrete outcomes and lessons for practitioners. They are also published full-length as articles. Here’s a Case Study presented by Susan Faulkner (Intel):


Papers are deep dives that expand our knowledge base and advance our work at the intersection of theory and practice. They may address methodological and theoretical advances, emerging empirical domains, and evolving professional and strategic issues. Papers are also published full-length as articles. Here’s a Paper presented by Erin Taylor (Canela Consulting):


PechaKucha (peh-cha-ku-cha) presentations are visually engaging, narrative performances of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each. They give our community a space to explore unique issues and professional challenges in creative ways. PechaKucha presentations are available to EPIC Members in our video library. Here’s a PechaKucha presented by Paul Ratliff:


Film screenings and talks by film creators explore the many creative ways ethnographic practitioners have used moving images to interpret data, share insights, and tell the stories of their work.



In breakout discussions we call Salons, smaller groups of attendees gather with an inspiring host to wrestle with core topics. Pre-registration is required (EPIC2019 Salon registration opens in July). Brief readings are sometimes assigned.


These mini-courses, taught by experts in our community, offer opportunities to expand your knowledge, skills, and techniques. Formats range from lecture and demonstration to hands-on exercises and activities. Tutorials require pre-registration (EPIC2019 tutorials registration opens in July).  EPIC Members can access videos of the presentation portion of selected tutorials on demand.


The Gallery invites attendees to experience ethnography and ethnographic artifacts in new ways. It showcases diverse installations—from research artifacts, prototypes, data visualizations, or cultural probes, to critical making pieces that raise ethnographic questions. Read more about the Gallery here.


In this day-long forum, PhD and Masters students currently engaged in supervised thesis research meet to discuss their work and receive feedback from a panel of experienced EPIC researchers and practitioners. We welcome students from all disciplines, including social sciences, humanities, design, computer science and engineering, business, and other academic and professional schools.


Ethnographers know the value of informal and spontaneous interactions, and EPIC offers many opportunities to for attendees to connect outside of the formal program of presentations. Our Welcome Reception, daytime meals and coffee breaks (included in registration fee), and the conference dinner (additional fee) are excellent times to mingle in a relaxed environment. EPIC Ambassadors circulate throughout the conference to assist you if you have questions, need help making connections, or just want to chat with someone fascinating.