The EPIC2019 program schedule will be released in April.

EPIC conference programming offers diverse formats for sharing and learning. Through formal presentations, interactive sessions, and informal networking opportunities, attendees access global expertise, gain new skills, and make the invaluable connections that have transformed EPIC into an essential, year-round community. Like ethnographers in the field, conference attendees have opportunities to dig into their own areas of interest as well as be inspired or challenged by unexpected people, practices, and ideas.

Attendees come from a diverse range of fields, professional positions, and organizations. Presenters range from executives to master practitioners to university faculty or graduate students making key advances in research. We are committed to the view that we are constantly learning and improving the ways that we achieve innovation and inform business strategy in a constantly changing world.

You can explore 13 years of conference proceedings in our open-access library, as well as over 200 videos on demand.


Conference chairs invite keynote speakers who will inspire and provoke us with new perspectives. Luminaries from diverse fields and engaged us—from ethnographers and business executives to artists and journalists. Some keynotes address core issues we face in our work every day; some are encounters with different ways of seeing and being in our world.


In thematic sessions, members of the EPIC community present work selected through a highly competitive review process. Anyone may submit a proposal to present during our open Call for Participation. Sessions are open to all conference attendees and include presentations in four different formats: Case Studies, Papers, PechaKucha, and Film.

Case Studies

Case Studies are real-world examples of how ethnographic approaches are used to address a specific product, service, project, or organizational issues, with concrete outcomes and lessons. Cases may come from business, non-profit, or public sector contexts, and include success stories as well as challenges and failures that hold important lessons for our work. Case Studies are both presented and written as original, full-length articles that you can read in our library. 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 both presented and written as original, full-length articles that you can read in our library. 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 their creators explore the many creative ways ethnographic practitioners have used moving images to interpret data, share insights, and tell the stories of their work. The session allows plenty of time for audience questions.


In breakout discussions we like to call Salons, smaller groups of attendees gather with an inspiring host to wrestle with core topics. Pre-registration is required—attendees have the opportunity to sign up as part of the main conference registration process. Brief readings are sometimes assigned.


These mini-courses, taught by experts in our community, offer opportunities to expand their knowledge, skills, and techniques. Formats range from lecture and demonstration to hands-on exercises and activities. Tutorials require pre-registration—attendees have the opportunity to sign up as part of the main conference registration process. Brief reading or prep is generally required. No tutorial registration is available on site. EPIC Members can access videos of the presentation portion of selected tutorials on demand.


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 (included in registration fee), and coffee breaks are excellent times to mingle in a relaxed environment. EPIC Ambassadors circulate throughout the conference (look for their stickers) to assist you if you have questions, need help making connections, or just want to chat with someone fascinating.


The Gallery will display a diverse array of installations—from research artifacts, prototypes, data visualizations, or cultural probes, to critical making pieces that raise ethnographic questions.


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. Application