The graphic documentation above is the result of the salon “Ethno-Futures” hosted during the EPIC 2017 in Montreal, Canada.
///The key learnings from the session:
/// About EPIC and the salons
EPIC (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference) is the premier international gathering on ethnography in the business world. A community of practitioners who work to ensure that innovation, strategies, processes and products address business opportunities that are anchored in what matters to people in their everyday lives. Drawing on tools and resources from the social sciences and humanities as well as Design Thinking, Agile, Lean Start-up and other approaches to realize value for organizations from understanding people and their practices. Our diverse attendees come from every industry, including Fortune-500 companies, the world’s top technology firms, management consultancies and design studios, universities and NGOs, public policy organizations and think tanks. EPIC people also come together year-round on epicpeople.org to learn, share resources, create knowledge, and expand opportunities.
/// About salons
Among the most popular programming at EPIC conference is Salons. Conference attendees gather in a small group with inspiring hosts for lively, candid discussion of pressing topics. Salons create a horizontal space for interaction, exploration, and experimentation around a provocation statement and instigating readings. For the Ethno-Futures salon the provocation was:
Ethnographic work in the business environment is always concerned with the future. We often study how a particular technology or service might fit into people’s lives as those lives change. Social practices and memes move from local to regional to global, creating new narratives and norms that affect customers and corporate operations. Or we seek to understand emerging user needs for future products, some of which may take years to develop. Over the past decade, ethnographic researchers have slowly begun to engage with scholars and practitioners of futures studies, speculative design, and design fiction. This salon will explore how ethnographers can look forward, studying practices that don’t yet exist, and how organizational strategists can integrate more human-centered approaches into their planning. The practice of ethnography plays a vital role in keeping future possibilities open. Salon participants will discuss:
Forlano, Laura, “Ethnographies from the Future: What can ethnographers learn from science fiction and speculative design?”Ethnography Matters, September 26.
Gorbis, Marina, “The Future as a Way of Life: Alvin Toffler’s Unfinished Business.”
Lindley, Joseph, Dhruv Sharma, Robert Potts “Anticipatory Ethnography: Design Fiction as an Input to Design Ethnography.” 2014 EPIC Proceedings
Salon curator: Simon Pulman-Jones from GfK SE
Salon hosts: Miriam Avery from Mozilla Foundation
Lyn Jeffery from IFTF
Fernando Galdino from GfK Verein
Graphic documentation: Alina Gutierrez Mejia from Visual Versa