Committee Chair: Stokes Jones (Ricoh Innovations)

Papers showcase cutting edge work that emphasizes the interplay of theory and practice; expands our knowledge base of contexts and offers; and presents methodological advances. They are original writings and presentations chosen through a highly selective, double-blind peer review process managed by an independent Papers Committee. The extended text of all papers is published in the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings. EPIC offers free access to 11 years of proceedings, the leading global resource on ethnography in business.


Ethnography / Organizations & Change

Ethnography / Carnivalesque

Ethnography / Innovation

Ethnography / Emerging Consumers

Ethnography / Analytics

Tuesday, 11:30am–12:00pm & 1–2:00pm

Ethnography / Organizations & Change

Curated by Kate Sieck (RAND Corporation) & Laura McNamara (Sandia National Laboratories)

From Amazon.com and Volkswagen to city police departments, organizational cultures is in the headlines. As the discipline that specializes in the nuanced and contextual understanding of culture, ethnography offers a much-needed voice in these discussions. Papers in this session ask new questions and reframe the conversation around what is happening in organizations, as well as how to best address conflicts and seize opportunities.

Media, Mediation and the Curatorial Value of Professional Anthropologists
Michael G. Powell • Shook Kelley

Cultural Change Management in Organizations from Competing Perspectives: Creating Dialogues among Ethnography, Anthropology, and Management Science
Gladis Villegas • Universidad de Medellin & Allen Batteau • Wayne State University

Merging Institutional Logics and Negotiated Culture Lenses to Help Cross-Sector Partnerships Solve the World’s Wicked Problems
Sarah Easter & Mary Yoko Brannen • University of Victoria

Ethnography is the Pathmaker to Better Care: Paving the Way to a Patient-centric Healthcare Model
Ciara Green, Laura Polazzi, Erin O’Loughlin & Vittoria Traverso • Experientia

The Invention of the User: How a Small Group of Anthropologists Reshaped the Technologies We All Use
Shaheen Amirebrahimi • University of California Davis

Tuesday, 3–4:00pm

Ethnography / Carnivalesque

Curated by Anne McClard (Intel Corporation) & Jamie Sherman (Intel Corporation)

Ethnography excels at making salient the unspoken practices and tensions inhabiting any human context or system. Carnivalesque papers examine how play, humor, the pursuit of pleasure, distaste, rebelliousness, assertions of self and style, or sociality-for-its-own-sake can be powerful factors shaping commercial offers and industries.

Taking Sides in e-Cigarette Research
Rachelle Annechino & Tamar Antin • Prevention Research Center

Understanding Users: The Extensions of Expectant Systems
Amir-Pouyan Shiva • University of Minnesota

Wednesday, 9:30–10:45am

Ethnography / Innovation

Curated by Stokes Jones (Ricoh Innovations) & Johannes Suikkanen (Gemic)

This session explores the theoretical underpinnings of innovation models in practice and assesses the validity and value of ethnography for realigning corporate strategy and putting companies on paths to success.

Tell Me Why You Did That: Learning “Ethnography” from the Design Studio
AnneMarie Dorland • University of Calgary

The Anthropology of Wearables: The Self, the Social, and the Autobiographical
Sakari Tamminen & Elisabet Holmgren • Gemic

Meaningful Innovation: Ethnographic Potential in the Startup and Venture Capital Spheres
Julia Katherine Haines • University of California, Irvine

Applying Theory to Applied Ethnography
Maria Cury & Daniel Bird • ReD Associates

Wednesday, 3:30–5:00pm

Ethnography / Emerging Consumers

Curated by Nimmi Rangaswami (Xerox Research Centre Bangalore) & Laura Scheiber (Columbia University)

‘Emerging’ has been used to label virtually anything considered less developed—nations, markets, cultures—especially by corporate actors looking for new markets and consumers worldwide. Papers in this session interrogate the ‘emerging consumer’ paradigm and address theoretical and practical entanglements of ethnography within the ‘Global South’.

What Is a Sustainable Innovation? Cultural and Contextual Discoveries in the Social Ecology of Cooking in an African Slum
William Schindhelm Georg & Peter Hayward Jones • OCAD University

Everyday Life in Tamil Nadu, India and Its Cost to “Free Basics”
Shriram Venkatraman • UCL & Nimmi Rangaswamy • Xerox Research Centre Bangalore

Market Creation through Community Engagement: Combining Ethnographic and Business Thinking to Bringing Life-Changing Technologies to Emerging Economies
Craig Cicero Roberta Tassi • Frog Design

Mapping the Field of Social Businesses in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Maria Flávia Bastos, Laura Scheiber & Armindo dos Santos de Sousa Teodósio • Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas

Participatory Design: Re-evaluation as a Socio-material Assembly
Peter Hasdell • Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Thursday, 1:30–2:45pm

Ethnography / Analytics

Curated by Simon Pulman-Jones (GfK) & David Schalliol (St. Olaf College)

This session explores applied and theoretical intersections between ethnographic methods computational, statistical, or other quant-led methods. The encounter with “big data” presents applied ethnography with an opportunity to renew engagement with fundamental epistemological questions, while exploring both the empirical limitations and virtues of qualitative and quantitative social science.

‘It’s not just about the Patient’: A ‘360° Feedback’ Ethnography of Chronic Care Knowledge Generation
Jyotirmaya MahapatraNimmi Rangaswamy & Sajal Nagwanshi • Xerox Research Centre India

Paco—Applying Computational Methods to Scale Qualitative Methods
Bob Evans • Google, Inc

How New Social Design Captures the Social with Photographs
Ilpo Koskinen • Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The Domestication of Data: Why Embracing Digital Data Means Embracing Bigger Questions
Dawn Nafus • Intel