It’s Like Riding a Bicycle…

At first it’s a bit wobbly and you’re not sure of your balance. But soon you’re in the flow, weaving with the world around you.

The pandemic has changed the way we connect, and this year’s networking and social events will get you back on the bike at your own speed—whether you’re on a road bike or dirt bike, a unicycle or a tricycle, a Peloton or a joystick. We create networking and social events with the principles of generosity, reciprocity, and fun. Jump in!


Learning & Networking Week: Oct 2–6

EPIC people around the world are coming back to Pangea (aliases: Terra, Pathable)—our virtual gathering space and 24/7 ethnographic jamboree! Open to all attendees during Oct 2–12, the platform is designed to connect you with programming, conversations, exhibits, and friendly help whenever you need it.

In addition to the Tutorials program, Learning & Networking Week includes:

Casual Connections

100 Questions for Ethnographers

Created and hosted by Maria Arguello (UX Researcher, Google)

*Tuesday, 4 October, 4–5:00 pm PST / Wednesday, 5 October, 10–11:00 am AEDT
*Thursday, 6 October, 12–1:00 pm CEST / 9–10 pm AEDT

Make new connections with EPIC people! We’ll use fun questions about work, food, nostalgia, movies, music, and more as prompts.

Creative Connections

Inventive ethnographic gatherings, workshops and deep-dive discussions:

Climate Dystopian Cocktail/Coffee Hour

Created and hosted by Sarah Brooks (Distinguished Designer, Strategic Foresight) & Meghan L McGrath (IBM Z Future Demands Lead), IBM

🛎️ Space is limited. Reserve your spot (free) on our virtual platform, opening October 2. Choose from two sessions:

Monday, 3 October, 5–6:00pm PST (Tuesday 4 October, 11:00am–12:00pm AEDT)
Tuesday, 4 October, 10–11:00am PST (7–8:00pm CEST)

If anything is resilient, it’s the cocktail/coffee hour. Join us in the post-post-climate dystopian future, where you can swap business cards amidst the smoldering ruins of civilization. We’ll socialize and participate in an imagined future informed by research-based signals/trends around climate change and dwindling non-renewable resources. We’ll co-create beverages and snacks in a world in which many of the key crops of 2022 are no longer available and creative substitutions have to be made: What is the climate dystopian version of the cheese board, cocktail napkins, or small talk? How will human rituals morph and shift, but somehow carry on as the world dramatically changes? And we’ll generate useful conversations about the next steps for our teams and organizations as we explore possible futures.

Ethnographic Listening

Created and hosted by Michael Powell

Monday 3 October, 3:00 – 4pm PST (Tuesday, Oct 4, 9–10:00am AEST)

Listening is central to ethnography, but most of us still have a lot to learn about listening, including how to constantly improve or refine our listening skills, how to communicate their unique value, how to use listening for positive impact, and how to articulate our role as professional listeners. In this session we’ll learn about some unique qualities of ethnographic listening, do an exercise in deep listening, and explore listening as an active, embodied practice for research and everyday life.

Building for Resilience

Created and hosted by Preeti Talwai (UX Research Lead), Keita Wangari (Staff UX Researcher) & Luca Paulina (Senior UX Designer), Google

🛎️ Space is limited. Reserve your spot (free) on our virtual platform, opening October 2. Choose from two sessions:

Wednesday 5 October, 7:00–8pm CEST (10–11:00am PST)
Thursday 6 October, 8:00–9pm CEST (11am–12:00pm PST)

Too often in complex, resource-constrained and fast-paced organizational environments we design only for the ideal “happy paths”—human journeys get watered down and nuance is pushed to the side. It’s imperative that organizations support the inevitable changes of real life so they can build enduring relationships with the people they serve. In this workshop we’ll build language and tools to re-engage organizations with the messiness, grit and reality of actual life journeys. We’ll walk through an exercise to view human journeys with a “resilience lens” and examine how products and services can be designed to learn and adapt to change. Participants will take away a set of tools to build more robust experiences by anticipating opportunities, mitigating harms, and designing for dynamism.

Conversations in Resilience
Wednesday 5 October, 8:00 – 9:00pm CEST (11am–12:00pm PST)
Thursday 6 October, 6:00 – 7:00pm AEDT (9–10:00am CEST)

Conversations in Resilience are Salons—an EPIC tradition. We’ll gather in small groups to discuss special topics in ethnography and resilience. Facilitated by hosts who guide participants with inspiring or provocative questions or scenarios, Salons offer a space where attendees share candidly, experiment with evolving ideas, and connect to EPIC people with similar interests. No prep; just bring yourself and your interest in the topic.

Check the schedule to learn more about this year’s topics:

  • Inclusive Resilience
    Hosted by Greg Weinstein (Inclusive Research Lead, CVS)
  • Whose Resilience?
    Hosted by Arvind Venkataramani (he/they) (Senior User Experience researcher, HashiCorp)
  • Design for Black Hair as a Prompt for Resilient Design
    Hosted by Arwa Michelle Mboya (Designer & Researcher, Magic Leap)
  • Building Resilience: How resilient has ethnography been in industry?
    Hosted by Ayfer Gokalp (UX Research Manager, Meta) and Marie Mika (Staff Researcher, Included Health)
  • Reinventing resilience rituals
    Hosted by Sunandini Pande Ray
  • Staying human-centred at a distance
    Hosted by Louise Vang Jensen (Partner & Director of Research and Insights, IS IT A BIRD)
  • Resiliency as confinement: Does the desire to ‘bounce back’ curtail our creativity?
    Hosted by Dr Oliver Pattenden (Global Research and Insight Director, Accenture Song) and Lilith Wacker (Business Anthropologist, Accenture Song)
  • The role of Ethics in Resilience
    Hosted by Nikki Lavoie (EVP, Global Experience Strategy – Savanta)

Career Connections

Mentoring, networking and sessions that explore the expanding career landscape for ethnographers.

Informational Interviews for Career Insight and Inspiration

Created and hosted by: Veronica Hotton, & co-instructor, Representing Your Professional Self

🛎️ Space is limited to 20 participants per session. Reserve your spot (free) on our virtual platform, opening October 2. Choose from two sessions:

Thursday, 6 October, 10–11:00am PST (7–8:00pm CEST)

When you’re making a career shift, or even just exploring the landscape of possibilities, informational interviews are a key strategy to learn, network and advance your goals. They offer a structured format for engaging with an experienced mentor or peer that can yield concrete information as well as unexpected insight and inspiration. Some tips and strategies—plus practice with supportive EPIC members—can make them much more rewarding for you and the people you interview.

This event is designed for people at any career stage making a shift, whether you have your eye on a new role, industry or sector, or you are transitioning out of academia. You’ll be matched with EPIC members who have volunteered to be interviewed for two rounds of 20-minutes. Tips and interview guides will be provided to help you prepare. The guides will include a range of topics, such as sector/role transitions, workplace culture, and general career mentorship; you can adapt them to your own purposes or take a totally different approach.

This event is especially useful for those who find networking awkward or daunting, but know they want to be able to network more often and with a little more ease and grace. Using ethnographic and social science approaches to informational interviews, we can let those butterflies in our stomachs rest. And with practice, it’s possible to see these interactions as another kind of interview we are skilled at using throughout our careers. And really, don’t we love listening to people share their stories? Seats in this session are limited, so register early!


EPIC2022 offers formal and informal ways to recruit, connect with hiring managers, learn about freelancers and partner agencies, and explore the expanding career landscape for ethnographers.

Whether you’re a senior director or a student, searching for full-time positions or freelance gigs, EPIC is an amazing place to meet people and organizations who could be part of your future.

Learn more about recruiting & career sessions, and how to opt-in to their recruitment lists!

Sponsor Sessions

Meet recruiters and research leaders in these sessions hosted by some of our EPIC2022 sponsors:

  • User Research Hiring @Spotify (Oct 4)
  • Framework Workshop with Stripe Partners (Oct 4)
  • Connecting w/ Customers & Stakeholders in Uncertain Times, Salesforce (Oct 4)
  • Exploring life in APAC’s fastest growing Research Team, Atlassian (Oct 4)
  • Introduction to Gemic—A Resilient Company (Oct 6)
  • The Pace of Innovation with IS IT A BIRD (Oct 6)
  • Working at ReD: A Q&A with ReD Associates (Oct 6)


Gathering on Pangea: Oct 2–12

Pangea is our virtual gathering place and your 24/7 community hub. You’ll find:

  • “Always on” social spaces where you can meet new folks and connect with old friends
  • Search, filter, and browse attendee profiles
  • Share your expertise, interests, and professional goals (hiring, job seeking, freelance…)
  • Chat in public forums
  • Send private messages and hold 1:1 or group video meetings
  • Get friendly support from EPIC staff and mentors

Gathering in Amsterdam: Oct 9–12

We can’t wait to be together, in person again! More details about Amsterdam social & networking activities is on its way…in the meantime you can count on: