EPIC2020 Will Be a Virtual Event—Join Us!

→ Proposal Review Starts APRIL 1
→ Submissions Accepted through JUNE 1

What this means:

You can present from anywhere in the world, and there’s still time to write a proposal! Committees will begin review on April 1. We will continue to accept submissions through June 1, or until the program is full, and review these on a rolling basis. All proposals are guaranteed a written review, and all acceptance notifications will go out June 30.

Read our announcement about transitioning to a virtual conference.

Call for Participation

With the unprecedented size and distribution of the 2019–2020 bushfires, and now with a global pandemic radically reshaping our work and lives, we are coming together for constructive discussion and practicable proposals to address SCALE, our global future, and the world we are building together. In multiple ways and at multiple scales, Australia is living in our global future. Let’s talk and plan for that. We would be honoured to have you spend time with us here and join us in having inspiring conversations with actionable outcomes.

Our theme this year is SCALE. We invite contributions that engage with, challenge, work across, and reframe scale in a world where “bigger, faster, easier, and broader” is the prevailing framework that defines desired and expected goals. In these times of critical, planet-wide climate, economic, political and social change, SCALE challenges us to confront how concepts of scale define the scopes, contexts, and impacts of ethnographic work in creating value in the organizations we work for and with, and in sustaining our global futures.

Read the full conference theme

The Program Committee invites proposals for Catalysts, Case Studies, PechaKucha, and the Graduate Colloquium. Be sure to read the detailed guidelines and review processes for these formats. Our call for participation is open to everyone who creates and applies ethnography—from all backgrounds and positions, and from any discipline, industry, or organization in the private, public, or nonprofit sector. It is not necessary to submit a proposal or present to attend EPIC2020—anyone can register starting May 1. Registration details here.

KEY DATES

  • Submission deadline – April 1, 2020, with rolling submissions through June 1
  • Acceptance notifications – June 30, 2020
  • First draft submission – July 31, 2020
  • Final submissions – October 1, 2020

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR?

This year we’ve introduced an innovation in response to community feedback and inspired by the way our formats might speak to the theme of Scale. The traditional Papers format has been reshaped and renamed as Catalysts. We have done this to highlight the equally valuable but differently focused contributions of Catalysts and Cases Studies to the EPIC community. Specifically:

  • Case Studies are examples of completed ethnographic work that demonstrate business or organizational impact. They are tools for the community to learn and build value for ethnographic approaches in organizations, offering lessons that are widely applicable in the community.
  • Catalysts, by contrast, are arguments that pose and respond to questions that cut across the varied contexts, day-to-day concerns, and organizational priorities EPIC community members face. They are provocations for the community to galvanize debate; they offer innovative or new framings of topics for us to test in future work. In other words, this year’s Catalysts will ideally reappear to be championed or refuted in future Case Studies.

The EPIC2020 program committee will develop additional program components by invitation, including Keynotes, Salons, and Tutorials. Another innovation this year is our approach to Salons, which traditionally have been small-group discussions on key topics and challenges that are designed  to give conference attendees space to share candidly and experiment with evolving ideas. This year, “Salons a-Go-Go” will physically move outside the bounds of the conference venue to engage with the city, region, and country hosting EPIC. The concepts, methods, debates they explore will be grounded in the experiences, natural and built environments, and histories of Melbourne and the land on which it sits. The committee welcomes your ideas and expressions of interest regarding invited Salons and Tutorials: conference@epicpeople.org.

Requirements & Commitments

Instructions for writing and submitting proposals for each format are detailed below. Please note: Individuals are permitted to submit only a single proposal (Catalyst, Case Study, or PechaKucha) as a primary author, so please choose carefully. You may be a co-author on one other proposal.

Our program committee works closely with authors and presenters to develop their contributions, which become valuable and enduring resources for practitioners around the world. Before you submit, please make sure that, if your proposal is accepted, you can commit to the following:

Requirements

At least one co-author must register for and attend the conference to present the work. No discounts are available for presenters, but a limited number of financial inclusion rates for qualified individuals is available. NOTE: If your proposal is accepted to the EPIC2020 program, and COVID-19 makes it impossible for you to attend because of official travel restrictions or effects of the pandemic on you personally, you and your contribution will still be included in the program in a meaningful way.

Catalysts and Case Studies will be published in the open-access journal Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings (ISSN 1559-8918) and in our own online EPIC library, for which purpose all co-authors are required to sign an author agreement.

All presenters must sign media agreements that allow EPIC to video record conference events and share video on epicpeople.org.

EPIC prides itself on a high standard of written and presented material, and our session curators work closely with authors to review and refine great presentations and published texts. Before submitting a proposal, we recommend that all authors ensure they have the time and interest to engage in this process and can secure all permissions required to write for publication. Authors of successful submissions are expected to commit to deadlines for submission of draft and final versions of both published and presented materials. For PechaKucha submission, the published and presented materials are one in the same. Please consider that for Catalyst and Case Study submissions, the separate published and presented materials require equal consideration, and are expected to appropriately, and differently, engage their intended audiences. Presented materials are designed for a live, group audience, and for engaging individual video viewers on the EPIC website in the months and years after the conference. Published materials are written texts for individual readers to engage after experiencing the presented materials, or for a broader, non-conference audience to read in the months and years after the event. In other words, while there are connective threads between the two submissions, one is not simply a condensed, read-aloud version of the other.

Proposal Review & Selection

Catalysts, Case Studies, and PechaKucha proposals go through anonymous peer review. Graduate Colloquium proposals are reviewed by committee and are not anonymous.
Details about review and selection

Our review and selection process is independent and competitive:

  • Our conference committees and peer reviewers work independently and their evaluations and selections are not influenced by sponsors or the membership status of proposal authors. In making final selections among proposals that are rated highly by reviewers, the conference committee may consider factors related to the overall balance and inclusivity of the program.
  • We receive many more wonderful proposals than we can accept for our conference program, so our review and selection process is highly competitive. Acceptance rates are generally 25–35%. We simply cannot accept all of the high quality proposals we receive, and if your proposal is not accepted we welcome re-submissions in following years.

Reviewers are asked to consider the following in their assessment of submissions:

  • The submission’s contribution to EPIC: What (new) ideas or approaches are introduced, reframed, or brought together? Originality, creativity, bridge-building are all forms of contribution.
  • Is prior work and/or prior conversations adequately considered?
  • Is evidence, or the way in which the proposal makes its argument, compelling and credible?
  • Presentation clarity

Catalysts

Catalysts are a new format designed to stimulate different kinds of conversations, encourage different ways of engaging with issues, and invite everyone into the conversation. You can think of them as arguments that act as a point of departure to expand our community’s knowledge and reflect constructively on our explanatory and descriptive models (theory), the relationships between these models and the tools we use in our work (methodology), or more broadly on the concept of scale. They engage the EPIC community by posing and responding to questions that cut across the varied contexts, day-to-day concerns, and organizational priorities we face. Catalysts must demonstrate the links between new insights and ongoing debates in ways that will advance our field and build on the work of others, referencing other projects, concepts, or data sources. Catalysts are expected to galvanize debate, and to offer innovative or new framings of topics for wider application by the community. In addition to submitting a written paper for publication, authors make a 12–15 minute presentation at the conference

Proposals that address scale will be given priority. See the full conference theme for examples of queries on scale that could inspire a Catalyst submission.
Preparing Your Catalyst Proposal

To be accepted for review, proposals must include the following elements in one PDF document:

  • Title
  • Abstract of maximum 750 words including citations. Please ensure that your abstract identifies the main argument, your ethnographic sources (whether original research or a critical review of others) and key insights (what readers will gain from your contribution)
  • 1-page outline demonstrating the anticipated order of your written paper’s main points
  • List of references to other relevant literature, research, or data sources (in addition to those cited in the abstract) from which the written paper will draw
  • A statement of 150 words maximum on your submission’s contributions to the EPIC community. What questions will you pose and answer? Why are these important? How can others test and apply your arguments in current and future work?
  • To facilitate blind peer review, do not name or reference the identity or affiliations of any co-authors within the proposal document itself. You will enter this information separately in the submission process.
  • Submit your materials here: https://new.precisionconference.com/epic

Additional guidelines for developing, formatting, and delivering final written submissions and conference presentations will be provided to authors whose proposals are accepted.

Questions? Catalysts@epicpeople.org

Case Studies

Case Studies are examples of ethnographic work that demonstrate business or organizational impact. They are a tool for the community to build value for ethnographic approaches in organizations. Cases emphasize how ethnographic practice and theory shaped and solved a specific organizational challenge/ opportunity and made a measurable impact for the organization, stakeholders, and users/consumers (perhaps in conjunction with other approaches). The emphasis is not on methods as much as the business/organizational context and how ethnography fueled solutions and concrete organizational outcomes. Cases are expected to offer lessons learned (targets made or missed!) for wider applicability in the community. In addition to submitting a written case study for publication, authors make a 12–15 minute presentation at the conference.

Proposals that address scale will be given priority. See the full conference theme for examples of queries on scale relating to concrete organizational outcomes that could be useful in shaping a Case Studies submission.
Preparing Your Case Study Proposal

To be accepted for review, proposals must include the following elements in one PDF document:

  • Title
  • Abstract of 750 words maximum that includes citations in the body of the abstract. Please ensure that your abstract identifies the main argument, your original ethnographic work, and key insights (what readers will gain from your contribution)
  • 1-page outline demonstrating the anticipated order of your case study’s main points, including organizational or business impact and lessons learned.
  • List of references to the relevant literature, research, and data sources from which your case draws.
  • A concise statement on your submission’s contributions to the EPIC community, 150 words maximum. What will your case study illustrate? How are your lessons learned applicable beyond your own work? How might others apply them?
  • To facilitate anonymous peer review, do not name or reference the identity or affiliations of any co-authors within the proposal document itself. You will enter this information separately in the submission process.
  • Submit your materials here: https://new.precisionconference.com/epic

Additional guidelines for developing, formatting, and delivering final case studies and conference presentations will be provided to authors whose proposals are accepted.

Questions? CaseStudies@epicpeople.org

Powered by PechaKucha

PechaKucha (pronounced: “peh-cha-ku-cha”) presentations are captivating performances of 20 image-rich slides that show for 20 seconds each. Total presentation time is 6 minutes, 40 seconds. PechaKuchas are performance poetry with visual punch. They offer a visual and reflective format for sharing unique insights, perspectives, juxtapositions, and provocations about ethnographic work. PechaKucha proposals are reviewed anonymously by committee.

EPIC PechaKuchas may not be mini project debriefs (stuffed with findings and results). Rather, they should tell a compelling, relevant, often reflective, story by expanding outward from a single research moment, insight, or study participant; or taking on a compelling concept or theme across different studies, field sites, even whole careers. Here is your chance to make research visually and verbally lyrical.

Proposals that address scale will be given priority. See the full conference theme for examples of queries on scale that might lend themselves to suitable PechaKucha submissions.
Preparing Your PechaKucha Proposal

To be accepted for review, proposals must include the following elements in one PDF document:

  • Title
  • Abstract of your overall story, 200 words maximum
  • A draft PechaKucha presentation with 20 slides and draft performance script (bullet points acceptable) for each slide. Images in the proposal should be low–medium resolution to reduce file size. This will not affect the evaluation of your proposal.
  • A statement on your submission’s contributions to the EPIC community, 150 words maximum
  • To facilitate blind peer review, do not name or reference the identity or affiliations of any co-authors within the proposal document itself. You will enter this information separately in the submission process.
  • Submit your materials here: https://new.precisionconference.com/epic
Questions? PechaKucha@epicpeople.org

Graduate Colloquium

The Graduate Colloquium is a day-long forum where PhD and Masters students engaged in supervised thesis research meet to discuss their research, present issues of concern to them, and receive feedback from a panel of experienced EPIC researchers and practitioners as well as other student participants. We welcome applicants from a broad range of disciplines, including (but by no means limited to) social science, humanities, cognitive science, design, computer science/HCI, organizational studies, and related fields.

Applicants’ research should involve the application of ethnographic theory and method in the context of business and industry (whether for profit, nonprofit or public sector). Selection will be based on the overall quality of the application and relevance to the EPIC mission of promoting the integration of social and cultural perspectives, theory, and method into business and organizational practice. Participants will be expected to give short, informal presentations of their doctoral or masters research during the Colloquium, to be followed by discussion. Submissions are reviewed by committee.
Preparing Your Graduate Colloquium Submission

To be accepted for review, submissions must include the following elements in one PDF document:

  • Title
  • A 1–2 page overview of your doctoral or masters research, including a statement of your research problem or rationale, research questions and methods, the status of current work, and expected contributions to your field of interest.
  • A brief statement of career objectives, 150 word maximum. These may be either practice or academic related.
  • A brief statement of Colloquium goals, 150 word maximum. This should describe what you hope to gain from attending.
  • A brief biographical sketch, 150 word maximum.
  • Optional: A letter of recommendation from a research mentor or advisor, sent directly to colloquium@epicpeople.org.
  • Submit materials by email to: Colloquium@epicpeople.org
Questions? Colloquium@epicpeople.org