EPIC 2012: Quarter Note #2, April 2012
Here’s the second of your regular updates about EPIC 2012 by way of a Quarter Note. You will find some planning updates on the event, which will give you a sense of how it’s shaping up, and what you can expect in Savannah this Fall. There’s also some important practical information about venue and registration, submissions and changes to the program.
Due to a number of requests from people for more time, we have extended the submission deadlines for Papers and Workshops.
- Extended deadline - 20th April: Abstracts for paper submissions
- Extended deadline - 27th April: Workshop proposals
- 27th April: Artifact abstract submissions
- 4th May: Pecha Kucha abstract submissions
- 4th May: Doctoral Colloquium proposals
We are seeking papers of a standard written length (10-12 pages, ~ 6000 words). The presentation lengths will differ (10 mins and 20 mins) at the discretion of the paper committee.
Papers can be submitted via the submission system and we encourage you and your colleagues to consider a submission.
We’re especially keen this year to encourage new, or ‘nearly-new’ attendees to both attend and contribute to EPIC. We have a team working on ensuring that first time attendees have both an enjoyable and impactful experience.
The EPIC Newcomers team has been listening to people who attended EPIC for the first time last year and to EPIC 'old hands' and talking to people about their experiences at other conferences. We've interviewed 18 people, and chatted informally with many more. So what did we hear?
Well, we heard lots of people say how amazing EPIC is – friendly, exciting, intimate and a great place to grow as an ethnographer in industry. We also heard people give us three clear messages to bear in mind as we develop our ideas for welcoming newcomers:
- It’s Not What You Do, It’s Who You Know: For newcomers especially, the key to a great conference is the people. Getting past the ‘new kid in the schoolyard’ feeling is critical.
- Online Networking Does Not Necessarily Translate into the Real World: People told us that online networking can be great but there's a big step between knowing someone online and hanging out with them at a conference.
- Less is More: Adding lots of ‘newcomer’ events to the programme would be counterproductive. People want more flexible time not less.
All of which lead us to conclude that the challenge of welcoming newcomers to EPIC is not about newcomers, it's about all of us. It's about findings ways to build community before, during and after EPIC. We have developed four pillars for building the EPIC 2012 community. First we want to work on making ourselves visible to ourselves. The growth (in size and diversity) of the EPIC attendees in the last few years is a challenge for old hands as much as newcomers. Next, naturally, we want to build online community before *and* after Savannah. But building online community needs effort if that is to transition to the real world of Savannah in October, so that's what our third pillar addresses. Our fourth pillar is all about ideas to keep it going; what can we set in motion during Savannah that will increase the chances of folks continuing to engage after October?
We have ideas for each pillar and over the coming months we'll be developing and evaluating those with teams of students at the University of Dundee in the UK and at SCAD in Savannah. Needless to say we will also keep listening – so if you have any ideas or are willing to be interviewed then please get in touch.
catriona [at] mac [dot] com (Cat) & rsi [at] redassociates [dot] com (Rachel)
Probably the most significant change to the event program this year is the shift of workshops to Sunday the 14th, the first day of the conference, rather than the traditional second or third day. Therefore, the conference will have a more pronounced start – with workshops, the graduate colloquium and local pursuits. The venue for many Sunday activities is the SCAD Museum of Art (MoA).
On Sunday evening there will be the opening drinks reception at MoA. We encourage attendees to arrive into Savannah on Saturday the 13th. Provisions for this have been made with the conference hotel.
This change gives workshop organizers more scope to include activities beyond the four walls of the venue – for example by including fieldwork or other activities within their workshops. It means that attendees and organisers are not boxed into the middle of paper sessions. Unlike other conferences, we have a large number of concurrent workshops so there will be plenty to choose from.
Local pursuits will be timetabled to ensure those attending workshops don’t miss out – and we are also planning on re-running some local activities on Tuesday evening.
To date we have booked two keynote speakers for this year, both of which will speak from different perspectives to the conference’s theme of Renewal.
Our opening keynote will be given by Emily Pilloton, the founder and executive director of Project H Design, a non-profit design agency founded in 2008 to use design and hands-on building for community and educational benefit. Trained in architecture and product design, Emily now spends most days in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, teaching her high school Studio H design/build curriculum, in which students design and build full-scale architectural projects for their hometown. She is the author of the book Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People a compendium and call-to-action for design for social impact, and has appeared on the TED Stage as well as The Colbert Report.
The closing keynote will be given by Philips Delves Broughton, business journalist and author of best selling What They Teach You at Harvard Business School and The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters About the Business of Life (forthcoming from Simon and Schuster, more information on this on his Tumblr).
Register for the conference by July 15th for early bird rates. Registration costs for EPIC 2012 are as follows:
- Student: Early bird $249; Standard $299
- Regular: Early bird $299; Standard $349
We expect registration to be open within the next month and will communicate this when it happens.
The first months of 2012 have seen a frenzy of activity here in Savannah. One activity in particular has been the focus of attention: designing a series of unique “local pursuits” (formerly known as “reflectivities”) that allow EPIC 2012 participants to explore and discover Savannah from diverse perspectives that weave in this year’s theme of Renewal.
Local immersions will range from the historic to the contemporary – from local food culture to exploring a major port city, to the emerging indie creative economy. Designing the local pursuits has been an adventure in learning about the many faces and voices of own community that we’re excited to share.
Savannah offers a unique context in which to explore and reflect on the theme of renewal, a place in which the layers of history are visible and invisible, tangible and intangible, decaying and emerging. Savannah’s 279-year history has given rise to a wide range of architectural styles, social groups and movements, economic conditions, organizations, businesses and industries. The layering of old and new, preservation and renewal have merged in a unique and rich landscape in which to observe and experience local cultures and society. Each local immersion sets attendees on an adventure to discover Savannah’s cultures and states of renewal.
Finally, we’ve recently updated the conference website adding Venue and Registration sections, which give you information on the conference hotel, more information on the conference setting, and local resources. You’ll find them in the menu bar of the 2012 site.