EPIC2023 Friction Chicago

Learning & Networking Week | October 2-6, 2023

Main Program | October 7-10, 2023

EPIC2023 is the premier international conference on ethnography in business and organizations.

Our keenest insight and most powerful impact come when we cross boundaries, forge partnerships, and challenge conventional wisdom. Those moments both embrace friction and are friction. Join a community of researchers, designers, creators and innovators to grapple with and harness friction for all its complex and productive powers.

Photograph of Robin Kwong

“The challenges facing our organizations call for innovation that is rooted in deep cultural understanding of the people we serve. EPIC is the conference that has helped me the most in learning about the approaches, methods, and frameworks to achieve that understanding.”

Newsroom Innovation Chief, Wall Street Journal

Photograph of Ovetta Sampson

“Always insightful, immediately applicable, and delightfully provocative, EPIC gives us the knowledge and networks we need to be strong voices for people most affected by future technology.”

Director of UX – Core ML, Google

Photograph of Hilary Wilson

“Human-centered, systems-based problem solving for global challenges? Yes, please and thank you! My first EPIC conference and I think I have found my people. So much inspiring and thought-provoking work.”

Director, US Medicine & Regulatory Affairs Strategy and Operations, Boehringer Ingelheim

Arial view of Chicago showing the Institute of Design campus in the foreground, and the downtown Chicago skyline on the horizon


Institute of Design at Illinois Tech

We’re thrilled to partner with ID—a global pioneer in systems and human-centered design. Learn about our EPIC2023 venues and re-imagine the neighborhoods of Chicago through the lens of friction…

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Year-Round Events

Join us for talks, courses, and other learning and networking events all year.

Articles and Videos

Our library is a goldmine of leading expertise. Articles are free to read, download, and share.

Job Board

Permanent and contract opportunities posted by hiring managers looking for ethnographic expertise.