Session 5: The state of our union: Reflections and projections on ethnography and ethnographers

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Abstract

The last session reflects on EPIC's communal growth from interactions – some serendipitous others purposeful – with other disciplines. This session examines where practitioners are on this maturity trajectory: what it is like, as a community of practioners, to be where we are now, and where we are likely going.

EPIC is in its 9th glorious year. Throughout the brief yet robust history of this annual community gathering we've been on a trajectory that charts our growing maturity as a group of professionals. We started with pangs of identity (Who are we? Who is one of us? Who is not?), which we thankfully discarded after a year or so and moved on to discussions of our relevance within the businesses we hope to impact. And as we grow and find new and exciting collaborators (Big data! Social enterprise! Business schools!), topics at EPIC shift to expanding that impact and understanding what these collaborations mean for the continued development of our praxis. As we've grown, we've made mistakes, but have learned from them. As we've grown, we've benefited from serendipitous interactions with other disciplines, but we have worked to make these interactions more purposeful. After all, that's what maturity is all about! This paper session is about examining where we are on this maturity trajectory: reflections on what it is like, as a community of practioners, to be where we are now. Asking what can we learn when we examine where we are now? And what this might mean for where we are going?

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