NOTE: Register your interest through Meetup. We will have a separate registration process for the conference. Registration may include a small fee to cover catering and incidentals.

EthnoBorrel and the University of Amsterdam are running a one-day event in Amsterdam, parallel to the annual conference of the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Community (EPIC). The purpose of the conference is to build connections with our fellow ethnographers on both sides of the pond and explore issues specific to the European context.

Today, the profile of ethnography in European industry is growing rapidly. Here in the Netherlands, EthnoBorrel, AbV, and the Interbuilding Applied Anthropology Meetup are some of the fora where ethnographic practitioners discuss their work. These developments provide an excellent opportunity for us to work together to strengthen our profession and demonstrate our value to industry. We can learn a lot from our North American counterparts, especially the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Community (EPIC) who have been successful in promoting the use of ethnographic principles to create business value across different domains of industry.


The theme of EPIC2019 focuses on human agency in the new age of automation. We have interpreted the theme in our own way:

Agency, in the social sciences, is often seen as the amount of space, freedom and choice an individual experiences in the context of their life. The right to agency can be viewed as the right to self-determination. When agency meets technology it can be problematic in three ways.

First, technology (just like any other tool) is often designed according to the principle that in order to serve the customer's needs, some choices are already made for them. Are the ways in which technologies are making choices for us changing over time? Is the agency of the user diminishing or expanding?

Second, the agency of engaging with technology rests on the premise of transparency (are the 'why', 'how' and the implications of engaging with technology clear to those accessing it?), fairness (who has access to the technology and to the data produced?) and choice (is there a possibility to enter a dialogue with the technology where choice can be expressed?).

Third, many of today's technologies are built within one geography (with specific economic, social, geopolitical dynamics) to affect the geographies of the entire world. How does this affect the agency of (users in) these different geographies? How can the practice of ethnography help us see how agency and technology intersect in our contexts?

Submit a Proposal

Pecha Kuchas

Pecha Kucha is a storytelling format, where a presenter shows 20 slides with 20 seconds of commentary each (6 minutes and 40 seconds total). In our sessions, we invite individuals to share personal presentations about their work that revolves around agency and technology / European ethnographic practice, followed by a Q&A session, lasting for 15 minutes in total.


Workshops are small, focused sessions emphasizing audience participation and group discussion. Each workshop will be led by a single organizer/facilitator, or a small group of facilitators, and aim to generate analysis and knowledge exchange around agency and technology / applied ethnographic practice. Workshops will be held concurrently with Pecha Kucha sessions and will be allocated a total of 90 minutes.

How to submit a proposal

Please create a brief and succinct proposal in English with the following details:

  • Name & affiliation
  • Title
  • Type (Workshop/Pecha Kucha)
  • Abstract (max. 500 words)
  • Any special requirements for your proposal

The deadline for submitting entries is Monday, September 2, 2019

Next event

Building a Community of Practitioners

with special guest Rita Denny

​Room 0A28, Pieter de la Court Building​, ​University of Leiden, Wassenaarseweg 52 ​, Leiden