Blurring the Lines: Building a collaborative dialogue from the intersection of creative practice, ethnography and business

An EPIC2024 Salon hosted by Fatimah Richmond and Tamara Hale

Tuesday, August 20, 11:00am–12:00pm Pacific Time

How to Register


“Prophets and artists tend to be liminal and marginal people, ‘edgemen,’ who strive with a passionate sincerity to rid themselves of the clichés associated with status incumbency and role-playing and to enter into vital relations with other men in fact or imagination. In their productions we may catch glimpses of that unused evolutionary potential in mankind which has not yet been externalized and fixed in structure.” – Victor Turner (“The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure”, 1969: 128)

Creativity and play are a core to what it means to be human, and a vital part of our shared humanity. But many business and organizational contexts don’t leave room for, and even disincentivize, creativity, play and exploration. In becoming successful, many of us learn to lean into goal-orientation, hyper-focus, efficiency and quantifiable outputs to the detriment of creativity. Many of us are former, lapsed or fledgling ‘creatives’ (makers, crafters, artists, writers etc.)

In this salon, we create a container for a conversation that aims to “blur” the lines between the fields of ethnography in business contexts and creativity and the arts. We ask questions such as: how can research or ethnography in business contexts be creative and playful? How do we bring creativity and play into research, both technically, and given the constraints we face? How can an orientation toward play and creativity inform our approach to organizational challenges, to collaboration, to influence and advocacy and allow us to make sense of the faultlines in our economic system? How do we cultivate a beginner’s brain and curiosity as a source of joy? We hope to create the beginning of a community conversation that ultimately inspires us to individually and collectively take creative risks in the production, presentation and performance of research and related activities and inviting reflection on the fissures between our professional and non-professional personas. We want to create an open invitation to participants to employ humor, play and intuition as ways to redraw inherited practices and boundaries and discover new generative capabilities.


Fatimah Richmond
Fatimah Richmond

UXR Strategist

Fatimah is a well-rounded UX Researcher (UXR) with over 15 years of expertise, having influenced enterprise products across leading tech giants like Google, SAP, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. Fatimah has led strategy for research, programs and operations that have significantly impacted the UXR landscape, from clinician engagement strategies to reshaping LinkedIn Recruiter and Jobs. With an educational background in Applied Anthropology, Human Factors/Ergonomics and Computer Science, Fatimah’s perspective embodies a blend of anthropological insight, critical theory and complex technical systems. As a forward thinker, she’s here to challenge our assumptions and the status quo on how research gets planned, communicated and measured. Fatimah resides in San Jose, California with her husband and her very active, inquisitive 7 year old son. When she’s not writing about users and researchers, she’s writing poetry along the beautiful California central coast.

Tamara Hale
Tamara Hale

Director of Product Development - User Research | Splunk

Tamara Hale (she/they) is a Research and Product Leader with an established track record of leading teams to deliver exceptional and inclusive products, services and user experiences that enable work and put technology in service of humans. She is known for designing software and systems that positively impact people (build the right thing and build the thing right), operational excellence, growing careers and scaling impact. They bring a background in social anthropology to building inclusive products and change management in large organizations. Most recently Tamara built and led research and operations teams at Workday, Dropbox and Splunk where she is currently the Director of Product Experience- User Research. Tamara has led strategic insights and teams for some of the world’s most innovative companies, governments and organizations, aligning deep understanding of their target audiences with business goals and technology constraints, including for Workday, Dropbox, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, John Templeton Foundation, Skoll Foundation and various local and national governments in the USA and UK.

How to Register

Register for salons when you complete your in-person registration for EPIC2024. Salons are free but capacity is limited to 30 people. For detailed information and to register click the button below.

Salon size: Maximum 30 participants

Date: Tuesday, August 20, 11:00am–12:00pm Pacific Time

Location: In-person in Los Angeles

Questions? Contact