Join lively discussions convened by EPIC2024 Co-chairs Lee Cesafsky and Carrie Yury!

Ethnographic Research Leadership

Sunday, August 18, 4–5:00 pm

Research leaders discuss the expertise, mindsets, and strategies that are critical to thriving in our field, and how both research and leadership are shifting.

Ethnography in AI Product Development

Wednesday, August 21, 11:00 am–12:00 pm 

Researchers working on AI-enabled products lift the hood on their work, discussing the novelties, nuances, and need-to-have skills for this rapidly growing space.

Ethnographic Research Leadership: Arriving, Surviving, and Thriving

Sunday, August 18, 4–5:00 pm Pacific, East Wing Music Hall

Chair: Carrie Yury, EPIC2024 Conference Co-chair

Speakers: Luis Arnal, Global Design Leader, Accenture Song; Martha Cotton, Managing Director, Head of UX Research, JPMorgan Chase; Chelsea Mauldin, Executive Director, Public Policy Lab; Autumn Sanders, Founder, Quire Consulting

This session assembles a distinguished group of research leaders to discuss career topics and challenges they are most commonly asked about by aspiring leaders: How did you get where you are? What does it take to succeed, influence and inspire when you come from different backgrounds and speak a different language than other business leaders? You’ve navigated significant technological, economic, organizational, and social changes: What are the mindsets, qualities, or strategies that helped you survive and thrive through these shifts?

Carrie (she/her) is a design leader and artist. A member of EPIC since 2011, she has co-chaired several committees, including PechaKucha, salons, and workshops. Carrie is currently a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase, where she leads UX Research teams on Chase’s digital products and channels.


Luis is Design Lead at Accenture Song, where he leads the design and product innovation function at Accenture in Latin America. He has worked at the intersection of business, design and the social sciences for more than 28 years. Luis was founder and CEO of INSITUM, one of the leading global innovation consulting firms worldwide, which acquired by Accenture in 2019.


Martha leads the Design Research Community of Practice and serves as UX research lead for JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s consumer lending business. Previously she was Managing Director at Fjord/Accenture Interactive, where she co-led the Fjord global team. Her career began at eLab in 1990s, and has included leadership roles at Sapient, Hall & Partners, and HLB, working across a wide variety of industries as an ethnographer and business consultant.


Chelsea is a social scientist and designer with a focus on government innovation. She directs the Public Policy Lab, a nonprofit organization that designs better public policy with low-income and marginalized Americans. Chelsea is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs and a frequent keynote speaker and panelist.


Autumn works with Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and nonprofits, helping them grow their businesses by understanding their customers. She launched Quire in 2017 to bring ethnographic research and design thinking to organizational leaders. Autumn has worked with organizations including Target, Samsung, FedEx, SC Johnson, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and many others. 


Ethnography in AI Product Development

Wednesday, August 21, 11:00 am–12:00 pm US Pacific Time, Broad Stage

Chair: Lee Cesafsky, UX Researcher, Meta; EPIC2024 Co-chair

Panelists: Stefanie Hutka, Head of Design Research, Sendfull
Rebecca Knowe, Design Principal & UX Researcher, IBM

This session is an opportunity to dig into what doing research on AI-enabled products actually looks like on the ground. Researchers in the EPIC community who work in AI product development, from LLMs to computer vision, will explore: How does working on AI-enabled products differ from working on other kinds of products and technologies? What are the novelties, nuances, and need-to-have skills for working as a researcher in AI?


Lee (they/them) is a is a UX Researcher who has been part of the EPIC family since 2017. They specialize in complex technologies and AI/ML-driven products and work systems, having worked on AR/VR for Meta, autonomous vehicles for Waymo and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and navigation systems for Lyft. 


Stefanie has led research for numerous 0 to 1 product launches in spatial computing (AR/VR/3D), including Adobe Aero, Adobe Substance 3D Suite, and Meta Quest 3 and established the design research function at AR start-up, DAQRI, leading the company’s first case studies on in-field use of enterprise AR hardware and software. Stefanie recently founded a design research practice, Sendfull, providing fractional design research leadership to product teams building at the frontier of Extended Reality and AI.


Rebecca is a designer who meets the needs of real people through user research, strategy, and design. As a user researcher, Rebecca relies on a background in user experience design and graphic design to gather insights and design principles to create products that serve users.


Larry works across business ethnography and the history and anthropology of science. His writing is published in Aeon, History of Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, and Journal of the History of Ideas. His book Making Spirit Matter traces the evolution of brain science, and his forthcoming edited volume is The Anthropology of AI.