What started as a music festival has grown into something much, much larger. SXSW is a cultural phenomenon of sorts; its music portion the largest of its kind in the world, its film portion rapidly expanding, and its tech portion quickly becoming the place to be if you want to woo the who’s who of all things cutting-edge. If you want to skyrocket your band, your movie, or your brand to relevancy, South By Southwest is the place to go.
Music and film aside, the SXSW’s tech scene is impressive on its own. While we’d love to wax eloquently about Tinashe and one particular showcase named, “Don’t Mosh With Texas,” the Interactive Festival is what we’re really excited about. (Especially because we’ll be there!) It’s a wonderful complement to the SXSW conference, creating an environment that’s conducive to networking and a ton of learning opportunities. What are some stand-outs for 2018, you say? We thought you’d never ask. Here are a few of our favorites:
Startup and Tech Sectors Track
Need to learn more about blockchain? How about the future of cannabis tech? SXSW is offering a series of compelling sessions with startup leaders from just about every vertical. All-stars will be covering some of the biggest topics trending in tech these days. (I think we’ll definitely be adding Emmie Chang’s talk on ICO Alternative Financing for Startups to our schedule.)
The 7 Hottest Topics in Music Tech in 2018
When in Austin, music is a must-do. What’s more interesting than music tech? We’d like to think that besides what we do, not much. This all-star panel includes Pandora leader Lars Murray, NORTH Music’s Dave Allen, and Claire Parr of Live in the Vineyard. The discussion will be mostly artist-focused, an intriguing topic for anyone who’s tuned into the state of music after the advent and popularity of streaming culture. (Which, if you’re at SXSW, you probably do care about.)
Algorithms, Unconscious Bias, & AI
If we had a dollar for every time we’ve heard the terms “algorithm,” and “AI,” we’d have a lot of dollars. They’re two really hot topics in tech, and rightfully so. This panel tackles what that means for women and minorities in the workplace. Intriguing, hey? We think so too. It meshes algorithmic science with human nature to address the problem of algorithms reflecting science of a past society is trying to get away from. A must-see for sure.
Bankrupt to Billionaire
Is there a more captivating sentiment than that of this even’t title? The startup struggle is real and we’ve all been pretty close to bankruptcy— would you believe that’s all part of the creative process? Speakers will tell you it’s alright to fall down— you just have to know how, and when, to get back up.
A Better World: Next-Gen Tech for Social Good
CI&T seems to know that when marketing to millennials, doing good is everything. Companies— if they’re smart— are realizing this so there’s a lot to be said about ethics and tech. Panelists including Fair Trade USA’s Bennet Wetch will discuss how things like blockchain, AI, and machine learning can be used for the greater good. Anyone who care about using new tech to amplify a social cause should attend.
What are you particularly excited for in SXSW 2018? If you’re in Austin, be sure to stop by and say hello.