Join Our Community at SXSW Interactive!


When you hear the name “South by Southwest” you might think of the legendary music and film festivals that happens every year in Austin, TX. But alongside these proving grounds for unsigned bands and unseen documentaries, the SXSW Interactive Festival has been gathering steam for more than 20 years. From its pre-Internet origins in a few panel discussions, SXSW Interactive now attracts more than 30,000 attendees each year and has become known as a legendary laboratory for start-ups and established companies alike.

I’ve had the good fortune to attend SXSW for several years and it’s always a highlight of my year. There’s just a great opportunity to engage with people from organizations and industries throughout the US (and world), all of them passionate about technology – and having a good time.

This year, the SXSW Interactive festival spans topics from government to social impact, virtual reality to experiential storytelling, and more. One my favorite features of the festival is its community focus. In fact, many of the most compelling presentations at SXSW have come by way of community suggestions.

In fact, since 2007 SXSW has made community input part of their selection process for their festivals. Here’s where you can contribute your voice – even if you can’t make it to Austin in March. Several of my colleagues at Intel have submitted proposals to present their ideas at the 2017 conference, and I’d love your support in voting for them – only if you think they are worthy topics, of course! So without further ado, here they are:

Dawn Nafus: “The Machines are Watching You” covers the growth of self-tracking of biometric data and how we can use this data to change our own behaviors.

Rachel Mushahwar:  “Retail Battle lines- Front Door or In Store?”  discusses how connected devices can create less mystery for shoppers and reshape an industry.

Bryce Olson: "Sequence Me: A Tragically-Uncommon Cancer Battle” focuses on Bryce’s battle with cancer and how the combination of technology and precision medicine has essentially saved his life.

Bob Rogers: “Data Science: Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” discusses how the increasing availability of powerful, easy-to-use analytical platforms is driving demand for data scientists

Todd Harple: “Wearables: Renaissance or Much Ado About Nothing” gives a panel of industry leaders the opportunity to discuss new materials, applications, and business practices for wearable technology

Intrigued? Ready to vote? Here’s how:

  1. Go to the SXSW website and create a login (you MUST create a login to vote)
  2. Once you’re logged in, go back to the sessions linked above and vote, or go to the SXSW PanelPicker homepage and search by session name or speaker.
  3. That’s it!

Just a reminder, voting ends September 2nd – so I’ll report back soon on which of these topics will be part of the SXSW 2017 Interactive festival.