2015 South by Southwest Interactive Preview

13 Feb

South by Southwest is the one of the premier conferences in the United States. The annual conference showcases film, music, and technology (known as Interactive). The interactive portion of the festival features five days of “cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity. Five days of presentations and panels are highlighted by several of the best minds in technology beginning Friday, March 13 and running through Tuesday, March 17.

South by Southwest Interactive was started in 1994, just seven years after the festival’s debut. Each year SXSW brings together the best in many creative and technology based industry. This year’s lineup of speakers and panelists is one of the best yet rivaling past year speakers that include the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, Adam Savage and more. This year’s lineup includes:

  • Paola Antonelli – Senior Curator of the Museum of Modern Art
  • Logan Green – CEO and co-Founder of Lyft
  • Astro Teller – Google[x]
  • Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud – CEO Alfa International

The presentations will range in topics from “science fiction-like” technologies created at the secretive Google[x] laboratory to the rise and evolution of women in the workplace and third world countries. One keynote takes place each day during the festival between 2-3PM.

Keynote presentations are not the only draw at SXSW. There a tons of events to attend including sessions, workshops, and of course the “occasional” party or two. Many of the sessions feature highly relevant technology topics. A few of this year’s sessions include:

  • Media, Tech, and What’s Next?
  • The ISIS Twitter Census
  • The State of Surveillance
  • Defining the Next Generation Retail Experience
  • Healthcare and Technology: Putting the Patient First

You can see a full list of sessions for the festival here.

Finally, visitors can get hands on experience and education with SXSW Workshops. Workshops are the ideal way to not only learn from some of the technology industry’s most brilliant minds, but immerse yourself in today and tomorrow’s technology. Workshops range in subjects from marketing and entrepreneurship to design and social media. A few of this year’s workshops include:

  • Advanced Bran and Marketing for Early Stage Companies
  • Data Visualization: Marketing Skill of the Future
  • Digital Body Language
  • Build Location-Aware Apps Using Open Source
  • Information Architecture Essentials
  • Build Right: Frontend Testing

SXSW features dozens of workshops for a range of different areas. You can see a full list of the 2015 workshops here.

Many believe SXSW is only for the savvy, “next-generation”, or those in the digital arena. In the end, SXSW is a festival of the minds. It brings together great thinkers and motivated doers. It’s built to harness the power of many instead of the few, and help bring technology to the forefront of your everyday life. Not everyday can you attend an event that offers so much in such a short time. You’re not going to gain the knowledge and experience at your local technology meet-ups that you will at SXSW. It is events such as these that strive to make technology a force for driving good in the world, and helping individuals from all walks of life harness its power.

You can learn more about SXSW, the full schedule, and view past presentations by visiting the SXSW.com.