The annual SXSW ("South by Southwest") festival of music, film and interactive media descends on Austin, Texas this Friday, March 7. The 10-day schedule of events is jam-packed with performances, discussions, presentations and networking. I'll be there with press credentials to cover the inspiring madness for Huffington Post Impact and Benevolent Media during the "Interactive" portion of the festival. Here's my guide to everything related to the power of media to create social change.
Below are some day-by-day highlights. View Benevolent Media's full schedule of recommended events here.
(If you’re in town and interested in blogging about one of the events, contact me at erica [at] benevolentmedia [dot] org.)
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
8:30 a.m. - Early Rise Austin Start your day off right with a new morning mixer series hosted by Media Rise! It's not an official SXSW event, but you can expect to meet a lot of socially conscious creatives. I won't be there, but say hello to my co-founder Mandar Apte, who will lead a group meditation to unleash your inner creativity, followed by a talk with leaders in the media-for-social-change space in Austin. Admission is pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10 to benefit the 2014 Media Rise Festival in Washington, D.C. RSVP here: http://earlyriseaustin.eventbrite.com
11:00 a.m. - Teeny Tiny Video, Great Big Impact Our "Early Rise" presenter Aaron Bramley, founder of Lights. Camera. Help. and his filmmaking colleagues will be lead a workshop on how super short-format video, like Vine and Instagram, can be used to bring about real positive impact.
5:00 p.m. - A Fearless Approach to Social Change What would you do if you were not afraid? Join Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, host & producer of HuffPost Live, and Jean Case, CEO of The Case Foundation, to learn the elements of a fearless approach to social change.
SATURDAY, MARCH 8
9:30 a.m. - Inspired Design: Meditation & Creativity Meet Gopika Prabhu, co-founder & chief creative officer of Elefint Designs, which offers strategic design services for good causes. She will lead a morning meditation to re-center and clear the mind, and keep you in a space of creativity, energy and clarity.
3:30 p.m. - How Technology Fuels Social Change How does technology fuel social change? Learn about digital innovations in social activism from panelists Jill Iscol, president of the IF Hummingbird Foundation; Leila Janah, founder and CEO of Samasource; and Josh Nesbit, CEO of Medic Mobile.
5:00 p.m. - Human Connection: The Ultimate Digital Currency And remember: "The most valuable digital currency for creating participatory content is in fact, good old fashioned, human connection." 'Nuff said.
8:00 p.m. - SXSW Eco Launch Party You can't forget to party while you're in Austin. And you might as well party with a purpose.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Innovators + Social Good SXSW 2014 I'll be spending most of my day at Austin's City Hall, to join another "Early Rise" presenter (see Friday's schedule) and "mediapreneur" Ruben Cantu in a day of talks about social innovation, sponsored by the United Nations Foundation.
11:00 a.m. - Hackathons for the Social Good Meet other people passionate about hacking the system to create a better world.
5:00 p.m. - #GivingTuesday: Inside the Sharknado of Giving Join Stanford University’s Rob Reich, Facebook’s Libby Leffler and 92Y’s Henry Timms for a fireside chat about the power of sharing, using the popular #GivingTuesday movement as a case study for generating selfless social media buzz.
MONDAY, MARCH 10
There's no better place to be than the SXSW Social Good Hub - except it's split over two locations, so you'll have to pick and choose wisely, or else clone yourself.
9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Connections and Collaborations at Bungalow Another all-day event presented by the United Nations Foundation, dedicated to bringing together digital creatives, agencies, filmmakers and entrepreneurs for discussion and collaboration focused on social change. And it's hosted in the "Bungalow," which makes everything sound fun.
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Panel Programming at Wanderlust A day of panels sponsored by socially relevant film producer Participant Media.
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - SXeve Launch Party Learn more about a new initiative SXeve, a community hub focused on empowering women via enterprise, presented by Change.org. You'd better believe I'll be there!
TUESDAY, MARCH 11
11:00 a.m. - Crowdfunding Real Change for Girls & Women After a night of celebrating empowering women, come by the Austin Convention Center in the morning to learn about Catapult, a crowdfunding platform that connects people with organizations working on ensuring equal rights for women and girls.
12:30 p.m. - Taking It to the Street: Neighborhood As Interface What happens when civic tech, engaged artists and makers collaborate in urban spaces? Amazing ways of re-imagining neighborhoods. (For something similar, check out this afternoon session, "Public Space Is More Important than Social Media.")
3:30 p.m. - Getting S#$! Done: Online Organizers Making Change Get some practical tips from seasoned online organizers about how to build an active community to support your cause. And go out there and get stuff done!