SXSW Interactive is well known for sharing the newest trends, inspiration and disruptive ideas. It’s probably the only place in the world where you can hear the founders of Paypal, Twitter, Slack, Under Armor, Wikipedia all share their vision on one stage in one single day (SXSW runs 5 days...) On the other hand, the event is so enormous in terms of content availability that sometimes it can be very hard to absorb all interesting content. SXSW understood this difficulties very well and even organized a massive one hour presentation on how to navigate SXSW and get the most out of the event. This is even interesting if you did not attend. You can watch the session here:
In line with this thought and in order to help you out, Oxyma compiled a small list of essential sessions categorized by some of the key areas that were covered during the event. So even if you weren’t there: sit back, relax and enjoy all the cool and fresh content from SXSW Interactive 2016.
Possibly one of the main reasons to attend SXSW is being inspired by all the great speakers that share their thoughts during their keynotes. Most of the times these are very successful entrepreneurs, but this year was special since also the President made an appearance at the event! Below you’ll find the two talks that kicked off the event.
The Gospel of Doubt Casey Gerald had the difficult task to be the opening act before President Obama. Normally, this would scare some people off but Casey knocked it out of the park with his keynote on the “Gospel of Doubt”. He stated that personal growth can only be achieved by always leaving some room to question the people who tell you they have all the answers. “By accepting that everything you know is wrong, you can grow and you can make a true impact.” This keynote is a must-watch since it was one of the most inspiring and well-presented talks of SXSW this year!
A Conversation with President Barack Obama Seeing president Obama in real life was already an experience in itself but he also shared some very interesting insights in the ideas he has for the US government in terms of digital transformation, civic engagement and a response on the Apple vs. FBI case.
Obama was very clear about the role he sees for the government and the private sector. This is a conversation you can’t miss!
“One of the greatest traits of all this is making sure whatever the government is doing is supplemented and enhanced by a private sector and nonprofit sectors with a way to step up."
“A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances (Wikipedia, 2016)”. This is probably the keyword/motto for everything that is going on in Silicon Valley and also during SXSW. Disrupting the established “rusty” markets and have a positive impact on people’s lives is for a lot of start-ups a purpose of life. Below you’ll find 3 sessions that were all about disrupting markets and even disrupting capitalism!
Accessing the Inaccessible: Evolving Search Biz Stone (one of the founders of Twitter) thought it was time to disrupt Search engine land and launched a new search engine called Jelly. This is a search engine that is all about delivering helpful answers by helpful people instead of operating algorithms. Jelly will fill up the gap of “subjective search” that Google seems to forget.
By depending on qualitative answers from real people, Jelly is aiming for disruption in the SE market. We’ll see, but this session was a must watch if you want to have a sneak peek into the mind of a successful disruptor!
A new OS for the Digital Economy Douglas Rushkoff had a go at the existing way digital tech is putting industrial capitalism on steroids. In his opinion it seems that most start-ups have one goal, and one goal only, and that is to sell to bigger companies after they did something useful to humanity. This method seems to destroy more jobs and markets in the long run than it creates. This is an interesting take on modern capitalism and really deserves a watch!
Bitcoin: Let’s cut through the noise already! Bitcoin is surely not a new kid on the block when we’re talking disruption, but this session really provided some interesting takes on the way bitcoin maturity should be brought to the next level and how financial markets will be disrupted in the forthcoming years.
If it is up to the Winklevoss brothers, bitcoin deserves your attention and could even be a wise investment in the long run. Watch this session to understand more of bitcoin and get some really interesting insights from the creators of the gemini bitcoin exchange.
This summary would not be complete without an overview of the newest tech trends. Quite a lot of sessions were addressing trends and these 2 are the trends that were literally everywhere!
Totally not a new technology but it has reached maturity which finally enables companies to use VR to educate, promote and entertain against relatively low cost.
AI was mentioned in almost every session. One of the main reasons was that very recently Google has been able to create a program that has beaten a master Go player which is seen as a big milestone moment for artificial intelligence.
In the video below you will see this trend surfacing in several ways. Kevin Kelly even elaborated on these trends quite extensively in his session '12 Inevitable tech Forces That will Shape Our Future'. Unfortunately there is still no video available that is covering this session. We will update this as soon as it’s available. Can’t wait for the video? His book explains all 12 of them! You can find it here.
Rodney Brooks: Rethink Robotics Rodney Brooks, the chairman of 'Rethink Robotics' and the former director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab shared his thoughts on problems that robots will and won’t solve in the coming years. One of his most interesting comments was on the effect that robots will have on our personal lives. He stated that even while robots will be doing all the repeatable work in the future, this should not be seen as a threat to humanity. Quality of jobs will improve and within a few years we will probably even be “ashamed of some of the jobs that were done by humans since this was inhumane”.
End of part 1
This concludes part 1 of this blogpost. This is probably already a lot of content to digest. Next week in part 2 we will address:
- More tech trends!
- The future of media ( Wikipedia, Buzzfeed)
- Gender Bias ( Elephant in the valley)
- Under Armour (How a sports giant is now tackling your health)