August 28, 2014

South by Southwest, usually referred to as SXSW, is an annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas. The “interactive” portion usually goes by the hashtag #SXSWi on Twitter, and while music and film are a big part of the event, the interactive part features the creativity of gaming designers, application developers, digital strategists, all described by the SXSW website as “innovative digital creatives.” This part of SXSW is called “SXSW Interactive Festival,” and runs March 13-17, 2015.  

Involvement from MIT faculty, staff, students, and alumni

Since innovation is key to MIT’s education, research, global impact, entrepreneurship, and all other activities, it isn’t surprising that there is an overwhelming number of entries for the SXSW panels for next year. You can log in to SXSW’s PanelPicker and vote for what you want to see as part of the finals schedule. Below is a list that includes proposals for panels, workshops, and presentations from MIT professors, undergraduate and graduate students, research and visiting scientists, alumni, and program directors. 

Data (in)security: MIT scientists tackle privacy
Hacking Medicine: From Pain Points to Pitches 
Global Knowledge through Media and Art Engagement
Leading Digital: Mastering Digital Transformation
The Future of Wearable Tech: Battle in the Streets
Reddit, Circa, and the Hunger for Atomizing News
The Innovator’s DNA: The Five Innovation Skills
The Future of Food? A Personal Growing Revolution
Algorithms & Creativity: An Improbable Relationship
Synthetic Biology For Us All: Do’s, Don’ts, Dreams
Create and Manage Topic-based Higher-ed Curricula
From Vice to Virtue: Videogames, Marijuana, Munch
Are Games the Super Heroes of Digital Pedagogies?
Exploring the Future of Connected Objects
Motivation and Virtual Learning
Empowering Cities with Big Data Analytics
6 Steps to Digitally Disrupt Your Favorite Industry!
The Rise of the Social Robot
API Ecosystems: Enterprises vs. Consumers
The Empowering Experience Experiment (E3)
Accelerators by the Numbers: Announcing the 2014 Rankings
Method Matters in Civic Engagement - But How?
At a Glance: How Does Type Impact Your Daily Life?
How Wearable Technology is Revolutionizing Sport

Are there any other proposals missing from this list? Leave a comment. 

The SXSW PanelPicker

It is a bold move to plan a conference using a social voting system. SXSW Interactive 2015 directs visitors to its PanelPicker page and tries to make it as interactive and social as possible by allowing the community to vote on who should present. 

Firstly, the voting is interactive and social. You can vote on a panel with a thumb up or thumb down. You can then explain your vote in the comments section. 

Secondly, the proposals are also interactive and social. Most proposals have embedded YouTube videos and links to more information. The entries are also tagged with keywords so you can easily see related entries. You can share any proposal with the “share this idea” feature in the left margin. Also, there’s a “show me another” button for quick and random browsing of other proposals. 

Now, go vote! Voting closes at 11:59 CT on September 7, 2014.


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Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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