Winning at SXSW 2016 – Even if you weren’t there!

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 Armour and Wikipedia all share their vision on one stage in one single day (SXSW runs for 5 days…). 

On the other hand, the event is so enormous in terms of content availability that it can also be very hard to absorb all interesting content. SXSW understood these difficulties very well and even organized a massive one hour presentation on how to navigate through SXSW and get the most out of the event. This is presentation is really interesting, even 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.

Inspiration

Possibly one of the main reasons to attend SXSW is to be 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 even President Obama 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, however Casey knocked it out of the park with his keynote about 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. “One of the greatest traits of all this is making sure that whatever the government is doing is supplemented and enhanced by a private sector and nonprofit sectors with a way to step up.” This is a conversation you cannot miss!

Disruption

“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 having 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.

traditional search

By depending on qualitative answers from real people Jelly is aiming for disruption in the SE market. We’ll see about that, 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 be sold 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 surely isn’t a new kid on the block when we’re talking disruption, however 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 truly interesting insights from the creators of the gemini bitcoin exchange.

Tech trends

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 below are the trends that were literally everywhere!

Virtual Reality

virtual

Totally not a new technology but it has reached maturity which finaly enables companies to use VR to educate, promote and entertain against relatively low cost.

Artificial intelligence

artificial intelligence

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 regarding this subject you will see this trend surfacing in several ways. Kevin Kelly elaborated on these trends quite extensively in his session: 12 Inevitable tech Forces That will Shape Our Future.

Do you prefer reading over watching? 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 during the coming years. One of his most interesting comments was regarding 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, which is probably already a lot of content to digest.

Next week we will address the following subjects in part 2:

  • 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)

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