What We Do (and Don’t) Want to See During SXSW 2019

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In case you haven’t heard, SXSW released its first deluge of programming for the 2019 edition of the conference. It may seem absurdly early to start thinking about what there will be to see, do, debate and absorb (hell, you might not even know if you’re going yet!) but we’re unabashedly getting a jumpstart on things.

Pencil us in for the journalism track.

We love that SX preserved the journalism track, which is spread across a full seven days this year, as it gives us a rare glimpse into the trends, challenges and ideas that fuel our counterparts on the other side of the PR equation. Fake news, ethics and reporting in the age of Trump were covered pretty exhaustively last go-round, but we’ll likely be baited into a few of those sessions. We also think some solid debate will be sparked during “Newsroom Burnout: Last Straw for Journalism?” and look forward to exploring “The Intersection of New Formats in Media” and “AI and the Future of Journalism.”

More. underrepresented. voices. period.

As a female-founded company, we’ve always made it a point to support female voices and leaders in tech, the investing community, government and any other business environment we touch. We’re thrilled that SX has mirrored that mentality and made it a priority to address gender diversity both in panel subject matter and makeup. And talk about connecting the dots…championing women extends to the media world too. To that end, we’re excited to be present for “Newsrooms Need More Women: Ending Gender Imbalance.”

There’s also another under-discussed class of conference participants that we’re hoping to catch a lot of. Sure, Silicon Valley is great. And we obviously love Austin. But that leaves 48 other states to be represented at the event. We’re looking forward to hearing what’s going on in tech and industry in the other regions of our great nation.

We’re high on the cannabusiness track.

If you know me, you understand that I can’t resist making that horrible dad joke. But in seriousness, with Canadian legalization taking effect last week and many more U.S. states on the precipice, the cannabis boom is only just beginning. We’re interested in learning how cannabis companies and tech innovators are coming at issues ranging from banking restrictions to delivery and distribution, to back-end and POS software.

Blocking out the crypto craze.

I get it, blockchain is a revolutionary technology with innumerable use cases; I won’t discount that. But man, am I spent on the excessive, drawn-out cryptocurrency hype cycle. Have at those sessions – you won’t find me there. Crypto already gets enough media attention as it is and in my opinion, SX didn’t need to add to the echo chamber with a dedicated track.

Fresh takes on startups and tech.

Tech and specifically startups are part of SX’s DNA that we hope will never go away. Having said that, with big brand activations taking over and more niche tracks to dive into, it gets tougher to discuss that territory in a way that’s untrodden and compelling. Here are a few sessions that we believe hold the potential to do just that:

VCs Reality Check for AI Hype

All the Startup Ladies: Reimagining the VC Scene

Tired of The Self-Driving Car Rhetoric? Truck That

Featured Speaker: Susan Fowler

Can the Tech Industry Disrupt Poverty?

There are undoubtedly other tracks (see: food, sports, music, film, etc.) and individual sessions that we won’t happen to discover or be able to make it to, but that won’t stop us from trying to take in everything SX has to offer. What are you already looking forward to or trying to avoid like the plague? Feel free to leave a comment as we hurtle towards March; SX will be here before we know it.

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