Tech For Good! How SXSW Has Shown Us A More Empathetic Future

Tech For Good! How SXSW Has Shown Us A More Empathetic Future
SHARE
THIS



Leo Burnett Sydney’s group business director, James Walker-Smith (pictured below), is fresh off the plane from SXSW with this opinion piece in hand. While in Texas he says he witnessed an abundance of new gadgets and tech which left him with a nice, warm, giddy feeling…   

Bots are changing the world, and mostly for the good. Messenger is the new black for brands as people switch off email. The singularity is still coming but we don’t need to send for John Connor just yet.

379b53c

Autonomous cars are actually not quite ready to roll but will change just about everything when they are.

VR is definitely here but still makes you feel a bit dizzy so that needs to be fixed.

And Facebook video is perhaps the most undervalued asset in the marketing world.

These were just some of the headlines buzzing around SXSW this year. But behind the sound bites what was the overall vibe? How are the interactive, film and music communities coping in the face of a new political climate?  Should we be fearful or be thankful? And ultimately what does it mean for us marketing professionals?

The first clue was a session that had almost everyone in tears. In a good way.

Rainn Wilson (Gareth from the US version of The Office and founder of SoulPancake) and Jason Baldoni (actor and entrepreneur, founder of Wayfarer) put forward a refreshingly simple premise… we should only be concerned with making stuff (content of all shapes and sizes) that matters. They brought this to life with content such as My Last Days, a series about how to truly live, as told by those who are dying.

Rainn and Jason hold a simple belief that a good story well told can change the world and that there is no reason that inspiring stories can’t be commercial. In the end feeling good, to feel joy, is infectious and is sought after. Inspirational positive content trends faster than any other type of content.

This was the start of a thread around empathy that grew in the days that followed. The imperative of progress, fuelled by new tech, but played out in a more open, inclusive and positive way. In short, recognising the importance of connecting with people in a useful and personal way.

Perhaps this was best served by the inimitable Yasmin Green from Google’s Jigsaw and how her team have used programmatic to design a new redirect method to drive potential terrorist recruits away from extremist online content. This is worth a proper look.

There was also the refreshingly honest moment when Maggie Malone, of Disney and development lead on Frozen no less, admitted it had been a colleague outside of her own writing team who suggested that Anna and Elsa should be sisters in one of their daily story reviews. An inspiration for us all to think about how we ideate and how we review and build ideas to make them better with our wider teams.

And then there was Adam Grant debunking myths of success and inspiring us all to go forward with confidence following his study of ‘The Originals’. It should be no surprise that we all are capable of great ideas. But what the world needs is more champions of great ideas. Those who are prepared to confront expected processes and expectations to actually make them happen.

And there were many more like this. SXSW is a clarion call to work smarter and faster, that much is well known. But this year there was a greater emphasis on human connection and understanding. Technology is opening up new opportunities but it will be our empathy with others and our ambition to do better that will truly set us apart. 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Casella Brands Designworks James Walker-Smith Outdoor Lions

Latest News

Bangkok Thailand - August 31 2017 Facebook App on iPhone with computer laptop background closeup male hand hold social network on smart device concept.
  • Media
  • Opinion

Young Australians Will Abandon Facebook If It Doesn’t Do More To Combat Hate Speech

In this guest post, founders of The Daily Aus Sam Koslowski and Zara Seidler discuss why in order to stay in the game and keep its user, social media giant Facebook needs to do more to combat hate speech… For young Australians, Facebook is on the decline. Unless the platform better responds to its user’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign
  • Media

Baskin-Robbins Australia Awarded For Stranger Things Campaign

A brave move has paid dividends for Baskin-Robbins Australia who recently announced they won the award for Best Digital Initiative at last week’s QSR Media Awards. Baskin-Robbins Australia’s Master Licensee, Palm Oasis Ventures took a risk in launching a digital winter campaign targeting a new millennial and Gen Z demographic when it partnered with Netflix to launch season 3 of the streaming giant’s most popular show, the sci-fi horror series, Stranger Things.

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)
  • Media

TikTok Turns On Trump (Again)

TikTok has turned on Trump once again. As yet, no one brave enough to speculate it's the work of the Chinese government.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA JULY 1, 2018: Entrance to Adobe San Francisco office location in historic Baker and Hamilton warehouse
  • Media

Convert Digital Awarded Adobe’s Magento Gold Status

Leading eCommerce website development agency, Convert Digital, has achieved the coveted Magento Gold Status from Adobe. This accomplishment has been reached following the agency’s continuing work with the Magento 2 platform - platform that is incredibly robust and offers unrivalled flexibility and scalability.

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent
  • Campaigns

Influencers Raise $95k For Starlight Children’s Foundation In Do-Good Campaign Via Born Bred Talent

Influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent has partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to mobilise their talent roster and support the Stream Raiser campaign, contributing over $95k in donations thanks to virtual fundraising efforts.  With a combined reach of 6.2 million across Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, 9 Australian influencers contributed 76% of the $124k raised […]

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream
  • Advertising

UNICEF Set To Launch ClickforCovid Relief Gaming Stream

In 2020, the ‘new wave’ of youth consumers have inspired the world with their activism and fundraising, so eGEN is proud to have partnered with UNICEF, Loserfruit and friends to help gamers fight COVID and help the world’s most vulnerable children. The world’s most famous strawberry will be joined by her Click crew for a […]

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation
  • Media

Silverbullet Achieves Adobe Audience Manager Specialisation

Silverbullet Data Services Group (Silverbullet), has become one of only four businesses globally to achieve Adobe Specialisation in EMEA for Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Specialised Partners are acknowledged as the most skilled technical practitioners throughout the global partner ecosystem. Specialisations are earned after organisations achieve a level of certified expertise in an Adobe solution and […]

Businesswoman hand connecting jigsaw puzzle, Business solutions, success and strategy concept
  • Technology

General Mills Partners With Zyper To Build Virtual Superfan Communities

Food company General Mills has partnered with Zyper, a marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans, to build virtual fan communities for General Mills’ brands. As part of the agreement, General Mills will use Zyper’s software to initially identify the Betty Crocker and Fibre One brands’ top one per cent of fans on social […]

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia
  • Technology

Facebook Pledges $500,000 To Group Admins Across Australia

Facebook is continuing its Facebook Australia Groups Impact Fund, today announcing $500,000 in funding for the program. The grant was originally designated for bushfire recovery groups, however, has now been extended to local communities across the country who might be facing hardship. Facebook said it is on the lookout for groups that have a positive […]