SXSW 2013 Starts Friday!

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

It’s time for SXSW again!  Held in Austin from March 8-17, the annual music, film, and interactive festival draws experts, enthusiasts, and culture lovers from across the globe.  The interactive (read: tech) schedule of events is filled to the brim with exciting events and speakers that tie in a more eclectic approach to digital development than most tech-centric conferences.  A few of the interactive events that are on our radar this year include:

Hackathon for Social Good: #sxsw #hack4good

RSVP Required – Join web and mobile experts in an all day Hackathon for Social Good, an awesome opportunity for programmers, UX practitioners and designers meet to work collaboratively to build programs and applications. The day will begin with short presentations by educators and non-profit organizations, followed by informational sessions on building sites and web applications to help benefit non-profit organizations.

Data & Gamification: Value to the Enterprise: #sxsw #DataGamify

Is Gamification fulfilling its promise and where is it taking us now?  The buzz of gamification is still humming along, mainly because of its tantalizing promise: there are fairly obvious ways to make the most tedious of tasks, well, actually quite interesting and fun. As gamification becomes integrated throughout consumer and enterprise interfaces, is it truly generating new insights or simply making it simpler to get boring things done with ease?

The New Nature vs. Nurture: Big Data & Identity: #sxsw #BigData

A baby born in the US today will live an algorithmed life. Her education, healthcare, career, who she dates, the ads she sees, what she reads, eats, buys, will be shaped by a feedback loop of data collected, processed, fed back to her, collected, processed, fed back to her. We call this the new nature and the new nurture.

SXSW started in 1995 with an intimate crowd of just over 1,000.  Last year, over 24,500 people registered for the festival and every year it’s getting bigger.  The Denver Post has a great breakdown of the growth of SXSW here.  It’s popularity, and one of the reasons we head to Austin every spring, is because of the common threads between tech and culture that are unique to SXSW.  The worlds of music and film, and even a few rogue literary events, make it the perfect place to mix and network with creative people outside of the usually digital circles.  It also provides the opportunity to tap into creative crowds and perspectives that can help move a project through a stagnant phase or launch a new idea for the development team.  If you’re headed to this year’s SXSW, be sure to stay in touch with us on Twitter and let us know some of your favorite events!  @NeonRoots

SXSW Interactive Schedule: here

Creative Commons SXSW 2013” by in_rainbows69 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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