South By Southwest 2019 is almost here! If you're traveling to the Austin area here are a list of sessions that you don't want to miss!
1. Crazy Rich Wakanda: Building Buzz and Selling Seats
What: "From creating viral social media movements like the #BlackPantherChallenge that crowdfunded $950,000 to send 73,000 kids to see the Black Panther movie worldwide, to organizing the largest Crazy Rich Asians Activation Event in the United States, this panel will discuss how they did the grassroots work to advance the #RepresentationMatters movement with calls to action that mobilized the community to buy tickets and sell out theaters for Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. Discover the creative and operational tools these panelists used to partner with movie studios and movie theaters to support these films with all-black and all-Asian casts. Leave with practical tips for creating your own viral movements that shine light on underrepresented stories."
Why I'm interested: Last year, I had the pleasure of witnessing the Crazy Rich Asians Activation Event in Austin. The group seriously sold out theaters across the City, and I genuinely have no idea how they did it. This talk should be interesting!
2. The Simpsons Writers and Creative Co-Habitation
When: March 9, 2019 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM
What: "How do artists work and live together without driving each other crazy? Al Jean and Stephanie Gillis, writers from The Simpsons, discuss how they have thrived together creatively despite contrasting working styles. We’ll focus on how artists ( writers, musicians, visual artists, etc,) can work together successfully, while also encouraging and inspiring each other creatively."
Why I'm attending: Collaboration around any creative idea is difficult. As for collaborating to create "The Simpsons?" That's got to require a special set of skills we can all learn from.
3. Women In Film Behind-The-Scenes
When: March 11, 2019 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
What: "Last year in Hollywood, only 6% of directors were women and 12% were people of color. The number of behind-the-scenes jobs held by women in the top 250 films has seen virtually no progress over the past two decades. As the US moves toward becoming a majority-minority country, investing in off-screen hiring that is more reflective of the US population will ensure a more accurate representation of today’s audiences on-screen. Join three women in the industry as they break down the numbers that prove diversity is strengthening their work. From hiring multilingual employees to prioritizing different points of views, they’ll outline how championing diversity not only helps your bottom line but empowers you to create fresh content that reflects the lives of the people watching it."
Why I'm attending: Consumers have been vocal about the need for representation on-screen, and now it's time to push for the voices behind the camera. In light of successful films like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, I'm curious to know what movements are developing in film production, too.
4. The Bumble Hive at SXSW
When: March 8, 2019 from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
What: "Bumble is buzzing this SXSW! The dating, networking, and friend-finding app is popping up in the heart of downtown Austin, taking over local favorite Jo’s Coffee—which means free coffee round the clock for everyone! We’re transforming it into one of our famous, Instagram-friendly Bumble Hives. Stop by each morning for free breakfast tacos, stay and get tips on putting your best face forward from our profile experts, and don’t miss exciting programming that’ll help you make healthy, empowered connections in all areas of your life."
Why I'm attending: Considering SXSW attendees flock to the conference to network, I'm thinking the Bumble Hive will likely be a good spot to mingle and meet other professionals.
5. Mindful Self-Care: The Antidote to Burnout At Work
When: March 8, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
What: "Over a million people miss work daily due to burnout and unmitigated stress. Through facilitator-led conversation, group participation, and hands-on demonstrations, this session explores how mindfulness-based self-care can be an antidote to burnout. In this session, we'll explore why 'feeling stressed' differs from 'being burned out.' Together, we'll unpack the mental, physical, financial, health, personal, and professional impacts caused by burnout. This session also examines how our resistance to self-care is often enmeshed with our desire to rescue others before rescuing ourselves. Participants will learn how adopting easy-to-learn daily rituals for mindful self-care can shift mindsets, enhance moods, and create happy, healthy workplaces."
Why I'm attending: Creative burnout is a unique evil, and I spend a lot of time exploring the topic on my column. I'm always interested in other thought leaders' perspectives on the subject.
6. Feminist Rising: Why Brands Must Take A Stand
When: March 11, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
What: "Today’s feminists are unstoppable–raising their voices for equality, diversity and inclusion. Fashion brands are following suit. Rebecca Minkoff has taken initiative with politics, supporting candidate Catalina Cruz, dubbed 'the legislative middle finger to Trump' by NY Mag. Architectural swimwear brand Chromat changed the face of the catwalk and advertising, featuring people of all shapes, sizes, abilities and identifiers. As brands walk on eggshells to be politically correct, these women-led brands are busting through barriers, and agencies like Berlin Cameron and its Girl Brands Do It Better division are facilitating the charge and attracting customers along the way."
Why I'm attending: Chromat is one of the most authentic, inclusive brands I've ever come across—I'm ready to soak anything they have to say up.
7. How Books Are Fighting Back In The Digital Age
When: March 9, 2019 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
What: "This panel of writers, publishers and future-thinkers will examine ways in which books are attempting to compete, re-imagine and revitalize storytelling in the digital age. As live-streaming, gaming, podcasts, and on-demand tv compete for our attention, what new kinds of reading experiences will take us back to the unique pleasures of the book? What part can new immersive technologies like VR, MR and AR play and how can books help shape our digital future? The panel will explore new partnerships developing between writers, tech and the book publishing industry and will discuss how new audiences are being introduced to the work of emerging and established writers through advances in digital technology."
Why I'm attending: You can't beat a good book, because you can't beat a succinct piece of communication. I wonder often about the future of the written word, so hopefully this panel will quell my concerns.
8. Girl Gaze: Why Representation Matters
When: March 12, 2019 from 4:15 to 4:30 PM
What: "Amanda de Cadenet is the Founder and CEO of Girlgaze, an innovative technology platform that aims to close the gender gap one job at a time, by connecting its global community of female-identifying creatives with brand partners. One of the most influential feminists of our time, Amanda will share the inaccuracies of the misrepresented girl gaze, how the girl gaze has been overlooked in mainstream media—and the truth behind the most searched for and talked about terms among the community."
Why I'm attending: Girlgaze took the Internet by storm a few years ago, and I've been keeping up with the project ever since.
9. Bee-Suite to C-Suite: The Making of Me and the Bees
When: March 11, 2019 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM
What: "Meet Austin’s own trailblazing tween entrepreneur, Mikaila Ulmer, who, inspired by a love of bees, founded Me & the Bees Lemonade when she was just four years old. Still only 13, Shark Tank-icon Ulmer has been compared to Oprah and Michelle Obama by President Obama is a U.S. National Park Service Ambassador and was named one of 30 most influential teens by TIME Magazine. Hear Ulmer’s story of following her passion, overcoming a lawsuit, becoming a CEO, and positioning her brand for the future. Interviewed by Mark Miller, founder of The Legacy Lab, bestselling author, and an expert on building brands for the long-term in a short-term world."
Why I'm attending: In 2016, I watched Mikaila Ulmer introduce Michelle Obama at the United State of Women Conference. It was incredible, and I'd love to see what she's up to three years later.
10. Elisabeth Moss with Brandi Carlile
When: March 10, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM
What: "Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile interviews Emmy Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss about her intense transformation to play punk rocker Becky Something in the acclaimed upcoming film Her Smell. Hear Carlile and Moss swap stories and trade secrets about the rock and roll lifestyle both real and pretend, as well as their recent collaboration on the music video Party of One."
Why I'm attending: Two words. Elisabeth Moss.
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