SXSW…it’s more human than drones and wearable tech
Andy Fowler is executive creative director at Brothers and Sisters
This is the first time I’ve been to the mythical South by Southwest and what struck me is how profoundly human the main themes were.
You might have visions of an army of geeks banging on about drones, wearable tech and the next free texting service to be sold for $19 billion.
And there’s a lot of that here make no mistake.
But something else lurks front and centre. I found a ‘future’ industry known for inexorable progress at the speed of light in a reflective mode.
Giving Julian Assange a platform to ask ‘how has the greatest tool of emancipation become the greatest tool of surveillance known to man?’ Inviting Edward Snowden, live from Russia via a 5 times encrypted Google Hangout (ironic huh) to expound ‘the National Security Agency is setting fire to the future of the internet.’
Two enemies of the state appealing to the epicentre of the tech community. The future of personal security is in your hands. Only you can help by developing more secure platforms and products.
Popular astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson told a spellbound crowd to ‘let your one year olds express their scientific curiosity’ by banging wooden spoons on pots and pans and smashing eggs on your kitchen floor.
The people of Boulder, Colorado, shared their extraordinary David over Goliath tale of driving out a huge coal-powered energy company from their town and setting course for a renewable future.
Anne Wojcicki of the controversial personal genomics firm 23andme argued passionately for the right for everyone to own their own biometric health data, to be in control of their own health, preventing disease before it happens.
Oh and there’s loads of Brit ad people out here getting hammered.
But you already knew that.