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.
Read more on SXSW…it’s more human than drones and wearable tech…
Pete Edwards is chief strategy officer at Engine
There was plenty to keep me occupied on my final day at SXSW. After a pleasant stroll to the centre in sunshine (yes, Texas comes good after 3 days of rain) first up is a session titled ‘Smartphones to Healthphones – a doctor in your pocket’. More grist to the mill that technology is going to change the way we look after our health and wellbeing. We’ve all seen Bones in Star Trek waving a buzzing whirring box over mortally wounded Klingon to check their injuries. Well – it’s coming.
Read more on Tim Berners Lee bested by robots, creativity is a state of mind…
Paul Vallois is managing partner at Partners Andrews Aldridge
Before jetting off to Austin I was subjected to an intense interrogation of where and why I was going by an inquisitive daughter. I answered as best I could with a growing sense that I wasn’t particularly prepared for what I was about to embark upon.
It turns out, as my colleague Dan Northover (a three veteran of the festival) advised, that the key to preparation is not to prepare too much at all. Otherwise two things happen: you miss talks due to the sometimes massive queues and you get frustrated by FOMO.
Read more on Robots and wristbands take over SXSW…
Jon Buckley is head of social at Cheil
As you can see from the size of their cars and food portions, our American friends like to go large – something that’s also true of SXSW. Everything about the show seems to be bigger this year, including the brands.
Read more on Brands are out in force at SXSW…
Daniele Fiandaca is head of innovation at Cheil
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee proposing the idea that gave birth to the web, this feels an awesome time to be championing all things digital at SXSW. But in contrast to last year’s giddying first day, I can’t help but feel excited and depressed in equal measures by what I’ve seen so far.
Read more on From Robot Revolutions to Body Computing via Assange…
Nico Abbruzzese is global director of creative technology at Metalworks by Maxus
At SXSW, you can always count on a handful of hot topics to emerge from the ocean of diverse, engaging content that makes this conference so unique. The cream of these themes quickly gathers pace across the geek-out grapevine, guiding the colourful, often inebriated conversations of the SXSW Interactive ‘Digital Nation”.
Invariably, these conversations will come to define the latest buzzwords we’ll see popping up in trend decks and upcoming “The Future of….” speeches soon to be heard at conferences around the world. To be at SxSW is to be at the forefront of that wave. That’s why I come! After all, we love leaning into change.
Before the Texan dust had barely settled from our landing, it became apparent that this year’s first emerging theme was to be the hotly debated topic of Privacy and Information Security. The late inclusion of secret virtual appearances by Edward Snowden and wikileaks’ dark knight Julian Assange cranked up the buzz level to further sensationalise this critical topic.
Read more on Information sovereignty is the emerging trend of SXSW 2014…
Pete Edwards is chief strategy officer at Engine
My first day in SXSW’s Austin welcomes me with rain (this is not what I signed up for) and the chorus of the Grackle – Austin’s own avian pest akin to a long tailed starling with football thug aggression and a call to match.
Read more on Wearable tech, connected health & the worst of ‘lazy digital’…
William Sargent is chief executive at Oscar-winning content company, Framestore
This weekend sees the red carpet unfurled in Hollywood whilst the world’s eyes analyze A-lister attire and, lest we forget, anticipate the odd award. But what do the Oscars have to do with advertising? This year’s nominee list, widely touted as representing a vintage year, again features people who share their talent with commercials, so proving advertising remains a fertile laboratory for creative storytelling.
From Philippe Le Sourd (who has previously worked alongside Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, director of Honda ‘Cog’); to costume and production designer Catherine Martin (Channel no. 5); to Spike Jonze (a familiar name to any self-respecting creative); there is once more a rich seam of advertising talent running through this year’s nominations.
Read more on The symbiosis between advertising and Oscar-winning creativity…
James Connelly is co-founder at Fetch
A key theme that I have picked up on today at MWC, in amongst the impressive show stands and the packed-house keynotes, is that of mobile data. A subject that is increasingly in people’s conversations for different reasons amongst different stakeholders in the mobile ecosystem.
Read more on Mobile World Congress: Leveraging the rising tide of mobile data…
James Connelly is co-founder of Fetch
As you walk around the vast exhibitor halls of MWC, and pass by the hordes of suited and booted mobile players from every corner of the world, you can’t help but sense that you are at the heart of a truly transformative industry sector.
Powered by the multitude of hardware, software and service providers packed under the Fira de Barcelona roofs you sense that the mobile industry today reaches far beyond simple handheld telephony and is now starting to tangibly change us and the world that surrounds us.
Read more on Mobile World Congress: Mobile is a truly transformative industry…