SXSW: Out of the office and into the creative mix

By Michael Grela

March 20, 2018

March 20, 2018 – Like probably a lot of people, I’m usually so busy in the day-to-day that I find myself craving experiential learning or being challenged to get outside of my comfort zone.

Attending the recent South by Southwest (SXSW) inspired me to think outside the box and spark dialogue with new connections. SXSW is not just a music or film festival. It celebrates the convergence of the creative, interactive, film, and music industries, and was an opportunity hear and learn from experts across many fields – tech, philanthropy, healthcare, art, communications, the list goes on – all exploring what’s happening now, what’s likely to happen tomorrow, and what it could all mean for our lives in the future.

I was inspired by a few themes in particular:

More than mobile. 2018 is the beginning of the end of a singular smart phone culture – the future is multiple wearables. Smart glasses, wristbands, buds will all have a big impact on the way people live their lives, communicate and engage.

Renewed trust in experts. In recent years, the public has put more trust in average people or people they know versus experts, but in 2017 the pendulum has swung the other way. Trust of academics, government officials and institutions has made a resurgence.

Use your voice. The future is in digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and the use of voice technology. Within 10 years, 50% of people will be using voice software to engage with technology. This will greatly impact how people seek and gain relevant information that they’re looking for.

Make it visual. 91% of consumers prefer visual content more than any other form and 85% of marketers used visuals in 2017 – and this trend continues to grow. If you aren’t telling highly visual stories, you’re likely not being heard.

Mine your data. With the increase in access to individual health data, there are both benefits and risks – and we haven’t yet figured out how to effectively mine and share data with people that is consistently beneficial. But, if you want to gain more data about your own health, consider entering into the AllOfUs or Baseline Data is the currency of the future.

Make an impact. “People often ask me how to get involved in Time’s Up… if you see an injustice, do something. Say something. You are Time’s Up, and you can make a difference.” – Nina Shaw, Time’s Up. A stark reminder that we can all make a difference by raising our voice and taking action.

With this new information and ideas in hand, I’m excited to see how I can put it to good use in not only my personal life, but also in developing new and exciting programming for clients.