Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Creativity

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

    by David Sherwin

    You're under the gun. Again. Only a few days to come up with a revolutionary new feature for your Web app. Or you've been tasked by your boss to give the company's new mobile experience a little more oomph. In these situations, it can be hard to focus on coming up with breakthrough ideas. But don't worry, help is to the rescue. David Sherwin from frog design, a global innovation firm, will share tools and methods that any interactive professional can use to more consistently brainstorm quality ideas for interactive products and services. This presentation will be illustrated with examples from David's new book "Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills" (HOW Books).

    At 5:30pm to 6:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Clay Shirky

    by Clay Shirky

    Clay Shirky will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to greet registrants and sign copies of his books, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age and Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations.

    At 10:50am to 11:05am, Saturday 12th March

    In Ballroom D Foyer, Austin Convention Center

  • Technical vs. Creative? Ridiculous! Quality Requires Both

    by John Davis

    All the left v right brain talk is going nowhere. Everything you see that is of high quality contains elements of both technical and creative mastery. We do what's easy and avoid what's hard...and even geeks get data wrong. Artistic measurement is as rare as scientific creativity, but we cannot change the world until we stop avoiding what's hard.

    Data-centric evaluation - today centering on ad evaluation - requires a collaboration among psychologists, economists, artists, and craftspeople from many disciplines if we want to rise above the everyday crap we hear in ads. This interdisciplinary approach to evidence-based decisions has been used successfully over 25+ years by Mr. Davis to position messages for Camel Joe, L'eggs hosiery, Coca Cola, politicians, cities and others who need to think critically, using research to learn the trutth, and not just support an idea that is already in motion.

    This session will give specific examples of scientific creativity that will leave you embarrased to ever use the technical v. creative mindset again. Evidence based decisions, your mind does it, why can't you?

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Being Creative Takes Practice... A Good Management Practice

    Whether working freelance, on a project team, or just being a corporate puppet, “creatives” need a good management practice more than ever. It is really not enough to be creative or talented in the world of digital media. Good time management, communication management and project management are necessary elements for career success.

    This solo presentation will demonstrate a high level view of good management techniques for creative people that want to push their careers forward. Two-thirds of the session will be a prepared presentation in order to establish a fruitful dialogue with the attendees for the back third of the session.

    Management topics can include:

    • Defining scope of work to ensure a successful completion
    • Effective communications with stakeholders (team leads, customers, company execs)
    • Agile vs. waterfall project management (why care?)
    • Building a good base for future work (creating a work library)
    • Managing personal workflow to preserve quality of life and lessen project crunch time.

    A good source of references will be provided at the end of the session for further interest in the topic.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • One Story, Many Angles The Multi-Platform Pitch

    by Kim Evey, Nathan Coyle, Jon M. Chu, Steven Amato, Brian Seth Hurst and Nathan Mayfield

    Creators must be ready to transform their work today across multiple mediums. It's no longer enough to have an elevator pitch just for TV. Now, that hook needs to be refined for Web, mobile and other new devices. Indeed, transmedia and multiplatform storytelling is where creativity is at these days. What do you need to perfect your multiplatform pitch?

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • The Creative Process Illustrated: How Advertising's Big Ideas are Born

    by Deborah Morrison and Glenn Griffin

    So how does your creative process look? We asked dozens of writers and art directors to visualize how their personal process shows their thinking. The answers come in a series of artful and compelling process pieces that give insight into how creativity actually grows. Our book (August 2010) lays out 30+ of these along with creative theory that's accessible and usable. Authors Glenn Griffin and Deborah Morrison explain the project and give insights into understanding how you create.

    At 11:30am to 12:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Ballroom G, Austin Convention Center

  • Fail Big, Fail Often: How Fear Limits Creativity.

    by Jeramy Morrill

    Failure is not an option--it’s a requirement. Like the mythical phoenix, creativity constantly springs from its own ashes to be reborn new and different.

    The world is filled with excellent implementations of the same things, created by wonderful technicians who have the talent to recreate any style. This talent shouldn’t be discounted: it’s a necessary part of interactive design. We can’t diminish the importance of convention or usability when being creative, but the fear of opposing them can kill the creative spirit and hide our most promising work. It’s this fear of breaking conventions, of not being understood, of failing that dooms us to repeat what others have done.

    This panel will focus on the idea of becoming fearless, and therefore, truly creative. We will discuss the concept of failure as a necessary part of creation. We will introduce the idea that even the most artistic expressions benefit from prototyping, restarting and reworking. We will discuss the concept that absolutely nothing is sacred, especially your own work. And finally--and most importantly--we will discuss how to get satisfaction and enjoyment from the process of failing forward.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Rio Grande A, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Strange Business: Corporate Creativity That Doesn't Suck

    by Aaron With

    Explosive Internet cancer Groupon, the fastest-growing website ever, intentionally wastes endless amounts of staff time and marketing-budget dollars on baffling initiatives. From the bizarre write-ups of its daily deals to uncomfortable social experiments such as awarding $100,000 scholarship funds to babies whose parents met on a Groupon date, Groupon can't resist executing its silliest, darkest, dumbest, and most pointless impulses on a grand scale. By launching one incredibly expensive joke after another with no clear tie to revenue, Groupon may very well be blowing its own death horn. Why?

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Taming the Monkey Mind: Yoga and Creative Focus

    by Christa Avampato and Jennilyn Carson

    The perfect way to wrap-up your SXSW experience: a lively and carefree conversation about how yoga can help you easily access your creativity and imagination at will.

    We all know this feeling of being under the gun with a deadline, needing to access our most creative ideas at a moment's notice. When we really need our creative muse to show up, she somehow has the uncanny ability to hide like a needle in a haystack and then show up at 3:00am as we bolt upright out of bed, making our way in the dark to scribble down the ideas she's handed to us. For too long we've accepted that's just the way creativity and imagination work - unpredictably.

    Yoga - physical postures, breathing techniques, and visualization - helps us tap into our imaginations at will and with ease, exactly when we need them. A regular yoga practice keeps our minds sharp, helps us make connections between seemingly disparate bits of information that may otherwise go unnoticed, and imagine solutions to complex challenges. It gives us a way forward.

    This session is helpful for everyone who needs to tap into their own creativity on a regular basis - from performers to programmers, in all mediums.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center