Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Sustainability

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Your Business + Social Mission = Happiness + Ka-Ching

    by Olivia Khalili

    To expect you to add social purpose to your business just because it’s a good thing to do is foolish. Whether you're an employee or owner, you have a bottom-line and other obligations to meet. But doing good is a business strategy, not merely a moral argument or trend. In this core conversation we'll talk about how your company--no matter its size, focus or budget--can profit from integrating a social mission, how to win support for new initiatives and where to begin. Learn how companies like Linden Labs and Interface used sustainability to differentiate themselves, drive innovation and cut costs.

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Big Brother Goes Green: Surveillance for Sustainable Forests

    by Nuno Correia and Mónica Mendes

    Can repurposed surveillance technology bring people together to protect their forests? Combining physical and virtual worlds, Real-Time Video Interactive Systems for Sustainability (RTiVISS) offer participants a way to remotely monitor natural environments for forest protection.
    Collaboratively developed by artists, activists and technologists, these new systems strengthen environmental awareness through "the emotion of real-time". This presentation will showcase the design and technology of specific RTiVISS instances such as "Play with Fire", "B-wind!", and "Hug@ree". It will also be a case study of what happens when tinkerers, open-source coders, and new media artists work together for a better world.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Inspired Action: New Approaches to Saving the Planet

    by James Slezak, Scott Henderson, Anne Mai Bertelsen and Robert Michael Murray

    To make sure our grandchildren's grandchildren have a planet to enjoy, it's time we move past the belief that awareness is the answer. It's time for action and solutions to come from all of us, not just environmentalists. That's why we're asking a few innovative minds to offer their specific solutions for how individuals, small groups and global corporations can drive the change needed. Not another panel of usual suspects talking about the past, this session will match up experts from different backgrounds to throw their big ideas on the table and work together to mash them into workable solutions.

    At 4:30pm to 5:15pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Meeting Room 2, Austin Convention Center

  • Corporate Sustainability Reporting and Transparency: New Success Standards

    by Patrick Quinlan

    As the country continues to struggle with the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the damage has again elevated the importance of requiring businesses to operate in an eco-friendly, socially responsible manner. Sure, more corporations are focusing on social responsibility and sustainability, but are they really making a difference? According to a recent international survey in Corporate Responsibility Magazine, nearly 70% of companies surveyed admitted they couldn’t measure the impact of their "green" initiatives.

    The sustainability movement is gaining momentum every day, but the harsh reality is that in order to be globally adopted, there must be a way to review and reconcile the demand for sustainability with the requirement for profitability. The solution? Sustainability reporting that integrates financial and non-financial data to deliver a more complete view of the business. Reporting that connects corporate financial performance with corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) behavior. Reporting that delivers a holistic view of the business to improve information transparency and traceability for every stakeholder.

    Learn more about the news standards being developed to create integrated sustainability and financial reports to give a clear picture of a company's overall performance.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Better Innovation, Design and Sustainability via Open Source

    by Hannah Jones and Andrew Zolli

    The need has never been greater than it is today for action to be taken on separating consumption from the use of natural resources if we are all to thrive in a future sustainable economy.

    Nike believes that design, innovation and a commitment to open source data and collaboration will help fast track the work needed to architect a sustainable roadmap.

    This session will explore the internal and external pressures that are creating a platform for Nike to start a conversation with the design and development community around the value and application of intellectual property and data to help find solutions to some of the most intractable sustainability problems.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Cleantech: The Interactive Community & the Next Great Industry

    by Indira Vaidy

    Every major forecast from McKinsey to The Gates Foundation points to cleantech as the Next Great Industry. It seems obvious, yet how many of us in the interactive community have deep knowledge and involvement in this sector? Our prediction and hope is that that will change in the next 3-5 years. This session will discuss the current growth of the cleantech sector, its implications for the interactive community and vice versa, the optimal scenarios for impact, and the ways we can start thinking about this industry now. We’ll dive into the current role of data and developers, the importance of mapping & the Internet of Things, and look at case studies from GE & IBM to TerraPower. We’ll also follow up on some of the principles in the SXSW 2010 keynotes of Valerie Casey & Bruce Sterling such as systems thinking in the interactive community, high-impact development, and our role in social & environmental change. Quoting the “Environmental Leader” blog on cleantech: “As our colleague, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has explained, new industries founded on new technology platforms tend to be complex and expensive at first, as it takes the combined efforts of an organized group of highly skilled people to commercialize a breakthrough.” They’re talking about us, so let’s get involved.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 6AB, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage sketch note

  • Design Intersection - Cultural Sustainability, Activism, Social Entrepreneurship

    by Peter Hall and Beth Ferguson

    Our focus is the designers’ role in combining cultural sustainability and social entrepreneurship to find creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Innovative strategies, systems thinking, distributed production, open design and creative risk-taking are yielding meaningful outcomes regarding climate protection, clean mobility, renewable energy, waste reduction, and social equality.

    Effective utilization of social media, web based maps and the internet have made much of the world dependent on mobile communication devices, which need a constant supply of power to keep roaming. Balancing their impact, new tools such as the Kill-a-watt, energy monitor mobile apps and solar charging stations visually link users with their home/work energy consumption. Others, such as Green Map, livingprinciples.org or Treehugger, put an environmental and social perspective on local resources and developments, motivating action that benefits the commons.

    Designers and social entrepreneurs are forming strong communities of practice and collective identity as desire shifts toward sufficiency and well-being. Entities willing to take a creative risk and a leadership role in adopting holistic design processes are becoming the leaders of our future development. Providing tools for educators to restructure the pedagogy is essential for preparing future creators to face the challenges with sanguine, innovative solutions. Join with us on a journey towards redesigning design.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • Be Evil: Does Corporate Responsibility Matter?

    by Siva Vaidhyanathan

    In this age of radical transparency, can corporations that mistreat their users or cause harm in the world get away with it? Does the market discipline companies so that responsibility is now an essential part of doing business? Or is corporate responsibility just a clever trick to gain a slight marketing advantage and defer state regulation? Is the first and only duty of a company to provide value to its shareholders? This debate will consider these issues through the lens of Google, the most significant promoter of a corporate moral ethos. It will consider the ethics of doing business in authoritarian places such as China, pursuing environmentally sustainable infrastructure, and treating labor fairly.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown