by Don Tapscott
The continuing global economic and political crisis should be wakeup call to the world. We need to rethink and rebuild many of the organizations and institutions that have served us well for decades, even centuries, but are no longer able. Many traditional economic and social pillars of the industrial age have come to the end of their life cycle. Yet, enabled by the digital revolution there is dramatic change occurring everywhere, from Cairo streets to Wall Street, from the lecture halls of our universities to the halls of government. How can we rethink our economy and society for the new age?
Don Tapscott is one of the world's leading thinkers about new new technology, new media and innovaiton in business and society. He is the author of 14 widely read books, most recently Macrowikinomics, and was recently chosen by the Thinkers50 organization as the 9th most important living business thinker in the world.
Everybody talks about the “cloud” as if it is a digital savior. A beautiful white fluffy (free) cloud on a blue-sky day. Sounds nice, huh? But what if it’s a storm cloud? Today – there is a mad rush to move pictures, video, and event private data to the cloud. We live in a world today of constant connection. We’re blessed with unlimited access to pervasive communications. We are, in fact, shifting from an era of mere content abundance to an avalanche of undifferentiated data. Our hard drives runneth over. So - you can't blame your self for wanting to move to the cloud. Unlimited space for all your crap - and free. Who wouldn't sign up? Today the noisy web has resulted in the emergence of a handful of private, walled garden webs. A closed web. Will our cloud providers become information overloads? Can we save the web from privatization, and regain control over our data and our identities? Only if we move fast. Before ‘Big Data’ becomes ‘Big Government.’ Find out how digital ‘overload’ can insure power in the human web.
In 2009, a mild traumatic brain injury changed the way that game designer Jane McGonigal thought about everything -- literally. She spent a year recovering -- struggling to think clearly, be physically active, and find a new sense of purpose. Her journey back to health led her to invent a new form of game design, aimed at having a measurable positive impact on players' real lives, and fused with scientific research at every level. In this talk, you'll see the first results of that process: a game called SuperBetter. You'll hear about the game's first clinical trials, and get a crash course in getting SuperBetter yourself: Find out how to turn weak social ties into allies. Learn how to experience "gain without pain" (or what scientists call "post-ecstatic growth"). Discover the secrets of "Lazy Exercise" and "Ninja Weight Loss". Find out what a two-minute "Future Boost" is, and why it's the most important thing you can do each week for your physical and mental health. From the mind of a game designer comes a radically disruptive model for integrating breakthrough science into our daily lives.
by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. This talk draws on stories and insights from the book, explaining the new science of entrepreneurship. Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counterintuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
by Chip Conley
Chip Conley is the founder and was the CEO of America's second largest boutique hotel company. Initially, he thought he needed to be superhuman to be successful, but after two dozen years as CEO, he realized that he just needed to be a super human to create the habitat for success that arose at Joie de Vivre Hospitality. Using iconic psychology theories from Abraham Maslow (PEAK) and Viktor Frankl (Emotional Equations), Chip wrote a couple of best-selling books dedicated to helping business leaders understand how to be more emotionally intelligent in the workplace. Using a series of equations he's created with psychologist and mathematicians, Chip will help you understand the emotional building blocks that create anxiety, disappointment, joy, authenticity, and wisdom. Perfect for anyone wanting to understand themselves, their fellow employees, and their customers.
by Frank Abagnale
Frank Abagnale’s rare expertise began more than 40 years ago when he was known as one of the world's most famous confidence men. Between the ages of 16 and 21, he successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician, in addition to cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries. Apprehended by the French police when he was 21 years old, he served time in the French, Swedish and U. S. prison systems. After five years he was released on the condition that he would help the federal government, without remuneration, by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies. Frank has now been associated with the FBI for over 35 years. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs.
Frank’s exploits were depicted in the movie Catch Me If You Can, based on Frank’s best-selling book. In this session, he’ll describe his life, both during the time covered in his well known story, as well as covering what he’s up to these days.
by Nell Taylor
Read/Write Library is a replicable project that uses local media to examine a region’s creative, political and intellectual interdependencies, creating a visible network of primary sources. We hope to make it available as an open source technical and theoretical template for other cities, borrowing models from library science, urban planning and social networks. Non-professional content receives more respect than in any previous era. By developing contextual and social features within a catalog, we can direct this sentiment at media that wasn’t valued in the cultural climate of its day. Using relative tags and non-hierarchical subject and keyword combinations helps hyperlocal or alternative perspectives compete in search engines alongside dominant historical records and fill in massive blindspots, and each entry is mapped and treated as a social object where users can share stories of the forgotten, marginalized or even still-active communities connected to these publications.
by Jared Spool
Links are the molecular bonds of our web sites, holding all the pages together. They are the essence of a web site. Yet, what do we really know about them? If you create great links, your users easily find everything they need on your site. If you do a poor job, your users will find your site impossible or frustrating. We never discuss what truly makes a good link good. Until now. Jared will show you the latest thinking behind the art and science of making great links. Join him for this entertaining and amusing look at the secret lives of our site's links.
Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast. Diamandis will address how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous two hundred years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. Diamandis explores how four emerging forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems.
by Rainn Wilson
The brainchild of actor Rainn Wilson (Dwight from NBC's The Office), SoulPancake is a movement to "Chew on Life's Big Questions" and tackle art, philosophy, creativity, and spirituality across multiple platforms. SoulPancake offers thought-provoking content and creative engagement opportunities to help people explore what it means to be human. Now, with more than 1 million page views a month, SoulPancake's website has crossed over into multiple platforms, from print to television to video and "real world" interactions. Wilson will offer the audience a thoughtful, funny look at how art and creativity can be explored in all forms of media. He'll share some of the challenges of building an online community; developing creative content; and the interactivity and social networking that fuels it all. Please note: Rainn will not be serving pancakes, but he does encourage the audience to bring and enjoy their own stacks of flapjacks.
by Steven Levy
It's easy to get caught up with the horse races of Facebook versus Google or Microsoft versus Apple or record labels versus the Internet. But in nearly 30 years of covering technology I find that the major conflicts are those of philosophy, politics and power. You could almost view the past few decades as a spectacular cycle of fantasy novels with the Hacker Spirit as the protagonist and amazing supporting characters including Steve Jobs, Richard Stallman, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Stephen Wolfram, Whitfield Diffie, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg (all of whom I've spent considerable time interviewing.) And as our lives are more intertwined with the giant digital shift, these conflicts are ever more vital. Here's an attempt to deconstruct a revolution--and point to what's ahead.
During this session, Steve Case, one of America’s most iconic entrepreneurs, and Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial, will explore the role entrepreneurship plays in launching some of the world’s fastest growing businesses. As LivingSocial’s first investor, Steve (and his investment firm, Revolution) was one of the earliest believers in the transformative power of local commerce. Tim will share his experience working with early investors and building one of today’s most promising new companies, as well as his vision for how LivingSocial is poised to bring local commerce to a new level. And looking more broadly, Steve will talk about his efforts to support entrepreneurs through his investments at Revolution, as chair of the Startup America Partnership and a member of the President’, and what we can all do to tap into “America’s secret sauce” to ensure that the US continues to be a leader in innovation and growth.
Stephen Wolfram is a distinguished scientist and inventor who is most recently known for the launch of the computational knowledge engine Wolfram|Alpha. Along with the computational software system Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha has put into action some concepts Wolfram has been developing throughout his remarkable career, most notably documented in his book A New Kind of Science (NKS).
Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science and technology, and shows how computation offers a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe. He believes that computation is the most important idea that has emerged in the past century and that it will have profound implications on our future.
Each one of Wolfram's accomplishments is representative of his vision of computation. Stephen's life work is based on the idea that computation empowers the individual to discover facts and concepts that have never been explored before, with emerging platforms making computation more accessible than ever. His goal at SXSW is to inspire attendees to explore new corners of the computational universe.
Emily Pilloton is a designer and builder, disguised as a high school teacher. In this session, she will tell the story of Studio H, a high school design/build curriculum based in Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest, most sparsely populated and racially divided county in the state. In one year, her students design and construct a full-scale piece of architecture for their hometown (last year, a 2000-square foot farmers market, along with 3 public chicken coops). This session will make the case for bringing back new, design-infused models of vocational learning as a means to engage students in hand-to-mind creativity, and real-world progress in their own backyards.
When money flows frictionlessly, good things happen. Good things for small businesses. Good things for consumers. Good things for the economy as a whole. The game layer and the mobile payments space are on a crash course, and it's going to be awesome. So awesome that it’ll force credit card interchange rates to zero and pump 50 billion dollars a year back into the economy. Sounds crazy, but before Al Gore invented the internet, we never imagined information would flow so freely. As soon as the friction was removed from information-transfer, a new economy emerged that changed the way we do business. The same is about to happen with money. It's just another medium of information, and it's high time to suck the friction out of the economy. There are two elements driving this transition to interchange zero 1) the technology that’s driving fees down (along with some far-reaching legislation thanks to Dick Durbin) and 2) the information inherent in payments that’s being leveraged to drive revenues up. Join Seth Priebatsch, Chief Ninja of SCVNGR + LevelUp for a fast-paced session on how a combination of mobile payment startups (even the ones being formed by big companies), The Durbin Amendment, and a tipping point in consumer behavior will completely change the way we think about money -- maybe even re-wire how our economy works.
by Dean Kamen
Dean Kamen is a prolific inventor who has been compared to Edison for his contributions to humanity. Perhaps best known for inventing the Segway, Dean has also invented ground breaking medical technologies that benefit lives around the world; from drug pumps to revolutionary wheelchairs, to the “Luke” robotic arm and pioneering inventions in energy and water. In this session, Dean will provide an inside view into the innovations that have driven his success. You'll also learn about FIRST – Dean’s global program designed to experientially engage and inspire the next generation of young technology innovators. Finally, Dean will discuss the responsibilities and opportunities that exist for innovators in all fields (developers, designers, engineers, technologists, inventors and business leaders) to use their gifts to benefit mankind. Sponsored by IEEE.
In order to thrive online as individuals -- and for the health of the online commons -- we need to understand literacies of attention, crap detection, participation, collaboration, and network awareness. I believe that the critical uncertainty about the future value of the Web depends on whether a sufficient proportion of the population learns these skills. So I've written a book that I want to be well-received by the knowledgeable and given as a gift to the less knowledgeable. Slated for March 2012 publication by MIT Press, I plan to launch the book at SXSWi.
As social and Internet entrepreneurs search for ways to effect IRL social change by using online tools and platforms, the focus has been on social media. However, while social media has been the Internet's buzzword for some time now, research shows that content consumption actually represents 53% of all time spent online. Given that content takes up most consumers' time on the web, it's time to harness it as the most effective way to drive social change in the real world.
by Matt Barrie
The Internet is delivering its next tectonic shift upon society - disruption of the global labor markets. There are 7 billion people in the world, but only 2 billion people on the Internet. The other 5 billion are connecting now, at double and triple digit rates. Remarkably, they live today on around $8 a day or less. The first thing they are looking to do when they connect is raise their standard of living- by finding a job online. This is the vanguard of an economic revolution that is sweeping emerging economies and the developing world. Find out from Matt Barrie, CEO of the world's largest outsourcing marketplace, what this means for society, business and how you live your personal life. Discover how a new entrepreneurial class is arising on both sides of the world as both developing and developed world small business owners serendipitously work together, and find out how YOU can transform YOUR business into a virtual multinational corporation on a shoe string budget!
by Katie Salen
Designers of all kinds are key players in the game of change that so typifies the opening decades of the 21st century. Called on to imagine, build, guide, demystify, explain, provoke, enable and inspire, game designers deal daily in the currency of transformation—of places, practices, and perspectives. Play is a key strategy in developing a design practice that is agile enough to entertain a constant need for transformative thinking but substantive enough to throw its strategic weight around when needed. This talk will delve into a set of tasty truisms gleaned from professional game designers about what happens to play when approached from the perspective of learning. What they have to say will both surprise and inform.
by Ken Parks
As digital music consumption continues to increase, artists and consumers are finding new ways to engage within the digital landscape. Spotify, the leading digital music service, is helping to driving this digital conversation by providing a music discovery and sharing platform which caters to the modern, social consumer, supporting the artist as a engagement tool, and driving increasing revenues back into the music industry. In a fireside chat, Ken Parks, Spotify's Chief Content Officer & U.S. Managing Director and David Draiman, lead singer of Disturbed, will address the future of the music industry and where Spotify and the artist fit into this conversation.
by George Friedman
This solo presentation from the founder / CEO of the Austin-based company Stratfor (as well as the author of the best-selling books "The Next 100 Years," "The Next Decade" and "The Future of War") will cover "Pseudo-togetherness" caused by social media and the true lack of solidarity. Friedman's talk will cover our current transition to spending more time speaking to more people (but with less substance), plus future of the human race transcending technology. Using examples with online dating vs the old ways of meeting people, this brilliant thinker will also discuss what society loses in our continuing embrace technology in the context of how we lost body language with the telephone.
9th–13th March 2012