2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: Feminism 2.0 - Technology and Women's Empowerment

Written by Megan Simpson | March 5, 2014

At SXSW 2014, Carla Franklin discusses how women can be empowered through tech in today’s world

Former Java programmer and cybercrimes advocate, Carla Franklin, is a woman on a mission. Immensely passionate about technology and social media, she believes it holds great power to transform and empower women globally. On Monday, March 10th, she’ll host a panel at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival titled, “Feminism 2.0 - Technology and Women's Empowerment.”

SXSW: Tell us more about Feminism 2.0.
Franklin: The feminist movement entered a new era with the emergence of the internet and social media. Key advances in software development and mobile innovation allow women to better balance work and life, further career goals and boost advocacy initiatives. Feminism 2.0 is the evolution of the feminist movement in this high-tech age. By empowering women through digital innovation, feminism today continues to improve opportunities for women worldwide through technology.

SXSW: What can you tell us about the other women on your panel?
Franklin: Maggie Neilson is the CEO of Global Philanthropy Group. She brings the perspective of a female leader using technology in her philanthropic work to make positive global impact. Tara Hughes is SVP of Product Management (Mobile, Desktop and Television) at Turner Broadcasting and will bring the perspective (challenges and opportunities) of a woman leading technological change at a major international corporation. Kelly Wallace is one of CNN's leading digital correspondents and a mother who is passionate about technology. She’s savvy about how technology can be used to help a woman maintain work/life balance, drive revolutions and fight crime.

SXSW: What do you consider the most exciting part about this panel?
Franklin: Bringing four dynamic women together to discuss technology's positive impact on women and women's equally positive impact on technology, for me, is the most exciting part.

SXSW: Why is speaking here, at SXSW Interactive, a big deal?
Franklin: SXSW Interactive is a respected, international conference. Speaking at the festival is an honor that will provide me with a respected platform that I can use to further the message about the importance of women in technology.

SXSW: Aside from your own, are there any other panels you thought looked particularly interesting?
Franklin: I am excited that Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson is speaking. I am a science buff and a huge fan of Dr. Neil.

SXSW: Do you have a blog?
Franklin: Yes, you can find it at carlafranklin.com. I also tweet about fashion, technology, cyber crimes issues and general news and events @Carla_Franklin.

SXSW: What achievement in your life are you most proud of?
Franklin: I am most proud of my fight against a man who cyberstalked me.

SXSW: Due to that experience, have you reduced your social media habits out of a desire to have more privacy?
Franklin: No, I've actually started using social media more in recent years because I believe that its best to "hide" in the open, and control my own image online.

SXSW: Does the future of technology frighten or excite you?
Franklin: I am both excited and frightened by it. I'm excited to see how technology will evolved and change over the next ten years. However, I am frightened by the prospect of increased access to, and usage of personal data, through "free" social media accounts.

Watch this website for more installments of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight. Click here for the complete list of programming for March in Austin. For tips on interesting sessions to attend, visit the new Recommendation page. Register now to attend, “Feminism 2.0 - Technology and Women's Empowerment” and other incredible programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.