2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: I Sing The Body Digital - The Quantified Self

Written by Megan Simpson | February 19, 2014

At SXSW 2014, Sarah Robb O'Hagen talks about the quantified self movement

As the President of Equinox, a leading global fitness company, Sarah Robb O’Hagan works with experts in the areas of exercise, nutrition and sleep, as well as tech experts from Silicon Valley. She has a unique perspective on the Quantified Self Movement , and focuses on how to help people improve their lives through exercise and technology. In Austin, she’ll present “I Sing The Body Digital - The Quantified Self” to the audience at SXSW Interactive. To connect with O’Hagan ahead of the festival, follow her on Twitter @SarahRobbOh where she tweets about a high performance lifestyle.

SXSW: What is your SXSW Interactive session about?
O’Hagan: Quantified Self has become all the buzz at the intersection of the technology and health and fitness worlds - but are every day consumers really getting the benefit of the huge amount of data they are now tracking? At SXSW, I will moderate a conversation with the world's leading thinkers in this space. Why are consumers attracted to movement, nutrition, and sleep data? Is data tracking truly helping to improve the chronic issues our country has around lack of constant movement and chronic sleep deprivation? This panel will discuss opportunities for the tech community in this space.

SXSW: Is this topic something that you’ve spoken about before?
O’Hagan: I have spoken on this topic on a segment on the CBS morning news. I also covered many aspects of this topic in a panel at The Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit titled Health and Society: Rethinking Old Age, moderated by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Chief Medical Editor at NBC News. This topic always gets a very engaged reaction from the audience because it’s personal to all of us. People inevitably want to know what they can do to improve their own health and fitness and feel better about themselves. They want to know the shortcuts to success (even though technology can't replace old fashioned hard work in the gym!)

SXSW: Can you tell us about the other people on "I Sing the Body Digital"?
O’Hagan: Ivo Stivoric is the founder of Body Media and now the head of research and design for Jawbone. He's a visionary and innovator in the multi sensor wearable space and is internationally recognized as one of the creators of the Quantified Self Movement. He is a powerful speaker that is able to help the audience understand the true long-term potential of this category - one that we have only begun to scratch the surface of. Dr. James Maas is one of the world's leading researchers and thinkers on the science of sleep. He is a very fun and provocative speaker who will help people understand how much they can improve their lives and business performance by learning how to be a better sleeper. He will help the audience understand how to take the data being tracked and how to use it to drive truly sustainable behavior change. Sasha DiGiulian is a record holding American rock climber who brings a unique perspective to the discussion due to her professional athlete lifestyle. Sasha will talk about how she incorporates technology into her routine to push her body to peak performance and help the audience understand real practical applications for using the data being tracked.

SXSW: What kinds of people will want to attend this session?
O’Hagan: While the fitness + tech community is a natural audience for this session, this topic is also sure to pull tech, device and wearable technology and internet of things enthusiasts. Quantified Self is the future and SXSW is about a peek into what is next. Not only is this session about the future of a major tech category but its also going to deliver real insights for real life that all of us can use.

SXSW: What knowledge will attendees of your session walk away with?
O’Hagan: Everyone who attends our session will learn something! The breadth of our speaking panel is such that we are bringing unique points of view together in a way that has not really been done before. Technology expertise meets true human behavior expertise. Attendees who are interested in developing business ideas in the heath and wellness space will garner great insights. Also, everyone will walk away with real examples of what they can do TODAY to improve their own health and fitness.

SXSW: What excites you most about this session?
O’Hagan: I am pretty fired up for this session! I can't wait to see the great innovation ideas that will be triggered by it. Getting great human behavioral insights inevitably shows up as a problem to solve for the smart thinkers in the audience. Its also always fun to see people mid conference who are exhausted from their daily lives, and their hard core SXSW schedule suddenly get a burst of inspiration of how they are going to get more out of their own lives by engaging in the ideas coming out of this panel.

SXSW: What do you hope to gain by speaking at SXSW?
O’Hagan: I hope to start and continue a giant conversation about high performance living and to invite those with a passion for this space to continue the dialog with me for months to come.

SXSW: What do you do to relax and unwind?
O’Hagan: I run quite a bit. It’s a really important way for me to get "alone" time to turnover my thoughts and get inspired.

SXSW: Not necessarily related to your topic at SXSW, what is your favorite television show?
O’Hagan: Modern Family. We watch it as a family because it IS like our family. We have lots of laughs each week.

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 “I Sing The Body Digital - The Quantified Self” and other incredible programming at SXSW Interactive 2014.