Christopher Schmitt has been involved with SXSW since 2004 as a solo speaker, panelist, Interactive Awards judge, or on the event’s Advisory Board. Sometimes all four in the same year! Now living in Austin, he works to help web builders get excited by staying up-to-date with tools and techniques and through organizing online and on-site conferences. He’s impressed by the unusual and inspirational sessions at SXSW that go beyond the typical web design and development industry offerings. Read below for five sessions that particularly inspire him:
SXSW Meditation (Friday, March 7 from 3:30 - 4:30 and other times)
Did you know SXSW offers yoga and meditation daily during SXSW Interactive? From advanced to beginner alike, the SXSW Yoga and Meditation sessions are a great way to decompress and meet the oncoming opportunities of a 17+ track, multi-day and multi-night festival. You don’t need a yoga mat or special clothes to participate and come as you are: opened-minded.
The Printed Athlete: Sports Embraces 3D Printing (Sunday, March 9 from 3:30 - 4:30)
From printing toys to creating low-cost prosthetic limbs, society is starting to print on-demand first rather than bike to the store or visit the doctor’s office. In this session, I’m looking to see a deep dive into how one industry–sporting goods industry–is disrupting their traditional processes by incorporating 3D printing.
Live Visuals: Intro to Video Mapping (Monday, March 10 from 3:30 - 6:00)
Personally, I’m excited by SXSW Interactive’s recent addition of in-depth workshops. Video mapping, also known as projection mapping, can make a projection screen out of all sorts of objects from a simple panel of wood to complex buildings like Disney’s Magic Kingom’s castle. With the continued importance of video for web products and a personal interest in video art, this introduction is perfect way to start video mapping.
Inventing Tumor Paint: Tapping into Nature’s DNA (Sunday, March 9 3:30 - 4:30)
Chances are that you are like me and have lost a friend or loved one to cancer, as it’s responsible for over 10% of deaths in the world. In his session, Dr. Jim Olson talks about Tumor Paint and how it’s helping to qualify cancer drug candidates faster and better than the last 22 years of cancer research.
Cat Cash: The Economy of Internet Cat Videos (Saturday, March 8 from 5:00 - 6:00)
After last year’s Grumpy Cat visit and the Economy of the GIF panel, how can we not have a panel about cashing in on Internet cat videos? By being lucky enough to surf the web for our day jobs, we all are also intermediate kitten video film critics. The speakers for this panel, however, are more expertly qualified than us mere homo sapiens: Ben Lashes, “the world’s first meme manager”; Scott Stulen, curator of the Internet Cat Video Festival (which is part of my bucket list to attend); Will Braden, creator of Henri Le Chat Noir; and Grace Suriel, Director of Social Media at Animal Planet.
Find the sessions that you are most interested in attending at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival by browsing our day-by-day schedule (use the “search” button at the top right corner to drill deeper into the interface). Also, get some great ideas for content by visiting the all-new Recommendations page. And, remember that most of this content is restricted to SXSW badgeholders — purchase your registration by clicking on this link.