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SXSW 2017: What Does it Mean for Me and My Business

By Dan Machen, Hey Human,    Mar 15th 2017
Hey Human SXSW Trends

Dan Machen, Director of Innovation at HeyHuman, reviews SXSW 2017 and denotes key content threads this year.

Every year in March, the great and the good flock to the world’s foremost conference in innovation and technology – South by Southwest (SXSW), in Austin, Texas.

From US Presidents, to rocket scientists and tech titans, SXSW takes forward thinking insight into orbit. Agencies and brands alike come to Austin with 70,000+ other visitors, to try and weave a path through the 1,200+ keynotes and sessions on offer. 

All hope to get a sense of future concepts that are valuable to their business and, having seen where things are going, understand the forward engineering they need to connect today with tomorrow. 

So what did SXSW 2017 show us and how can brands navigate content, to detect signal from the noise?

Dan Machen, fresh off the plane from SXSW. Dan has previously spoken at SXSW, Cannes Lions and TEDx.

Key take outs:

  1. Artificial Smartness (AI) - with headlines playing to the SXSW crowds such as ‘Robots will take our jobs, lives, wives etc,’ we heard lots on what Human Intelligence + Artificial Intelligence really looks like. The good news is the robots aren’t coming to get us. (Yet)
  2. Blended Realities – Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality – viewing digital content overlaid on reality continued to grow – Pokemon Go AR was spoken about in the context of informing the future of marketing and warfare (bizarrely). With VR and AR spanning gaming, film, digital, and education, blended realities were a major theme this year.
  3. Communication and Brains – HeyHuman focuses on using neuroscience to make communications easier to process amidst digital lives. We will share the freshest insights on how to make neuroscience applicable and the art of ‘pre-suasion’.
  4. Purposeful Tech – technology at its most transformative potential for mankind. We will share the leading edge of health tech and how it is helping to keep ‘life in flow’ versus designing for distraction.
  5. Human Use of Tech - with Donald Trump using Twitter to take ‘alternative facts’ to the masses, it was clearer than ever that tech plays a major role in shaping culture – across media, entertainment and politics. We will talk about the collective responsibility around ‘fake news’ and the incredible impact of micro-targeting using social media.

The breakfast event is 30th March 8.30AM at HeyHuman. To find out more contact Lucy France or click here for event details


About the author

Dan Machen, Hey Human,  

With 20 years’ experience working in creative and planning roles, Dan now leads a dedicated innovation team focused on finding valuable new solutions based on HeyHuman’s behavioural vision and insights.
Dan also speaks and reports back regularly from global tech conferences such as SXSW, Cannes and Silicon Beach to keep people abreast of how to do digital with a human touch.