Charlie Tango goes to SXSW

An interview with our Chief Digital Officer on his expectations and take on this years conference

Once again it’s that time of the year, where the digerati and creative professionals from across the world travel on their yearly pilgrimage to Austin for the worlds largest tech festival & conference: SXSW – a 10 day event starting the 8th of March, that wants to celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industry.

For the fourth time, Charlie Tango will be sending our Chief Digital Officer, Tim Frank Andersen, over there to collect the newest trends, themes, and hot topics. We asked him a few questions about the event and his expectations:

First of all, how would you describe SXSW?

I think the best analogy is to describe it as The Roskilde Festival of Creativity, innovation and digital lifestyle. You will find deep discussions about the flipsides of technology, our political systems and our shared future, but you will also meet the newest technologies and the hottest startups. Alongside, there will be a music and film festival and a hell of a lot of parties, so it’s a huge melting pot of creativity in all sizes and forms with people attending from more than 100 countries.

It sounds a bit confusing?

Yes, it’s not the easiest thing to attend if it’s your first. At any given time, there will be between 40 – 60 simultaneous keynotes and events taking place all across the town, so you really need to do your homework and plan in advance in order not to miss out on the things that you really want to attend.

Ok, so what are you looking forward to?

First of all, this is a chance to meet some of the brightest people, the best speakers, and the biggest thinkers of our time. People like Susan Fowler, Tim Ferris, Brenee Brown, Douglas Rushkoff, Brian Solis, and Kara Swisher are a few of the keynotes, that I am looking forward to hearing.

Then you have the entrepreneurs like the two founders of Instagram: Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger or the co-founder of Ethereum: Joseph Lubin.

*Finally, this is also the place where great yearly reports will be launched. John Maeda will be launching his Design in Tech report for 2019, Amy Webb from Future today institute will be launching the 2019 Emerging Tech Trends report, and Rohit Bhargava will launch his ninth edition of the WSJ bestselling book Non-Obvious Trends.*

Are Denmark represented?

Yes! And this year better than ever. Both Margrethe Vestager and Bjarke Ingels will be giving Keynotes on the mainstage. And at the same time, there will be a special place for all Scandinavians called Scandinavia House, with its own non-official program.

What do you expect to be the main themes this year?

It looks like there will be talks about AI everywhere. Then Bio-editing and CRISPR look to be an interesting new theme. I will also be looking for news regarding VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) and of course the status of self-driving cars and people carrying drones. But this year it will also be interesting to see how evident the political agenda will be. Austin is a democratic Island in the midst of a very Republican Texas, and after Bernie Sanders announced that he will be running for president, I think that his keynote will be one of the most popular.

How can we stay updated if we want to follow the action?

Twitter is still the strongest channel when it comes to picking up the news from over there. But I will try to write as many updates and news stories from Austin, during the conference, which we will publish through our Charlie Tango SoMe accounts, so that’s a great place to stay updated as well.


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