South By Southwest Recap - Day 1 & 2


Love it or hate it, South By Southwest is certainly one thing: one of the largest gatherings of the technology world’s best and brightest. Everywhere you look, and everyone you talk to is doing something awesome, from creating amazing apps, to helping facilitate the relationships between farmers and technologists. Each time I strike up a conversation with someone here my mind gets blown by the stories everyone tells. I think that’s really what SXSW has become to me: a place to meet and learn from brilliant people whether it’s in sessions, keynotes, or just riding in an elevator.

Day 1
We made the mission to pick up our badges and battle the giant lines at the convention centre. Surprisingly the lines were short and we were simply in and out. I did get to make an awesome face for my badge.

Matt Davidson SXSW Badge

Our first day opened with one of my favourite parties of SXSW,  Food Tech connect cocktails.  This event brought together folks from all over the world in food, open data, and technology to chat, mingle, and hopefully find situations to work together. (Oh yeah, and the empanadas were amazing.)
The rest of the night was quiet (lesson #1 of SXSW: don’t blow it on the first day) we ended up in an Irish pub listening to covers of awesome songs done on the harp.

Day 2
Day 2 kicked off just like I would expect for SXSW, with a party. The North of 41 Canadian Geek Event by Rogers Media brought out the Canadian technology innovators to have a bite, connect, and build more opportunity for Canadian companies and organizations. And they had a rocking Photo Booth. Big thanks to @michellekostya and @keithmcarthur.

The Rogers Photo Booth

Next up was the Elon Musk keynote and the lines were around the convention centre. Luckily through some fancy talking we found ourselves in the exhibit hall and seated waiting for Elon Musk to come on. Great interview, he spoke primarily about SpaceX (since the dragon is currently docked to the ISS), and discussed the snappy interchange with the New York post over the new Tesla sedan.

The Elon Musk Keynote
Al Gore had an interview next to talk about his new book, so we hung out in our seats for that to start. It’s always awesome to see Al Gore speak.
The Omni was our next destination after that to catch a panel moderated by Bruce Mau‘s Hunter Tura. The panel discussed design for the aging world, as the aging population is going to start to to be a driving force behind design and innovation. After such an awesome panel by Bruce Mau it was a given that we would head to their party and continue the Canadian theme. Hush studios co-hosted the event, and there is an amazing amount of experience between these two agencies. I certainly did my best to absorb it all.
After that event, Danielle from Food Tech Connect was hosting an innovators’ dinner with some of the brightest minds in technology and food. We had the most amazing dinner and talked open data, education, and food with the likes of Tim O’Reilly, Danielle Gould, and Will Turnage. I’m honoured to have been invited and to have been a part of such great conversation.

Finally we crossed paths with the HootSuite team after missing the Hoot Bus many many times.

So it’s been a busy two days (understatement!) I can’t wait to see what today, tomorrow and next week throws our way.

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