Touseef Mirza
Touseef Mirza 19 March 2015

SXSW Interactive 2015 - Top Takeaways

Didn't go to SXSW 2015? It's ok, get the main scoop here with my top 3 presenters from the SXSW Interactive.

I’ve been listening to some of SXSW top header live stream presentations over the weekend.

Really great insights on technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation! Here are the top 3 presenters that I enjoyed with their main takeaways.

Biz Stone—the future of tech is human
Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, essentially explained that we need to harness the power of being human in order to propel into the future. Namely, he expressed that:

  • The true promise of a connected society is to help each other
  • The most important quality of an entrepreneur is to be emotionally invested; to “love what you do"
  • Financial success is only 1 element of 3 for a thriving business: you also need to “do good” through pro-social impact as well as enjoy what you do
  • Empathy, the ability to feel another person’s feelings, is key for business success

Martine Rothblatt—so this is artificial intelligence
Martine is CEO of United Therapeutics. Her talk opened my eyes and heart, and actually made me feel comfortable about entering the human clone age! Quite a big feat. She eloquently conveyed how we humans have always been consumed by ourselves, and that this will naturally continue to evolve into the future: “First we saw ourselves in water, then came mirrors, now selfies, and next is the transcendence of ourselves through cloning.” Even though artificial intelligence is a scary topic for most people, her openness and dedication on cultivating innovation and medical breakthroughs, as well as her quest for love and equality for all makes you realize that we entering an exciting time…and that it’s going to be OK. Phew.

Steve Case—he’s come a long way since AOL
He co-founded America Online in 1991 and basically pioneered the first Internet and social media experiences for the public. Check out the AOL video from 1995 below. It’s absolutely amazing just how far we’ve come in merely 20 years! Mr. Case mentioned 4 trends to look out for:

  • Capital investment funds are readily available for startups (eg, crowdsourcing)
  • Strategic partnerships are re-emerging (different entities, including with government)
  • Enterprise focus should be on purpose, not just profit (social responsibility)
  • Entrepreneurship is everywhere (regional and global)

It’s all good
It seems that even though we are entering a more technological-advanced age, what’s most important is humanistic values and connection with others: partnerships, empathy, helping each other, human transcendence to be "more" human, purpose-driven, emotionally invested, etc. The future seems quite promising indeed...bring it on!

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