SHI(F)T HAPPENS : Why pure Tech is dead and the new era of humanity is on the rise
Seven provocative and hopefully irritating perspectives on leading brands and companies - stimulated by and evoked at the South by South West (SXWX19) in Austin.
Why do people queue up jetlagged for hours, after paying thousands of euros for admission and flying across the Atlantic, just to hear the newest hot shit about all things digital, which they could read anywhere with a couple of clicks?
Because it is not digital. It is a festival of creativity where music, arts, media, Hollywood, tech, politics and business all get together to create a better future. With over 4000 talks and events, you have to choose 1 out of 20 for each time slot and queue up, especially if you want to see the big shots like Elon Musk (in 2018), Howard Schultz (Starbucks) tackling the overthrow of Trump as president, Jody Foster talking about her master class, or Jeffrey Katzenberg launching "Quibi" to bring TV and serials to smartphones, teaming up with none other than Megh Whitman (Ebay, HP).
It is the only place in the world where on the same day you can talk with famous Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist about the future of art on Instragram, see the EU Minister Ms. Vestergaard claiming the end of digital robbery, discover the neuroscience behind the "Power of Awe" at Cirque du Soleil, listen to a 90 min talk with Tim Feriss and Michael Pollan about the rise of psychedelics to get out of our ego fight with depression and anxiety, or boost your creativity like many tech CEOs do, finishing up with Michael Pollin's wish of "safe travels".
In between you can fly a drone with just your thoughts, have your DNA scanned, or learn about using AR (Augmented Reality) as the new superpower for humans. You can end the day singing honkytonk with Americans, Brazilians and Austrians in the Western style downtown, remembering Willie Nelson who made Austin the music capital in the 70´s and 80's. On your walk home you nearly get killed by one of the hundreds of new Uber Scooters (the next big thing for urban traffic) pouring into the cities out of white vans.
The next day starts with a meeting with entrepreneur Raymond Kaminski, who manages his aerospace startup in the morning, then walks his dog until 2 pm, and in the afternoon manages his fintech disrupting the loan business. In the evening he plans his next startup.
So the "SXSW helps creative people achieve their goals" (mission statement), and it is about as far as you can get from a tech-festival, but a celebration of humanity and its full potential.
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