Since 1989, tens of thousands of people from all over the world have flocked to Austin, Texas for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals. SXSW includes a multitrack conference that runs concurrently with interactive, film, music and comedy festivals, bringing visitors together around topics like marketing, design, technology, government, health, the entertainment industry, social impact and so much more.

The ten days in March devoted to SXSW are an exciting time to be in Austin, and The University of Texas has a presence at the conference with UT Live—two days of panels, parties and exhibitions highlighting research, innovation and thought leadership featuring the University’s faculty, students and programs. See the full UT Live schedule.

Below are some of the ways that the LBJ School community, from faculty to students and alumni, are engaged at SXSW 2017.

LBJ Students at Dell PolicyHack

LBJ School students Estevan Delgado, Hayden English, Rey De La Garza, Laurie Roberts and Sara Wadud will join Dell Technologies for an interactive hack-a-thon that tasks teams of policymakers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and students, along with a “coach,” to design solutions to policy challenges faced by entrepreneurs running growing businesses. Following the hack, the teams will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of experts including members of Congress as well as the wider audience attending the event. Then, the audience will vote for the winning solution. The winning team will receive a Dell product and commitment from Dell to further develop the proposal with Congress and the Administration. LBJ Professor Sherri Greenberg serves as a faculty sponsor for this event.

LBJ Professor Sherri Greenberg at UT Live

Sherri Greenberg, whose teaching and research focuses include information and technology in policy and government, leads the panel “What is a Smart City: Technologies and Challenges.” She and her co-panelists, Craig Watkins of UT’s Radio-Television-Film department and Catherine Crago Blanton of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, will explore ways that cities can use technology to tackle equity challenges such as housing affordability, mobility, economic segregation, healthcare and healthy food, recreation and education.

LBJ Alumna on Ending Global Hunger

LBJ alumni go on to do big things in the policy world and beyond—and sometimes that means coming back to Austin to share knowledge at SXSW. Shamina Singh (MPAff ’97) will contribute to the panel “Disrupting Global Hunger: Moonshots for Humanity” as part of her role as president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “We are at a unique moment in time—we have enough know-how to solve every problem, but we still have enormous suffering and need,” she says. “The panel is an opportunity to have a discussion about what it will take to go beyond whatever boundaries exist to address this baseline issue.”

Results for America & What Works Cities

For the second year, the LBJ School is partnering for the with Results for America and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities for a kickoff reception with city, state and federal policymakers and two exciting policy panels at SXSW 2017. On Monday, March 13, students will have an opportunity to attend the two panels, which open with “The American Housing Crisis: Can Data Help?” and followed by “Fighting Crime with Data in the U.S. and Abroad.”

Strauss Center at UT Live

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, a university-wide center affiliated with the LBJ School, will sponsor a panel on ethics and artificial intelligence. "Ethically-Aligned Design: Setting Standards for AI" will assess a new standard-setting process and review some early working recommendations.

 

Photo credit: "SXSW" by Paul Hudson is licensed under CC BY 2.0