August 18, 2015

Did you know that South by Southwest (SXSW) is more than just music? I bet you thought SXSW was just for hipsters into off-the-radar music. Nope.

SXSW is an interactive festival, hosting the best and brightest minds from across the globe. This unique environment unites creative minds in the fields of web development, design, game developers, educators, tech and new media entrepreneurs, and more. The variety of programming and topics covered at SXSW Interactive means that the event focuses as much on creativity as it does on technology. This focus is augmented by SXSW Film, which runs concurrently with SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music.

HKS would like to lead the dialogue for three distinct topics. They are listed below. The proposal selection process involves the SXSW Advisory Board, which accounts for 40 percent of the votes; 30 percent of the votes come from SXSW staff; and the final 30 percent is from the public. That’s where you come in. What would you like to see discussed at SXSW? Register and vote here. Registration is easy by signing in through Facebook. 

Harnessing the Mobile Workforce in the Workplace
Angela Ramer, HKS; Torrance Houlihan, AgilQuest  |  #MakeItWork

If cubicles are solitary confinement, and open offices are impossibly distracting workplaces, where does that leave us? While “work” is no longer limited to the office, the workplace is transforming into something more dynamic than enclosed offices and desks with random pingpong tables and couches. They are strategic real estate investments; tools for recruitment and retention; and a destination for collaboration, face-to-face interactions and knowledge sharing as concepts of “work” and “workplace” continue to evolve. Case studies from two unique perspectives will shed light on the interdependent relationship of people, space and technology necessary to harness a mobile workforce. 

Synergy of the Gameday Experience and Technology
Phonephasith “Fil” Choulramounty, HKS; Mark Williams, HKS  |  #GamedayX

Sports are inherently nostalgic. We all share memories of the joy, the agony, as we watched the games that matter to us most. The challenge now is enhancing that emotional backdrop with technology, providing an experience fans cannot get from home. Today’s sports fans consume gameday in an entirely different fashion from just five years ago. Now they require connectivity to share their views, engage and monitor social media in real time. They need and expect the tools to find food, upgrade seating and more. Stadium designers are using mobile, video and lighting technologies to address these needs and lure fans out of the home and into a unique and unforgettable atmosphere. 

Drowning in Big Data:  What’s Your Data Saying?
Angela Ramer, HKS; Jennifer Faist, HKS  |  #DrowningInData

We’re in the big-data decade. Between wearables, occupancy sensors, purchase tracking, social media posts and even your cellphone GPS signals — what isn’t being collected and counted? But with so much data finding its way from and to so many mediums, there’s a lot of data chatter. Where are the truly compelling stories and end-user experiences? This session will help you rethink your end product (i.e., physical technology, virtual app or online interface) as part of a larger data-based, user-experience story. Case studies will be used to outline the process of reverse engineering an end goal. We’ll provide a unique point of view, actionable and accessible data points, and outcomes, and we’ll share lessons learned. 


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