The mission: to find the green at SXSWi 2010. The discovery: It was there but it was subtle. SXSW does list their green efforts on their sustainability page but no one I talked to had seen it. I was happy to fill my reusable water bottle every day from a water station in the convention center but I only ever saw that one station. Steven Mandzik’s panel on “Zero Waste” was packed with info and people and sparked really interesting conversations. The panel on “Social Change Through Social Media” was so packed, an impromptu panel formed outside with attendance from NPR, Greenpeace, Heifer International, Oxfam, NetSquared.org and The Hub. Don’t know what went on in the official panel but we had an awesome discussion. The Valerie Casey keynote was a wonderful surprise. A designer who works with organizations to create positive social and environmental impact, she addressed the fact that the interactive community has been absent in the conversation on sustainability but suggests they are precisely the community best suited to take the lead. The point is there’s a desire for more green/social change at SXSW so bring it on.
While most people I spoke with said they’d love for SXSW to incorporate more official green initiatives, panels and sponsors, half the fun of South By is everything that’s unofficial. It’s the last minute tweet-ups, free organic juice samples on the street, DIY recycling websites and happy hours with like-minded folks. But that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t support a bigger green presence next year. If you’d like to see that happen, leave a comment below! It will help in our presentation to SXSW for 2011. Thanks!
Solar Pump by Sol Design Lab (which is a collaborative SXSW project)