How Green is My SXSW?
Festival launches new Eco component for October
By Richard Whittaker,
5:42PM, Mon. Jun. 27, 2011
First there was music, then film, then interactive, then education, and now SXSW is getting more environmentally aware with the launch of SXSW Eco this October.
The three day festival, running Oct. 4-6, will concentrate on the increasingly pressing area of sustainability solutions. United Nations Foundation associate director and SXSW Eco Advisory Board Member Robert Skinner said, "SXSW has always provided an environment that creates the kind of informal opportunity for the exchange of ideas, and I think extending their expertise to SXSW Eco could be very helpful in moving the agenda forward on these critical issues of sustainability."
Skinner sits on the advisory board with a mix of international heavy hitters (The Climate Group's global director of Communications Callum Grieve) and local experts (UT's Center for Global Energy Executive Director Melinda Taylor, and Austin Energy's Vice President for Distributed Energy Services Karl R. Rábago.) Along with SXSW Eco staff, the board will be looking for panel and solo presentations, which can be submitted via the SXSW Eco website at www.sxsweco.com/present.
This latest extension of the SX brand outside of the entertainment field follows SXSW Edu, which will hold its second conference March 6-8 next year. SXSW Managing Director Roland Swenson said, "Just as SXSW Music, Film and Interactive emerged as a vibrant space for the creative and entrepreneurial communities, we hope SXSW Eco will foster a similar, productive environment for policy makers, academics, and professionals to build meaningful relationships and develop tangible solutions." (Full disclosure: As our letter writers regularly note, SXSW is in part owned and run by Chronicle editor Louis Black and publisher Nick Barbaro.)
The inaugural SXSW Eco runs Oct. 4-6 at the Downtown Hilton. Registration is $1,200, but as with all SXSW events there are early bird advantages to signing sooner: Admission for all three days is $800 through July 29 and $1,000 through Sept. 2. There is also a 50% discount for eligible students and academics. Visit www.sxsweco.com for more info.