Heading to SxSW? Everyone approaches the conference in a different way (More parties! More sessions! More sleep!) but I’ve decided that this year, my theme will be practicality meets humanity. Citygram Austin recently asked for my top picks for the event–here they are, along with how you, too, might approach the event this way.
First, what does “practicality meets humanity” mean?
It means finding the right combination of learning and making real, human connections. It’s good to be inspired (and if you don’t get inspired, you’re probably doing it wrong), but it’s even better to come away with some ideas about how to put that energy into practical use, right away.
Stop looking for the breakout startup, the hot events (ours, naturally), or trying to force a geek-celeb-spotting into happening. Instead, start finding ways to connect with other people, and to put technology to use doing the same thing. We might love bits and bytes, but we all crave human connection in the end.
My fiancé and I have crafted a very unique way of trying to find the humanity at SxSW: every Sunday afternoon during the event, we grab several car loads full of whip-smart people (some we know well and others we pick up along the way), and we caravan out to the Texas countryside to visit the massive Salt Lick BBQ. There we enjoy the most ridiculously good food that $20 can buy. As we gorge ourselves family-style, we get to watch human connections being made in real time. Forget the corporate-sponsored parties, grab a group of interesting people, and enjoy the drinks, dining, and dancing that Austin does so well.
Ready for practicality? Here are 7 sessions you’ll find me at–and stay tuned to Citygram Austin to see which 3 from this list made their cut:
Every time I talk about the power of new technologies, someone in the audience gets creeped out and starts talking back. We should all know by now: just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. I’m looking forward to hearing more about how and where to draw the line. // Steve Hegenderfer, Director of Developer Programs at Bluetooth SIG
This session promises to explore how technology can be used to facilitate better connections in humans. Obviously, I’m psyched for it. // Antonio De Pasquale, Senior Interaction Designer at frog
Lots of people have tried to build connected stores, but as far as I am concerned, these are the only people who have nailed it. I can’t wait to hear about their process and what they’re doing next. // A powerhouse panel: Healy Cypher from eBay, Sheree Waterson from Nasty Gal, Uri Minkoff from Rebecca Minkoff, and David Newman from Target.
4 // WTF Wearables?
This is my session, where I’ll cut through the hype around wearables and share my corrective vision for how to make the most of the amazing crossroads that we’re at today. Laugh, cry, get inspired. // Yours truly: Liza Kindred, Founder of Third Wave Fashion and Editor in Chief of Third Wave Magazine
My fiancé is one of the best speakers I have ever seen, and the sneak peeks I’ve seen of this talk are incredible–he’s ready to show us all how to use UX to create magical experiences using connected devices. // Josh Clark — Principal at Global Moxie
A large part of what makes wearables ‘wearable’ are the brand experiences behind them. Techies, take note! // Jennifer Darmou, Artefact
I’ve been saying for years: in order for wearable technology to work, the technology has to disappear. I can’t wait to see how Intel and Jawbone are approaching the challenge. // Another promising line-up: Sandra Lopez from Intel, Travis Bogard from Jawbone, Ken Hertz from memBrain, and Brandon Little from Fossil
But wait, there’s more! If you work with influencers, get yourself on the waitlist for the workshop that my friend Tara Hunt is giving, Real Lessons in Working with Influencers. No one knows this stuff better than she does.
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.