SXSW Eco Programming Themes cater to an audience of delegates and decision-makers from a variety of industries including academia, advertisers, analysts, architects, business leaders, city planners, community development leaders, conservationists, corporate sustainability leaders, designers, eco startups, economists, educators, farmers, investors, lawmakers, media, non-profits, public policy makers, public representatives, researchers, restoration ecologists, software developers, urban planners and more.
Advocacy & Policy
The Advocacy and Policy track of programming will showcase the latest developments in community organizing and movement-building, as well as identify the new challenges and obstacles that advocates face. We’ll dive into the role that lawmakers, industry leaders and the media play in writing influential policy and also discuss ways of ensuring that our politicians make the best decisions for our future.
Behavior & Design
With today's explosion of innovation in architecture, urban planning, art and design, sessions in this theme will include everything from breakthroughs in neuroscience to incentive schemes that encourage community involvement. We aim to bring the most creative minds together to talk about inspiration, problem solving, and the process of bringing design thinking to bear on the toughest issues of our time.
Big Data & Technology
What insights do we gain when we look at social issues from the widest lens possible? We will explore what recent advancements in big data can tell us about trends in urban development and climate change. Discover with us the ways in which technology is inextricably bound to making progress in our transition towards a sustainable future.
Business & Finance
“Sustainability” is one of the biggest buzzwords in business today. But what are sustainability’s real implications for financial success, business health and consumer engagement? We will learn about best practices from corporate leaders and exchange ideas about how to best align the goals of profit with corporate social responsibility. Sessions in this theme will address how entrepreneurs can overcome obstacles in funding, as well as the latest legal and political issues facing investors.
Land & Water
This programming track will highlight innovative projects in land and water conservation and restoration. We will hear the 2014 success stories for rivers, farms, lakes, wild lands and oceans. We’ll also tackle the most urgent challenges related to fisheries, freshwater, and the health of our soil. We will share ideas for protecting and replenishing the planet’s ecosystems.
Health & Education
Environmental factors have a huge influence on the health and safety of our communities. The Health and Education track of programming will critically examine the steps we are taking to ensure the well-being of future generations. It will also explore how we can teach lessons learned and educate the public and future generations about the challenges we face.
What are the latest solutions in energy? We will look at a cross-section of examples from natural gas to bio-fuel, to solar power, nuclear, wind and beyond. We will explore which energy plans are the most viable for the future and look at solutions from reductions to renewables; how energy policies protect and empower.
From the GMO debate to the quality of lunches in public schools, America’s economy of food leaves substantial room for improvement. This program theme will look at what we are currently doing to cut down urban food waste, how we plan to make food distribution more efficient, and the global impacts of food systems. We’ll identify leaders that are already making a difference and paving the way for change in this space.
By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in cities. Out of date infrastructure and stresses on the shared environment need our immediate attention. The Smart Cities track will look at creative new ways to improve our urban communities and ask how innovation in design can keep our cities safe in the face of climate change.
You can also check out our themes from last year by listening to the 2013 SXSW Eco sessions here!