My takeaways from SXSW 2012

Den svenska delegationen

Just like my previous visits to SXSW Interactive in Austin, my main takeaway is the people I met. And you meet a lot of people and their level of interestingness never make you disappointed.

My mission this year was to scout topics and speakers for The Conference. I decided to focus (the program is vast (!), with over 1 500 sessions) on sessions about collaborative consumption and how cities deal with the data it has and constantly generates.

It’s gone almost a month since I came home. This is what has stuck in my mind:

P2P markets are the shit

“The Airbnb of Anything” was by far the best session for me. Thoughleaders of collaborative consumption talked about why owning access to things is better and more logical than owning things.

It makes so much sense to me. It’s an old behavior to barter and swap, it’s an aspirational need to connect with each other and the economical downturn make it happen now.

Cities are getting their game together

I was impressed by how the city of Boston is working with open data thru their New Urban Mechanics program that has generated apps such as Steet Bump. As residents drive, the mobile app discover bumps in the street with the accelerometer in the phone, localize them with gps and send the data directly to the city.

Also, Rachel Sterne, the city of New York’s Chief Digital Officer (!), presented their extensive Digital Road map. To me it’s clear that Swedish cities have a long way to go.

Curation is cool and important

Maria Popova, my favorite curator, aced a panel about curation. She talked about her Curators Code initive, a streamlined attribution system “for honoring the creative and intellectual labor of information discovery by making attribution consistent and codified”.

I invited her to The Conference, and she said yes (!).

The session began with this awesome (a word you learn to appreciate in Austin) video on curation made by Percolate:

Creating art is fun

I enjoyed the designer Khoi Vinh’s presentation about his effort to “help everyone rediscover their creativity” and make art. Of course he has made an app and a community for that, it’s called Mixel.

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