2014 SXSW Session Preview: Creating Business Models for Social Good

Written by Tammy Lynn Gilmore | Friday, Nov 15, 2013

Business models for social good is a big focus of attention at SXSW 2014

One of the trends we've seen break out of our PanelPicker-generated confirmed sessions for SXSW Interactive 2014 has been in the area of people using their talents and business acumen to create a better world. Although this trend seems to permeate our programming for the coming year, there are particularly good examples in the theme of Global Impact and Policy

  • Private Tech for Public Good. This is an overview session that promises to cover examples of new companies and technology working toward creating public goods, not just private tech and services. It will also discuss what is needed from the Silicon Valley technology community in order to improve democracy and really make the world a better place.

  • Technology's Impact on Impact Investing. Speaking of Silicon Valley, this session will discuss investing for the rest of the world. Micro lending, developed by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, has enabled socioeconomic development by helping thousands of entrepreneurs around the world. Now, impact investing is the next step in matching socially conscious investors with capital-seeking businesses. In this talk, Muhammad Yunus will discuss the evolution of impact investing and his vision for social enterprise. Vincent Molinari, CEO of GATE Global Impact, will discuss the development of new marketplace infrastructure to deliver efficiency and transparency to impact investing.

  • Companies, Non-Profits & The Future Of Impact. When it comes to the impact that charitable fundraising has made on business as usual, this session features heavy hitters from the giving sphere including Crowdrise.com, Change.org, and RYOT News. Crowd funding can be a metaphor for collaboration in the social entrepreneurship space, and how incredibly important it is for leveraging and scaling impact.

  • The BRCK - Designing From the Rest of the World. This session takes the perspective of rethinking product design for practical purposes all over the world. Ushahidi is from Kenya. They realized that the equipment used to get online in Kenya is the same as that used in the US. Why, when the infrastructure is so wildly different? So they set out to redesign a way to connect to the Internet for the developing world, and thus created The BRCK. 

This is just a small sampling of the wide variety of compelling programming we are looking forward to in 2014. Stay tuned to the website for more content about trend-spotting and what to expect at SXSW Interactive. To attend this amazing SXSW Interactive content, purchase an Interactive, Gold or Platinum badge. Save big if you purchase your badge before prices increase at 11:59 pm CST on Friday, November 22, 2013.