2014 Highlights from the SXSW Interactive Staff: Hugh Forrest

Written by Hugh Forrest | Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014

Read Hugh Forrest's highlights of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival

Reading, processing and cataloguing all the media accounts of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival will continue for a few more weeks. Until this process is completed, we offer perspectives on the event from various staff members from the SXSW Interactive team. Today’s highlights come from Hugh Forrest, who serves as Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival.

Also, read highlights from other key SXSW Interactive staffers by visiting this link.

Most important trend from SXSW Interactive 2014: 3D printing and the impending hardware revolution. Hardware in 2014 is where social media was in about 2004 -- still struggling to become mainstream friendly. But things are changing very rapidly and we all should get ready for some major changes in this landscape!

Most inspiring speaker (or session) from SXSW Interactive 2014: Edward Snowden. His interview at SXSW focused almost entirely on encryption — a simple and yet incredibly powerful message. I loved the glowing review of his appearance in Esquire.

Most innovative speaker (or session) from SXSW Interactive 2014: The vision and understanding of Bruce Sterling for all trends big and small always amazes me.

Thing that surprised you most about SXSW Interactive 2014: The rain on Saturday and Sunday. How come it never rains in Austin anymore — except during SXSW Interactive?

Favorite evening event at SXSW Interactive 2014: I love the vibe of the official Opening Party on Friday evening. Tons of people, but tons of room to spread out. Great connections are made here — and there’s so much excitement in the air regarding the next few days of activities.

Favorite place to hang out at SXSW Interactive 2014: The SXSW Accelerator pitch competition on Saturday and Sunday. If the track record of this event holds true, the top companies from this event will have a huge impact on the tech world in the next few years.

Most touching moment from SXSW Interactive 2014: Talking to Dewey Award honoree Noeline Kirabo from Uganda. Her gratitude for being included in the 2014 event literally brought tears to my eyes. I can't wait to find even more excellent Dewey honorees for next year’s event!

What I want to see more of at SXSW Interactive 2015: I want to see even more creative speakers who are outside of the tech industry. Remember that SXSW Interactive is less an event about technology than it is an event about creativity.

Who I want to see speak at SXSW Interactive 2015: Jeff Bezos. Plus even more up-and-comers who you haven’t heard of yet -- but who will totally revolutionize our experience as humans in the next few years.

Want even more memories from the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival? Then browse these graphic recordings from this year's event.