Catherine Crago Blanton celebrates just over a decade of SXSW Interactivity and serves on the event's Advisory Board. She lives in Austin and works at home and abroad as managing director of Diversity Interactive. A semiconductor industry veteran, she's most interested in how people balance diverse viewpoints and cross cultural lines to collaborate in tricky times. More specifically, she says: “I like my SXSW panels with one raging viewpoint or a good smattering of divergent viewpoints. And divergence is the name of the game in innovation. I like presenters that challenge the monolith— especially the myth of the monolithic minority. These challenge the in-group notion of itself.”
“Black Women in Tech: Uncovering Barriers to Entry” (Saturday, March 8 from 9:30 - 10:30)
This session features among others Sonia Alleyne of Black Enterprise and Blogalicious co-founder and Chief Curator Stacy Ferguson, a grand dame of the SX diversity genre.
“Digitalundivided: From the Valley to the Hood” (Friday, March 7 from 5:00 - 6:00)
The social entrepreneurs of tomorrow will give us a concrete roadmap for more integrated (and more diverse) venture funding.
“How Overcrowded Asian Cities Inspire Innovation” (Monday, March 10 from 9:30 - 10:30)
This session from Tara Hirebet promises to fascinate. I like the idea of looking at attributes of environment and culture as design constraints. But are cultural values like relationship vs. task orientation really the key to innovating? And is Tara’s view culturally biased when she attributes Asian innovation to “chaotic cities”? Are crowded African and South American cities innovating at the same rate?
“How to Build Culture in a Distributed Company” (Sunday, March 9 from 3:30-4:30)
This session gives me hope that culture can be engineered!
“The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes (Saturday, March 8 from 11:00 - 12:00)
It’s fun to trade on the cultural market barrier-free. Thanks to “The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes” my next congratulatory lolcat will not be misinterpreted as a call to a developer revolt.
Find the sessions that you are most interested in attending at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival by browsing our day-by-day schedule (use the “search” button at the top right corner to drill deeper into the interface). Also, get some great ideas for content by visiting the all-new Recommendations page. And, remember that most of this content is restricted to SXSW badgeholders — purchase your registration by clicking on this link.