Eve Simon is the Creative Director at Beaconfire, a DC-based firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises accomplish great things online. Her commitment to social good at SXSW started in 2009 with the creation of The Beacon Lounge (with a conscience), a cozy home base where interactive badge holders can connect, collaborate, and change the world. As a member of the SXSW interactive advisory board, she’s also really excited about all the social good related events and sessions happening this year, and wanted to share her top five. Also, follow her on Twitter at NaiEve.
Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards (Thurs, March 6th at 7pm at St David's Church)
If you’re in Austin the night before SXSW officially starts, come honor 10 do-gooders who have used digital technology to help others. Named after one of the original SXSW Interactive Festival co-founders, The Dewey Awards have celebrated the spirit of community since 1999 and most nominees come from the SXSW scholarship program. Look around -- who will YOU nominate next year?
The Beacon Lounge (Daily from 9am-6pm on the third floor of the Austin Convention Center)
I may be a LITTLE biased about this one, but I can honestly say that there is nothing like The Beacon at SXSW. It’s a hip little oasis on the 3rd floor of the Austin Convention Center filled with comfy couches, speedy wifi, tons of power strips, great conversations and the company of the coolest do-gooding Geekerati around. There’s nothing better than pulling up beanbag chair during a session break and hear designers, writers, technologists, advocates, and business leaders share world-changing (and often disruptive) ideas from our stage. You can also post your own idea for social change on our Big Board, invite others to join the discussion and #LoungeSource it together – an informal conversation focused on collaboration and problem solving. OH! And the daily Happy Hours are full of beer, food, and awesome music AND raise money for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund so you can play hard and do good at the same time. I’m in The Beacon all day, every day, so feel free to come by and tell me what your favorite SXSW social good moment has been so far!
Social Innovators Summit (Sunday, March 9th from 9-6 at Austin City Hall)
Growing out of Mashable’s Social good Summit, the local Austin + Social Good team has created a day long event to take global change beyond talk. They have not only pulled together an amazing schedule of local, national and international speakers but they truly feel we can move the world in a more positive direction through action. It’s totally worth the trip to Austin City Hall to be part of this important conversation.
SXSW Social Good Hub (Monday, March 10th from 9-5 at Bungalow and Wanderlust)
Two locations, one message – changing the world through social good. Between mentor sessions with social good experts at Bungalow and inspiring sessions ranging from clicktivism to social innovation at Wanderlust, you’ll be surrounded by the best and brightest SXSW has to offer all day. Don’t miss the SXeve launch party at 6pm and learn about this exciting new initiative - a community hub focused on empowering women via enterprise.
What’s your #SXgood? (Everyday, everywhere!!)
My last “favorite” is actually a personal challenge for everyone. During SXSW, tweet Instagram or vine images to the #sxgood hashtag that answer this simple question: “What is your #sxgood?” It can be from a session, of someone you admire, an action you’ve taken or simply something inspirational. I can’t wait to see what moves you. Of course, the same #sxgood hashtag is the best way to keep tabs on the social good happenings and conversations across all of SXSW interactive. I can’t wait to “meet” you all.
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.