After visiting Austin’s own Torchy’s Tacos (where he ordered not only a “Democrat” taco but also a “Republican” and an “Independent” from the menu), President Barack Obama stepped onto the Long Center stage to join Editor-in-Chief of The Texas Tribune, Evan Smith, for a 2016 SXSW Keynote conversation. Before any words were spoken, the audience rose for a standing ovation. He is the first sitting president to ever be part of the SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin, TX.
President Obama and Evan Smith discussed a myriad of topics including civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters, and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. During the Keynote, the President called on the SXSW audience as well as the tech industry at-large to help solve the nation’s biggest problems by working in conjunction with the United States government.
“It’s not enough to focus on the cool, next big thing. It’s harnessing the cool, next big thing to help people in this country.”
He also reminded the audience about the campaign that he ran on in 2008 saying, “The slogan wasn’t ‘Yes, I can’ it was ‘Yes, we can,'” to encourage the attendees and live stream listeners around the country to make an impact in their communities.
Watch the entire 2016 SXSW Interactive Keynote from President Barack Obama. Discover more SXSW Keynotes, Featured Speakers and more on our YouTube channel.
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SXSW