SXSW Eco 2013 Kicks Off; Draws Diverse Crowd of Sustainability Thought Leaders from Around the Globe

The third-annual conference initiates its lineup of panels, workshops and special networking events

Oct 07, 2013, 09:01 ET from SXSW Eco

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SXSW Eco, a conference focused on progressing innovation and action around sustainability initiatives, begins today in Austin, TX at the Austin Convention Center and runs through Wednesday, October 9. The three-day event will bring together thousands of attendees from around the world and innovators from the nonprofit, for-profit, academic and government sectors across the areas of energy, climate change, policy, design, food and agriculture, business, and more. Throughout over 100 sessions, distinguished speakers will tackle topics like big data, nuclear energy, urban design, 3D food printing and the rise of the sharing economy.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will deliver a welcome address followed by self-described "gangster gardener" Ron Finley's opening remarks session, "Nothing in Nature is Straight."

Speakers this year include a wide array of industry and cultural leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. Keynotes will include: Robin Chase, founder and CEO of Buzzcar; street artist and illustrator, Shepard Fairey; and Co-founder of sharing startup, yerdle, Adam Werbach.

Leading voices in conservation will include Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, as well as lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy and Emmy-nominated news contributor, M. Sanjayan. In two distinguished speaker sessions, supermodel, humanitarian and entrepreneur Amber Valetta will speak on the future of the sustainable fashion industry and Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus will discuss how to harness culture to save the planet.  

The SXSW Eco Exhibition, taking place Monday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 8, is free and open to the public for the first time and will feature roughly 50 companies leading the way in energy solutions, design, corporate responsibility, responsible finance, emerging technology, environmentally friendly consumer products and more. The SXSW Eco Maker Space and Place by Design Competition, presented by Autodesk, will highlight some of the most innovative sustainability initiatives in design projects from around the world. The Maker Space, a new participatory element within the exhibition, will engage attendees in hands-on projects and feature intriguing demonstrations.

The Startup Showcase, an investor pitch competition presented by Dell, has brought together both early stage startups and more established companies at the cutting edge of greentech, cleanweb and social impact. Presentations will take place on Tuesday as part of Startup Central, a diverse track of programming and events that cater to innovative entrepreneurs in the sustainability space.

The SXSW Eco Closing Party, presented by Nat Geo WILD, will take place Wednesday, October 9th.

Sponsors of SXSW Eco include Chevrolet, Sierra Club, Austin Energy, Austin Clean Technology Incubator, Lagunitas, and Austin Chronicle. Media partners include Green Building & Design (GB&D), Greentech Media, Grist, Guardian Sustainable Business, KUT, Mother Jones and Popular Science.

To register, go to or visit the walk-up registration booth at the Austin Convention Center.

About SXSW Eco:
South by Southwest (SXSW) is world renowned for cutting edge cultural, music, interactive, and film conferences and festivals. For SXSW Eco, it employs this experience in creating dynamic forums for innovation and collaboration to likewise serve the sustainability community. SXSW Eco presents a diverse array of interrelated programming. With this diverse programming comes a unique set of participants with which to connect. The laid back atmosphere facilitates open discussion which has led to a number of unexpected collaborations and projects. For more information go to

Media Contact:
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