SXSW Eco: Evolving the Environmental Conversation

Sep 19, 2011, 16:33 ET from South by Southwest

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals is proud to present the SXSW Eco Conference bringing together experts in fields committed to finding solutions for a sustainable world. The event will take place at the Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas, October 4-6, 2011. SXSW Eco will feature three days of diverse, top-level programming for professionals from the public, private and academic sectors and provide a platform for attendees to collaborate and advance solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the environment, the economy and civil society.

SXSW Eco will include programming around  three three key themes: "Solutions for Today: Replicating Success;" "The Social Sphere: Influencing Human Behavior;" and "Steps Towards the Future: Vision and Opportunity."

Keynote addresses will be presented by Philippe Cousteau, Jr, CEO of EarthEcho International, who will take us through a multimedia exploration of conservation in the 21st century illustrated through video clips and stories of exploration, education and social entrepreneurship; Mark Tercek, the President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, will host a conversation about the power of collaboration and innovation as a means to save the lands and waters that sustain all life; and Alex Steffen, author and planetary futurist, will address the challenge of living on a rapidly urbanizing planet in the midst of a climate crises and the opportunities to imagine, design and build cities that are themselves climate solutions.

SXSW Eco will provide an open and creative space for experienced, passionate and pragmatic professionals to network with a diverse group of influential organizations and individuals, while contributing to cutting-edge discussion. The conference will feature a mix of sessions, including panels, and core-conversations. These sessions will include:

"A Conversation with Bryan Walsh and Gov. Bill Ritter" addressing water scarcity in the Western US, the politics of "green action," the hard economics on green jobs and the future of climate politics.

"God, Guns, and Greens: Forging Unlikely Allies in the Fight for Safe Food" - Simran Sethi of The University of Kansas discusses how unlikely allies find common ground in solving environmental problems.

"Life in the Big City: Unlocking Smart Development" - Alex Matthiessen of Matthiessen Consulting, Melanie Nutter of the San Francisco Dept, of Environment, Robin Rather of Collective Strength, Inc., and Jeff Smith of IBM look at the innovative policies our cities are initiating that could serve as blueprints for national and international policy.

"Trends and Strategies: Employee Engagement and Sustainability" – Erin Meezan of Interface Global, Jim Walker of the UT Austin, Tim Mohin of AMD, and Andrew Bryson of Saatchi & Saatchi explore employee engagement through sustainability.

"Cleantech 2.0: What it is and Where it's Going" -  Joel Serface of Clean Range Ventures, Cheryl Martin of Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, Sunil Paul of Spring Ventures, and Alex Mashinsky of Alkemy will offer an insightful journey through the present and the future of Cleantech 2.0.

"An "Arab Spring" for the Environment?" - Chris Miglino of Social Reality, Justin Winters of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Karl Burkart of Tcktcktck, and Kevin Grandia of Greenpeace USA are members of NGOs and social media companies who will give best practice accounts of how the digital age is facilitating the modern environmental movement.

"The Women's Solution: Reshaping the Future of Sustainability" - Leslie Danziger of the GLASS Forum discuses mobilizing the women's sustainability movement.

"Consuming Better: What Neuroscience says About a Sustainable Future" - Matthew Nordan of Venrock describes the principles of sustainable consumption and presents case studies of effective entrepreneurial innovations.

"Building Cleaner, Safer, and Healthier Communities: A Discussion with EPA and HHS" - Moderator Andrew Revkin of The New York Times/Pace University along with Bob Perciasepe of the EPA and Dr. Howard Koh of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discuss the ways their two agencies work together along with partners to build healthier communities.

"Feast and Famine: The Global Food Paradox" - Kristen Sitchler of FoodCorps, Marla Camp of Edible Austin, Neil Miller of World Hunger Relief, Inc, and Peggy Neu of The Monday Campaigns examine from an economic, geopolitical, and environmental  perspective the escalating global hunger and obesity levels which are two sides of a single food crisis.

"No More Coal: The Business Case for Ending an Industry" Gil Friend of Natural Logic, Inc discusses which is a better investment – pouring subsidies into an industry with massive environmental impacts or using that budget to acquire, shutter, write it off and invest in renewables to fill the gap.

In addition to the panel discussions, core conversations and keynote addresses, registration will include an opening night reception, a registrants' dinner incorporating a regionally/locally sourced feast and a closing party featuring The Black and White Years. SXSW Eco's goal through these conference sessions and informal gatherings is to evolve the environmental conversation beyond rhetoric and towards solutions.  For more information on the SXSW Eco schedule, registration, and more, please visit

Media Partners for SXSW Eco are Triple Pundit, The Texas Tribune, TreeHugger, Ecosalon and Matter Network. For information about these media partners, please visit

For more information, please contact
Elizabeth Derczo

SOURCE South by Southwest