Get the Global Perspective at SXSW 2017!

The Forrest Four-Cast: February 25, 2017

Hugh Forrest
5 min readFeb 25, 2017

March Magic in Austin brings together creative communities from across the United States as well as around the world. One of the best places to connect with these international delegations is the SXSW Trade Show (March 12–15), which includes booths from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Japan, Nordic Innovation, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and many others.

You can also connect with the global community by attending the various sessions that highlight how technology is evolving similarly and differently at other locations around the world. Some of these sessions include:

  1. Australia: Your Gateway to Doing Business in APAC. On Tuesday, March 14, Christian Seme from the Australian Trade & Investment Commission and other speakers explain how Australia is positioning itself to be the business gateway to Asia.
  2. Brazilian VR: Creativity to Hit Millions of Views. Part of the three-day VR/AR Track at SXSW 2017, this session runs Wednesday, March 15. Speakers include Ricardo Laganaro and Francisco Teivelis Meirelles of Sao Paulo’s O2 Filmes.
  3. Canada, Eh? Meet Up. Tuesday, March 14 is the day for Canadians, Canadian transplants of attendees who want to meet other Canadians to come together and share their SXSW experience with other “nice” maple leaf lovers!
  4. Casa México & the Mexican Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. Scheduled on Saturday, March 11, “Casa México” is one of several SXSW sessions that are focused on the emerging technology scene immediately to our south. Given the current political climate, the “Wall or Not a Wall: Leading Mexican Tech in US” panel on Sunday, March 12 should also produce a lively discussion.
  5. How Korea is Influencing Global Pop. In less than ten years, Korean pop music (Kpop) has risen from utter obscurity to become what is arguably today’s most popular niche genre. In a global industry crippled by the digitalization of music, Korea’s music industry has managed to flourish, sustaining consistent growth, keeping physical CD sales afloat, and garnering over 21 million non-Korean speaking fans of the genre. This session discusses the rise of Kpop, the strategies that made the Korean music industry successful, how artists from around the world can utilize those strategies, and the future of the genre. Scheduled Thursday, March 17.
  6. How Tech Drives New Trends in China. For 2017, SXSW sees a large increase in participation from the Far East. Organized by the Beijing-based incubator GeekPark, the “How Tech Drives New Trends in China” session is one of five Chinese-focused sessions on Saturday, March 11 at the JW Marriott. Also attend the “Asian Connection Meet Up” on Sunday, March 12 in the Trade Show and the “Business in China Meet Up” on Monday March 13 at the JW Marriott.
  7. Immersive Theater and VR Spaces. On Wednesday, March 15, discover how Berliner Festspiele, the leading institution in Germany to explore art and new formats, and the leading European cultural channel ARTE is dedicated to bridge the two worlds: theater and virtual reality.
  8. Innovation in Cuba: The Rise of Azúcar Valley. A warming of relations between the U.S. and Cuba has led to an unprecedented level of dialogue. Much of the conversation has centered around tourism, but there’s a deeper opportunity to connect with a new wave of Cuban entrepreneurs solving uniquely Cuban problems. Find out more on Friday, March 10.
  9. Next Innovation Nation: Pakistan’s Startup Scene. Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University, will share how PITB has positively contributed to IT infrastructure and entrepreneurship along with key trends and emerging partnership opportunities. This session happens on Saturday, March 11.
  10. Not Another Valley: Startup Hubs in Latin America. On Friday, March 10, hear the experiences of representatives from startup hubs in Latin America (Brazil, Colombia and Mexico) in order to understand how organizations are working to hack the status-quo culture to build innovative companies.
  11. Portugal: Your Startup’s Gateway to Europe. This country has emerged as a vibrant and competitive gateway to Europe, for startups from all around the world. Abundant English-speaking talent, top wi-fi and tech infra-structures, direct daily flights to all the major European cities, affordable cost of living, the ease of setting up business and radiant sunshine throughout most of the year are some of the reasons why more and more entrepreneurs and investors are moving to cities such as Aveiro, Braga Lisbon or Oporto. Scheduled Friday, March 10.
  12. Startup LA 2016: Building an Innovative Future. Bringing together leaders of the startup communities in Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico, this session will present the results of the study “Startup Latin America 2016 Building an innovative future” by the Development Centre of the OECD. This study has joined the efforts of institutions of the member countries of the Pacific Alliance. Scheduled Saturday, March 11.
  13. Weird Startups from The University of Tokyo. How is technology in Japan evolving in different ways than in the US? Learn more on Tuesday, March 14. by hearing about the entrepreneurial efforts of these enterprising students.

If you want more information on our flat world future, then also plan to stop by Brasil Lounge (March 11–16), British Music Embassy (March 16–18), Canada House (March 16–17), Casa Argentina (March 11–15), Casa Mexico (March 10–11), Dutch House (March 12–15), EU@SXSW (March 11–13), French House (March 14–15), German Haus (March 11–15), the Great Britain House (March 11–13), the Innovation Australia Demo Sessions (March 13), Japan Factory (March 12–14) and Quebec Sugar Shack (March 13–14). Or browse the online schedule to discover other internationally-focused sessions, showcases, screenings and networking events at SXSW 2017.

Register now to attend all this global content. Finally, remember to watch this short video to better understand how we have improved the badge system for this year’s March Magic.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.



Hugh Forrest

Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.