SXSW Moments: Disaster Response
The spectacle of flames shooting through the spire of Notre Dame devastated viewers around the globe and forced us to reconsider the symbols that unify a city, a nation, and a civilization. The disaster had many dimensions — architectural, journalistic, political, sociological, and spiritual. Here are some related sessions from SXSW 2019.
Unleashing Innovation for 21st-Century Resiliency
Nearly $300 billion of losses over the past five years due to drought, storm and flood, fire, and other disasters begs the question: how does America unleash innovators, disruptors, entrepreneurs, and investors to strengthen resilience for neighborhoods, communities and industries? The panel features a “reverse pitch“ session to engage with SXSW’s best new ideas and technology innovations.
Palaces for the People
Sociologist Eric Klinenberg argues that the future of cities and democratic societies rests not simply on shared values but on social infrastructure: the libraries, parks, schools, and places where crucial, sometimes life-saving connections, are formed. When social infrastructure is robust, people are more likely to build ties with friends and neighbors and to invest in their communities; but when it is neglected, as it has been recently, families and individuals must fend for themselves.
The Next Harvey: Predictive Flood Warning System
Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas Gulf Coast in 2017. The public turned to mobile devices for information, updates, pleas for help and stories of success. The Regional Flood Warning System incorporates live traffic and road conditions, rain and stream gages and weather data to put safety alerting on your phone, email, and web-customized to your needs. This project is a feat of government cooperation, public engagement and data sharing rarely seen in our country. The system continues to grow with participation from local municipalities, gage and camera developments and sharing of critical information amongst response partners.
Frontline to Newsroom: Journalist Mental Health
Journalism has woken up over the past decade to the realization that if you immerse yourself in conflict and human misery repeatedly, even as just an observer, it will ultimately get to you. Covering unceasing war, the devastation brought on families by major disasters or the senseless killings of innocent civilians can make journalists extremely sick. Kristin Neubauer of Reuters and Kate Nowlan of CiC explore how news organizations can combat the physical and psychological threats of reporting.
More Memories from SXSW 2019
Change is Coming
It’s Time for Sports!
Saving the Ocean
Social Media Power
Telling New Media Stories
May the Fourth
Women in Tech
Thriving at Work
Making a Difference
Fighting Fake News
Do these audio recordings inspire you to get involved in a SXSW session next year? Enter your forward-thinking speaking proposal for March 2020 via the SXSW PanelPicker. Speaking proposals for next year’s event are accepted via this interface from July 1 through July 19.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.