SXSW Sydney 2023: Ryvalmedia Recaps Sunday

Cameron Roberts MW at SXSW ryvalmedia

“Tumbalong Park has transformed, and the sheer scale of SXSW Sydney became apparent”

By Cameron Roberts, Sydney Strategy Lead, Ryvalmedia

“What a miserable world it would be if we didn’t have the spaces for creativity to flourish.” These were the first words I heard at the inaugural SXSW Sydney from Ash King of Support Act, a charity that looks out for the music industry.

Tumbalong Park has transformed, and the sheer scale of SXSW Sydney became apparent when looking at the map of events all across Sydney. There was a great energy that I hadn’t felt since the new infrastructure projects changed Darling Harbour.

Sydney has always hosted expos, festivals, and conferences, but it only dawned on me after watching Adam Spencer interview a computer scientist, a melanoma expert, and a 3D printing innovator that it’s the convergence of so many people from disparate fields and areas of expertise that magic can happen. There hasn’t been anything on this scale in Sydney that provides a space for people from all disciplines, a stage to speak, and an opportunity for new connections to form.

Colin Daniel, the managing director for SXSW Sydney, offered some advice to first-time SXSW delegates in his podcast for Mediaweek: “Keep an open mind and allow some unstructured time between the events you’ve chosen to attend.”

See Also: Heavy Hitters SXSW episode 1: SXSW’s Colin Daniels and Ryvalmedia’s Cameron Roberts

SXSW intends to expose you to thinkers from various industries and expand your horizons. Open-mindedness and lateral thinking are consistently needed to address problems in our day-to-day work. This applies to media plans, growing a business, and the content in ads. It’s central in how we use data, form theories, and generate hypotheses. Fundamentally, solving problems always involves some form of creativity and lateral thinking. Thinking “outside the box” becomes significantly easier in spaces like this, where people are exposed to diverse perspectives and innovative thoughts.

Toby Walsh, when speaking about the explosion of large-language models and AI, said, “It took many years of work to become an overnight hit,” and it’s thinkers and practitioners with different expertise that create change and impact the world. Through the convergence of such a diverse group of the world’s best thinkers, SXSW will stimulate people’s lateral thinking. For the next week, Sydney truly has a space for creativity to flourish, and it’s a wonderful thing.

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