SXSW Sydney 2023: Ryvalmedia Recaps Tuesday

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Cameron Roberts MW at SXSW ryvalmedia

“Hugh Forrest had a glowing review of the festival as we launched into Day 3”

By Cameron Roberts, Sydney Strategy Lead, Ryvalmedia

“Lots has changed in the last 30 years, but what’s not changed [at SXSW]? We help creative people achieve their goals. Sydney has closely honoured that vision.” There was a sense of pride in Sydney that the Chief Programming Officer at SXSW Austin, Hugh Forrest, had a glowing review of the festival as we launched into Day 3.

With 1 in 20 people in the NSW workforce employed in creative industries, there is a certain validation a festival that’s purpose is to help shine a spotlight on the diversity of creative thinking is here.

While there is tacit agreement on the importance of creativity and non-obvious thinking, how this is valued is less explicit. Rohit Bhargava in his keynote had a clear principle: ‘the people that understand people always win’. I couldn’t help but see this thought in all the panels and talks throughout the day.

The principle applies to government.

Victor Dominello, former NSW Minister for Digital Government led a panel to discuss government’s need to evolve with technology, and how new thinking in the application of digital can improve citizens’ lives. The Ambassador for the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Eesmaa, explained that Estonia is leading the way. Starting in the 90’s when no one was talking about privacy or cybercrime, with little money, they were ‘forced to squeeze the most out of it’. Constraints can foster creative solutions and forces us to concentrate on what really matters for people.

The principle applies to start-ups.

Tackling big problems was a key theme raised by Kylie Frazer, founder of Flying Fox Ventures, in the types of start-ups with potential. Frazer raised that maggots possess the remarkable ability to consume the waste we generate, potentially offering a novel solution to a persistent human challenge that conventional approaches have struggled to address. This alternative, which demands non-obvious thinking, centres on our grasp of human behaviour. Since the tremendous amount of waste we produce remains an enduring issue, it forces us to explore new solutions.

The principle applies to art.

Pat Abboud the creator of internationally acclaimed podcast The Greatest Menace, clearly articulated how people interact differently with audio vs video: “The power of audio is having the audience create it with you in their mind. You see things you wouldn’t normally see”.  Understanding how people interact with the medium of the message is fundamental. And another example of how understanding people helps you win. In this case, their time and attention.

Leigh Jasper, technology investor and co-founder of Aconex said, ‘There’s a lot of technologies that we’re well ahead’ of the world. Australia punches above our weight.

Focus on people. Do more with less. And live up to SXSW’s vision. A formula to win and keep building world-class thinking.

See Also: SXSW Sydney 2023: Ryvalmedia Recaps Monday

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