PN’s relationship with SXSW spans 15 years and has included supporting their awards program, accompanying our clients in on the ground activations and attending the annual event ourselves.

For 2019, we want to take this relationship a step further and curate content that contributes to the ongoing exploration of what’s next in the worlds of culture, marketing, technology and social impact. To make it happen, we’ve submitted a number of panel ideas for the conference covering everything from Purpose to Food and would love your support in helping our ideas stand out from the crowd.

To “Vote Up” one of our concepts below, please sign up & log-in to the SXSW Panel Picker website.


Our six panel ideas are:

  1. Business and Social Justice in the Trump Era

A cultural zeitgeist is in motion – one where consumers expect companies to speak out on divisive issues and are supporting or boycotting in turn. Companies are under the microscope – every move could trigger angst from one consumer segment and praise from another. How can brands navigate the social justice landscape to authentically engage and mitigate backlash?

From a decision to close 8,000 Starbucks stores for racial bias training, Ben & Jerry’s founders arrested at the U.S. Capitol to LUSH’s definitive stance against the death penalty and Postmates’ public repudiation of anti-immigrant policies, join a frank conversation from companies on the front lines engaging around these issues. Panelists will unpack their greatest moments of success as well as stumbling points along the way.


2. How the Gender Tech Movement is Empowering Women*

Access to technology is creating a movement around female empowerment with gender tech. Hear how one of the world’s largest healthcare companies harnessed the power of mobile to provide important maternal health information, reaching 6 million mothers in 10 counties one text at a time; and how two entrepreneurs, accelerated by a global women’s empowerment organization, are using the power of collaboration for their ventures to bring about social change by disrupting gang culture through fashion tech, and using a crowdsourcing platform to curb sexual assault in developing countries and around the world. Moderated by the UN Foundation, these women will show how new tech platforms are tackling gender issues head-on and promoting the health, safety, and education for women at every age.


3. Beyond the Pantry: Reducing Food Production Waste*

Roughly one third of food produced in the world for human consumption is lost or wasted. Responsibility is often placed on consumers, chefs and foodservice providers. However, everyone has a part to play in minimizing waste – including food producers. For every crop harvested, there are byproducts – like shells, rinds and husks – left behind. Food producers and scientists are working together to ensure that these byproducts are put to higher value use. In California, almond farmers are finding new uses for almond hulls and shells, including mushroom cultivation, insect farming, strengthening recycled plastics, food for honey bees—and even for brewing beer.

This panel session aims to contribute meaningfully to the conversation around food waste, byproduct innovation and sustainability.


4. The Outer Limits: Tackling Inclusivity in the Media

“There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels, or expand one single image to crystal clarity… and beyond…” —The Control Voice, The Outer Limits (1962)

Broadcasters have embraced non-verbal communications since the early 20th century but can we honestly say that creators & communicators are developing content that offers a truly inclusive experience? Or do we treat inclusivity as an add-on? Join a panel of experts to debate this topic as we ask the question – how can we ensure that those with disabilities don’t get left on the outer limits of entertainment?


5.  Brand-NGO Collaboration for Sustainable Cities*

Urban centers of all sizes are being challenged by overcrowding, increasing pollution and overtaxing of infrastructure. Today, cities are welcoming collaborations between brands and NGOs to develop innovative solutions that address environmental challenges, while also improving overall quality of life. Through its Global Forestry Initiative, UPS partners with leading environmental organizations such as Arbor Day Foundation to promote conservation. Forests are recognized for their critical role in maintaining biodiversity worldwide, but the impact of trees in cities is underappreciated. Cities are currently studying the role of trees on the wellbeing of residents. This session will highlight the innovative discoveries and lessons emerging from Louisville, Washington, DC, London and more.


6. The Collaborative Approach to Affordable Housing*

Two legacy cities, two different disasters – economic and natural – but synergies in their solutions. In seeking solutions to Detroit’s affordable housing crisis in the wake of an economic downturn, affordable housing and urban resiliency nonprofit Develop Detroit looked to New Orleans’ Gulf Coast Housing Partnership for inspiration. This session will explore the value of organizational partnership through collaboratives like Housing Partnership Network (HPN), a group of affordable housing and community development nonprofits – the network through which Develop Detroit and GCHP connected – and how nonprofits and socially-minded organizations can partner to create social change and transform communities and urban planning by combining mission with entrepreneurial, market-based solutions.


*notes a panel we have submitted on behalf of a client