It’s time for a stronger multicultural presence at SXSW

August 31, 2012

Posted by Jose Villa

If you're not familiar with SXSW, it's arguably the biggest interactive, film and music festival in the country. The interactive component

of SXSW, referred to as

ractive” target=”_blank”>SXSW Interactive, or SXSWi, is not your typical tech conference. SXSW Interactive has become an industry institution where the biggest brands, most innovative startups, and now most creative marketers come together to discuss and present what's next. Facebook and Twitter are among the household names that had their “coming out” at SXSW.

sxsw2013Unfortunately, while SXSW has really had it's pulse on the future of media, technology and entertainment, it has not done as great a job in discussing and presenting a vision for the major demographic and cultural changes taking place in the U.S. Specifically, in having Hispanic, African-American, Asian and other diverse speakers talking about how the new mainstream will change culture in the U.S. The topic of Hispanics, 50 million strong and growing, is worthy of it's own track.

The good news is that this is changing. Starting with the 2012 edition of SXSWi with their “Brand New Day” track, the event has made significant inroads in to addressing this missing rung of American culture. Looking ahead to SXSWi 2013, there is a lot of momentum just based on looking at the PanelPicker sessions currently up for evaluation (for those of you who don't know, SXSW sessions are selected partly based on “crowdsourced” community votes – the more votes a session gets, the more likely it will be selected)

I did a quick search for panels including the keywords “Hispanic”, “Latino”, “multicultural” and “african-american” and found 22 different sessions:

Why The Next Generation Is The Crosscultural Generation
Hispanic Mobile In-store Experience
Uncovering Your Hispanic Community: A Case Study
El Nuevo Gringo: Quantifying the Latino Influence
Viva la Musica – Latino music today & tomorrow
Bilennials: The Future of America
Latina Youth Share Where Culture Meets Commerce
Why Hispanics Love Toyota & Hate Sofia Vergara
Puro Pinche Rock n Roll
Latinos y Mobile: A Silver Bullet?
Is Your Strategy Ready for the Minority Majority?
Making Public Media Multicultural
Entertain Latinos Online – MiTú Network On YouTube
Me Gusta: Targeting Advocacy To Latinos Online
We Need Markia Zuckerberg Now
Dora Explores HTML5: LATAM Culture & Social Video
A Hoodlum's Perspective on Education Reform
How An Anime Pop Star Sold Her First Car
Make Yourself: Multiethnic Women Driving Change
5 Steps to Digital + Cultural Storytelling
Black Vernacular: Reading New Media
Black Twitter Activism, Bigger Than Hip Hop

If you want to see multicultural, cross-cultural topics covered at SXSW, click on the links above and vote. The cool thing about SXSW is that we can be the change.