The SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX has gained notoriety worldwide for breaking new artists and attracting top names on all sides of the industry. Since its inception as a regional music conference 25 years ago, it has expanded to include Film and Interactive. The latest incarnation, SXSW Eco, was born out of SXSW Inc.’s corporate belief in the importance of sustainability, with the goal of having an international conversation about society’s greatest environmental challenges across the public, private and academic sectors.
I was inspired by the solution-based discussions that were sparked at this inaugural event, although many of the attendees, panelists and speakers acknowledged the need to extend the conversation beyond this “eco-focused population” in order to achieve real change.
Former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter is known for his accomplishments in passing clean energy legislation – 57 bills, to be exact. He was interviewed in a featured session to kick-off the conference, after which we discussed if “Climate Change” is a taboo phrase in government.
Off-camera he remarked, “It’s hard to believe the hesitation. Even if you take climate change off the table, it seems obviously beneficial to support clean energy.”