On the pulse of innovation with Mediaplus

Our colleague Alex Turtschan, daily reported live from SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Read his SXSW 2023 recaps here:

It’s March and that means it’s time for SXSW, the world’s leading conference on technology, entertainment and business in Austin, Texas. Looking at the schedule, it is of little surprise, that artificial intelligence and its effects on almost any industry will be one of the major topics of the conference this year. Another big chunk of programming is dedicated to web3 and the Metaverse. After the initial hype, it is time to look for sustainable business implementations of web3 technology.

After a very chill SXSW 2022 in terms of events and activations outside of the traditional presentations and panels, a lot of familiar players seem to be back in Austin for the week. The EU, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia are only a few of the many regional players hosting events and networking sessions in dedicated spaces and quite a few large companies like DELL, Lush, and Johnson & Johnson are back with brand activations as well.

Noticeably absent with big activations: most of platform giants of Silicon Valley, after many of the overly optimistic growth predictions post covid fell flat. It will be interesting to see, what impulses Silicon Valley will set this year.

Speakers I’m personally looking forward to: Leading futurist Amy Webb will be launching the 2023 edition of the Emerging Tech Trend Report, trend researcher Rohit Bargava will present his latest non-obvious trends shaping the future, Apple’s VP of Health, Dr. Sumbul Desai will talk about how the Apple Watch and the iPhone shaped personal health over the last decade, and Reddit Chief Operating Officer Jen Wong will offer insights on the impact of digital communities on everyday lives and our digital interactions.

Country music is deeply connected to the city of Austin, Texas. And no genre of music does better short form storytelling than country. Love, heartbreak, loss – narratives are at the center of every good country song. It’s more than fitting, that one of the major themes of SXSW 2023’s first day was storytelling.


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Duality is a major theme at SXSW, down to its programming, speakers and organisation. Tech and business meet entertainment and arts: a-List celebrities and highly specialized niche experts. A massive 10 day conference planned for over a year by a small team at SXSW, but only made possible by the contributions of hundreds of volunteers over the course of the actual event. Duality, and with it the inevitable mixing and mingling of different ideas and processes and cultures, let’s us make the most interesting observations at the convergence points in between.


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One particularly enjoyable aspect of SXSW conference is the immense diversity of topics covered in its program. Technology, business, marketing, design, entertainment, healthcare, politics, psychedelic drugs – there’s a lot of everything. Things get even more enjoyable, when you realize that despite the often fundamentally different backgrounds of speakers and industries, certain challenges are the same. Today was one of those days, and it has a lot to do with Ketchup.


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When dealing with innovation – and that word gets thrown around a lot at conferences like SXSW – you need a certain level of resilience towards frustration. Most people, when being confronted with something new, tend to be dismissed about it. Most innovations don’t have immediate world-changing effects. Nor personal relevance for everybody. And often they are hard to grasp and easily dismissed. Our fourth day of SXSW 2023 dealt with this topic in various ways.


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Last recap daily for SXSW 2023 with a couple of great sessions on marketing and pretty pictures from space! Usually, Tuesdays at SXSW see the attendance for the interactive tracks going down, with the music tracks and showcases ramping up – not so this year, every session we attended was completely packed.


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Yesterday, South by Southwest 2023 came to a close. It scored with high quality, innovative strength and exemplary function. Our three columnists have written down their personal conclusions from SXSW.


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Our experts

Alexander Turtschan

Alexander Turtschan - Director Digital Accelerator I Mediaplus Group

Alex Turtschan has been working at the House of Communication since 2009 and advises Mediaplus clients on trend and innovation topics as Director Digital Accelerator. As a passionate gamer since day one, he nowadays gets lost in action adventures when not following esports tournaments and gameplay on Twitch.

Simone Jocham

Simone Jocham - Senior Consultant Innovation I Mediaplus Group

Simone Jocham has been working in digital media planning and strategic consulting within the Mediaplus Group for 6 years now.  Since its founding in 2019 Simone has been part of Mediaplus’ Digital Trailblazer network, where she is involved in influencer projects and particularly engaged with the Gen-Z, their drivers, passion and unique behaviours.


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