Speakers to include "gangster" gardener Ron Finley and SHFT co-founders Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer
Austin, TX – August 21, 2013 –SXSW Eco, a conference centered on furthering innovation and action around sustainability initiatives, today announced distinguished speakers will include urban gardening activist Ron Finley as well as SHFT co-founders actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier and film producer Peter Glatzer. SXSW Eco has also announced the third annual conference's complete lineup of nearly 300 panelists, over 100 sessions, and dozens of other social events and workshops that will include thought leaders on topics across the sectors of climate change, energy, technology, design, food, policy, education and more. SXSW Eco will take place October 7-9, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.
Finley, who will deliver opening remarks for the event, is known for taking over urban landscapes and transforming them into vegetable gardens that nourish and beautify communities. He will set the stage for creating innovative solutions to the world's challenges, a theme resonating throughout the conference. Peter Glatzer and Adrian Grenier, co-founders of digital media platform SHFT, will hold an open discussion around positive propaganda and the use of film, art and design to integrate environmentalism into mass culture.
"We are very excited about the diversity of speakers, panels and events we have lined up for this year's conference," said Chris Sonnier, Program Manager of SXSW Eco. "We're also doing something unique by not only bringing some of the most established leaders in sustainability across multiple sectors to our event, but also by hosting our own Startup Showcase which will provide an opportunity for some of the most innovative tech and social entrepreneurs to offer up real solutions to the world's challenges."
In the same way that the SXSW March event has influenced tech trends at Interactive, debuted Oscar-winning films at Film and launched globally successful musical artists at Music, SXSW Eco aims to lead the way to innovative business solutions around sustainability and climate change. Highlighting SXSW Eco's scope are a diverse range of topics and credible speakers, including:
• Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will deliver opening remarks that will serve as a call to action for business, civil society and government to demonstrate their support for a global climate treaty aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to avoid catastrophic global climate change. Figueres presides over the annual UNFCCC meeting of all UN member states known as the COP or Conference of the Parties. A tireless advocate for action on the world's rising carbon emissions, Figueres will pave the way for a conference experience united by a common desire for innovation, collaboration and breakthrough solutions.
• Founders and executives from leading organizations the likes of Seventh Generation, Method and Change.org will tackle issues around consumer behavior change, sustainable packaging practices of the future, the rise of for-profit social entrepreneurship and the success of online campaign platforms in uniting communities with causes to create social change.
• Experts in urban conservation will weigh in on the panel "How to Futureproof Cities," exploring the urgent need and opportunity for cities to understand and invest in urban conservation in a time when megastorms and other natural disasters are causing more destruction than ever before and an increasing percentage of the population are moving to these urban areas. The panel will include key insights from distinguished leaders like Daniel A Zarrilli, Director of Resiliency from the Office of the Mayor in New York City.
• Leading voices in the field of energy will explore this year's highly controversial documentary, Pandora's Promise in the panel, Pandora's Pathway. The film, which has sparked debate between energy experts, environmentalists and the general population with its message of nuclear power as the vital energy solution, will also have a special screening at SXSW Eco.
• Food and agriculture programming include addressing world hunger with scientific solutions like in-vitro meat and 3D printing and enabling big city access to fresh, organic foods through urban gardening and partnering local farms with corner stores. Additionally, at Eco's Edible Walls Party, set to take place the evening of October 8th, diners will create their own appetizers by picking fresh ingredients off a living wall garden in a uniquely interactive "wall to table" experience.
• The Policy Action Track presented by Bloomberg BNA, a leading source of legal, regulatory, and business information for professionals, will address some of the major themes laid out in the most current version of the National Climate Assessment with panelists who are working front and center on these issues such as Michael Brune, CEO, Sierra Club; Doug Bennett, Southern Nevada Water Commission; and Laura Miller, Summit Power. See http://www.sxsweco.com/policy-and-activism.
SXSW is also for the first time announcing the finalists of its Startup Showcase. Twenty-four worldwide emerging startups across the sharing economy, eco-fashion, waste reduction, big data and other industries have earned a coveted spot at this one-day investor pitch competition. To view the full list of finalists in the categories of greentech, cleanweb and social impact, go to http://sxsweco.com/startup-finalists.
SXSW Eco Exhibition occurs through October 7-8, 2013 and is expanding into a full size exhibition featuring compelling exhibitors, meet ups, startup events, and other opportunities to interact, learn and relax. For more information, please go to http://sxsweco.com/exhibitions
To register to attend, please go to http://sxsweco.com/attend to save before the August 23rd deadline. Participants and prospective attendees can, for the first time, preview the schedule online and plan their experience before the event. Eco is sponsored by Sierra Club, Austin Energy, ATI Clean Energy Incubator, Lagunitas and the Austin Chronicle. Media partners include Guardian Sustainable Business, Green Building & Design (GB&D), Greentech Media (GTM), Grist.org, Popular Science and Mother Jones.
About SXSW Eco:
South by Southwest (SXSW) is world renowned for cutting edge cultural, music, interactive, and film conferences and festivals. For SXSW Eco, it employs this experience in creating dynamic forums for innovation and collaboration to likewise serve the sustainability community. SXSW Eco presents a diverse array of interrelated programming. With this diverse programming comes a unique set of participants with which to connect. The laid back atmosphere facilitates open discussion which has led to a number of unexpected collaborations and projects. For more information go to http://sxsweco.com/