Our Last Day of SXSW Interactive Minus the 20 Minutes That Didn’t Exist

Something We Learned Today

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make his city a hub for the tech industry. More and more businesses are recognizing that the Windy City is a great place to live because of its strong transportation system, affordable cost of living and vibrant arts and cultural scene, Emanuel said during his SXSW interview. He and Michelle Boone from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs talked to Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell about the plans to establish the city as a destination for creativity, innovation and the arts.

“We create the platform for you to develop jobs,” Emanuel said, addressing the tech sector. “We make the city hot enough, the talent you are all chasing now (will be here).”

The mayor said a thriving arts community is important for making a city a desirable place to live and work. Fun fact: His commitment to the arts was informed in part by his background as a ballet dancer.

Disappointment of the Day

A highly noticed communication breakdown occurred today when Twitter was out of commission for twenty minutes.


Best Meal of the Day

Wait, a cookie? Well, it’s not any old cookie. This cookie is made with cricket flour and it tastes delicious (really). Each one contains 5g of protein and a couple of them could be a complete breakfast. Bitty, the maker of this treat is one of many well-funded Silicon Valley start-ups trying to make insect food cool.

Cookie made of cricket flour

Itsy Bitsy Cookie. (Photo: Hanns-Peter Nagel)

Mind-blowing Morsel of the Day

Featured in the “Visually Turning Complexity into Clarity” session this real time map of wind patterns in the US blew us away!

Tip of the Day

Erica Kochi, who works at the UNICEF Innovation Lab, had this piece of advice for nonprofit leaders and anyone else whose mission is to bring new ideas to life: Get together regularly to talk about what didn’t work. UNICEF Innovation team holds Fail Fridays, a dedicated time to discuss and learn from mistakes.

Celebrity Sighting of the Day

Neil Young, of course, who was at SXSW to promote Pono, his new music device and download store.

Quote of the Day

Neil Young on Stage at SXSW

Neil Young brought the house to its feet merely by walking on stage, not to sing, but to promote Pono. (Photo: Carolyn Higgins)

Why would a famous artist like Young be willing to pour so much of his energy into the production side of the business? Because, as he says, “Listening to mp3 music is like making a Xerox of the Mona Lisa.”

His response to the claim that albums were passé foists of “filler” songs on consumers who really only prefer one or two songs on an album: “I’ve yet to meet the artist who says ‘I’ll write two really good songs and eight pieces of crap.”

Outfit of the Day

This woman had the striking high-tech style. Great pink hair!

The well-dressed Interactive attendee (Photo: Carolyn Higgins)

This woman had the presence and dignity to carry off this striking tech look.

What else can we say about the comfortable, chic black outfit and ultrafashionable boots? We might not want to walk miles in those heels, but they looked great.

And the hair color was the final, imaginative touch.


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