We all know about the South by Southwest music, film and interactive festivals but SXSW is delving into more civic engagement events.
It was just this past March when SXSW organizers launched their first ever SXSWedu for teachers, education researchers and state leaders. That education conference came at time when Texas lawmakers were laying out big cuts to public education.
Today is the first day of the three-day SXSWeco conference. It's a gathering of science experts, environmental advocates and policy makers in downtown Austin.
Scott Wilcox is the director of the new SXSWeco. Wilcox says the focus of this meet up is to find solutions to environmental challenges.
“We believe that a lot of innovation and creativity comes from cross-sector dialog. We’ve seen with our other events, certainly with interactive, film and music, we get the best approaches when people discover new partnerships and innovative new approaches by seeing what other people are doing in this space," Wilcox told KUT News.
Wilcox says SXSWeco and SXSWedu grew out of discussions from past interactive conferences. Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter will speak today about renewable energy legislation passed in his state. Other sessions will cover efforts to make Austin a clean energy producer as well as a compare and contrast energy habits in Texas and China.