Vote McCombs for SXSW 2020

Texas McCombs
Aug 5 · 4 min read

The University of Texas at Austin hopes to send business faculty as featured speakers — on everything from cryptocurrency to using data to predict your career trajectory— to next year’s South by Southwest, and we need your support in the community voting process.

How to vote: Scroll down and click on the individual panels you’d like to see at SXSW 2020. You’ll be taken to the SXSW page for each entry where you can vote “up” on your favorites (on the left hand side of the page). If you don’t already have a SXSW profile, you’ll be prompted to create one. It takes just a minute. McCombs faculty indicated in bold.

Please cast your votes before the deadline of Aug. 23 and then share this page with colleagues, friends, and fellow alums so they can vote, too.


The Power of Students as Policy Entrepreneurs

Nathan Jensen (moderator), McCombs School of Business; Talia Stroud, The University of Texas at Austin; and Zachary Elkins, The University of Texas at Austin

Students can be key players in the public policy arena. This discussion with faculty across the fields of business, government and communication explores creative ways to engage students in policy. Strategies include simulation exercises to rethink and reform constitutional law, op-ed writing and research assistantships integrated into the classroom, and student research to help struggling newsrooms.

Click here to vote.


Alexa, Call the Healthcare Cyberwarrior Hotline!

Leanne Field (moderator), Clinical Professor and Director, Healthcare Innovation, McCombs School of Business; Mac McMillan, CEO Emeritus, CynergisTek; and Sri Bharadwaj, Director, Information Services and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), UCI Health

Dynamic Cyber-attacks on healthcare systems result in data breaches that put patients and their Protected Health Information (PHI) at risk. Medical devices can be manipulated, leading to disastrous outcomes, threatening the safety of patients. Our infrastructure resilience is in danger due to constant penetration by external threats. This session will describe the current cyber-threats faced by the American healthcare system, provide real-world examples of how cyber-attacks impact patient safety, and advocate that a paradigm shift is needed to build a cyberwarrior workforce to help protect against these rapidly evolving threats. A growing need for improving our leadership capabilities in healthcare cybersecurity will be addressed as well.

Click here to vote

The Science of Plant-Based Eating

Marissa Duswalt Epstein, Lecturer, McCombs School of Business and College of Natural Sciences, Director of The University of Texas Nutrition Institute

Nutrition expert Marissa Epstein, former White House Associate Director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, will dive into the science of how plants give us a nutritional edge. As one of today’s most popular diets, plant-based eating is changing how consumers approach food choices everywhere from grocery to fast food. But humans have known plant-based eating to be the best diet for centuries. Why is it so effective? Epstein will uncover the extraordinary properties of plants that make them the best food choices for health. Through their shape and structure, plants possess an orchestration of nutrients that outperform other foods, beyond what humans can yet manufacture. Once you know the science, you can’t unsee the compelling nature of plants to transform our health.

Click here to vote


Cryptocurrency Shenanigans: Barrier to Mainstream

John Griffin, Professor, Department of Finance, James A. Elkins Centennial Chair in Finance, McCombs School of Business

Current cryptocurrency investors and users face significant risk of loss from fraudulent activities. Recent examples include fraudulent activity revealed or under investigation at Bitfinex/Tether, Quadriga, Bitmex, and many hacks dating back to Mt. Gox. Market manipulation and fraud hinder the mid- and long-term growth prospects of an otherwise promising nascent technology. In this session, John Griffin, the world’s leading forensic finance expert, will discuss evidence of manipulative activities and how they have harmed crypto investors, users, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. Cryptocurrencies in their current form need substantial modifications to mitigate risk of loss to stakeholders and bolster institutional confidence for wider mainstream adoption.

Click here to vote


People Analytics and the Game of Life

Rajiv Garg, Assistant Professor of Information, Risk, and Operation Management, McCombs School of Business

Who you know matters for job search, but what makes you more successful is where you have been and where you want to go! You can get that coveted job if you have a good connection, but you may not be able to grow your career forward.

Our career trajectory data can help us better understand where we would/should go; you can climb the career ladder fast but still may not reach the top (executive), you want to jump the line and be an entrepreneur — maybe now is the time! Being jack-of-all is good and so is master-of-some — depends on what path you have taken and where you want to go. Not every path leads to a desired opportunity.

Life is full of choices and our big-data and machine-learning innovation can help us make better choices! Can I have your data now?

Click here to vote

Texas McCombs

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News, business research, and ideas from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more at

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