SXSW Brings Together So Many Mayors

The Forrest Four-Cast: February 19, 2017

More than two dozen mayors from larger US cities will again converge on Austin for SXSW 2017. Why? Because they want to learn from and connect with the founders, entrepreneurs, startups and other innovators who are pushing the nation forward with new ideas, new services and new products. Some of the mayors we are most looking forward to seeing at this year’s March Magic include:

  1. Mayor Steve Adler (Austin). The host and mastermind of this convocation of big-city leaders, Adler speakers on the “America’s Mayors: Holding the Line” panel on Friday, March 10.
  2. Tom Barrett (Milwaukee). Serving as his city’s top elected official since 2004, Barrett will be part of the “American Housing Crisis: Can Data Help?” session on Monday, March 13.
  3. Mayor Richard Berry (Albuquerque). On Sunday, March 12, Berry will lend his voice to the “Five Cities Are Eliminating Racial Inequity, You Can Too” session.
  4. Mayor Jackie Biskupski (Salt Lake City). The power of big data is an ongoing theme at SXSW. So the “Fighting Crime with Data in the US and Abroad” session on which Biskupski will speak should draw a big crowd. Scheduled Monday, March 13 at the Downtown Hilton.
  5. Mayor Rosalynn Bliss (Grand Rapids, MI). She will be part of the “Making A Place For Equity” session on Saturday, March 11.
  6. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Washington DC). On Sunday, March 12, hear her on the “City’s Pathway to Inclusion” panel. Bowser is pictured above.
  7. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (West Sacramento, CA). He will lend his expertise to “Swiping Left on Civic Engagement” on Sunday, March 12.
  8. Buddy Dyer (Orlando). Hear him talk about how his city has tried to recover from the Pulse nightclub shooting on the “Resiliency in the Face of Terrorism” session on Monday, March 13.
  9. Mayor Greg Fischer (Louisville). Recently tagged by Ozy as the nation’s most innovative mayor, Fischer will speak on the Sunday, March 12 session “Five Cities Are Eliminating Racial Inequity, You Can Too.”
  10. Mayor Javier Gonzales (Santa Fe). As the leader of New Mexico’s capital city, Gonzales will appear on the “Building Bridges When Others Want to Build Walls” session on Saturday, March 11.
  11. Mayor Michael Hancock (Denver). On Monday, March 13, find Hancock at the “American Housing Crisis: Can Data Help?” panel.
  12. Mayor James Kenney (Philadelphia). He will also lend his expertise to the “Building Bridges When Others Want to Build Walls” session on Saturday, March 11.
  13. Mayor Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans). Hear Landrieu give his thoughts on “The Future of Policing” on Sunday, March 12.
  14. Mayor Sam Liccardo (San Jose). Want to build a metropolis that has all the best attributes and qualities of Silicon Valley? Then don’t miss Liccardo talk about “Innovation Duplication: Building an InnoEcosystem” on Monday, March 13.
  15. Mayor Kasim Reed (Atlanta). On Friday, March 10, Reed will speak on the “Wireless Network Innovation: Smart City Foundation” session.
  16. Mayor Denise Simmons (Cambridge, MA). The leader of the city that is home to some of America’s top universities, Simmons will be part of the “American Housing Crisis: Can Data Help?” panel on Monday, March 13.
  17. Mayor Greg Stanton (Phoenix). Stanton talks about Sanctuary Cities on the “America’s Mayors: Holding the Line” session on Friday, March 10.

If you want to pitch your community-focused entrepreneurial project to these mayors, then be sure to enter the Civic Startup Challenge before the end of the day on Sunday, February 19.

Otherwise, register now to attend these mayoral focused sessions as well as more than 1000 other panels and presentations at SXSW 2017. One of the big improvements for this year’s event is a radically improved badge system. Watch this short video to understand how this new system will make your SXSW experience even more productive!

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.