Solving The Equation Of SXSW

Density + Serendipity + Intention

Over the years, South by Southwest has evolved from a regional music festival to a serious multi-week extravaganza of music, film, and digital technology that brings together a remarkable community of people looking to learn and play in Austin. This community isn’t perfect, and the conference board continuously works to make SXSW, its attendees, and its environment more thoughtful and respectful every year. One persistent challenge is that the festival has gotten so big that you constantly miss amazing things. But, amidst all this action, if we embrace serendipitous moments, and find the meaning in them — we discover the solution to SXSW.

The density of diverse, intelligent, passionate folks, that come to Austin from around the world creates opportunities for interactions, experiments, and conversations that rarely happen with the frequency they do here. And, because it’s impossible to experience all of it, you can be free to embrace serendipity and let the festival move you. Allow the chaos to push you to things you never thought might be interesting. Let a friend, whom you only see once each year, pull you to a talk you didn’t know was happening. Even if there are certain events you’re certain you want to catch, or work that needs to get done, know that the moments you couldn’t possibly plan often become the most meaningful.

And meaning matters for everyone — and is defined differently for each of us. We all need to find intention to filter the diverse choices we make every moment at SXSW and to give serendipity a guide. To decide which of the hands reaching out to us from a million directions we choose to take and follow into the melee. With a little clarity about our own hopes for the week, the experiences we need and want are here for us to discover. Now it’s up to us to take the hand, to go to the talk, to start the unlikely conversation. We have work to do, but it’s simple work. Enjoy!

Michael will be at SXSW hosting The Purpose Lounge at SXSW this week.