An overview of SXSW 2024: Accessibility, Design & Tech

South by Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. It is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture.

For nine days, creatives stepped into different industries to discover new inspiration, create cross-industry connections, and imagine what's next.

In this year’s edition, accessibility took center stage at the event, as the Tech, Fashion, and Culture industries all paid close attention to this important topic. Here, we share with you a summary of our highlights.

Design + Accessibility: A Semi-Dark Experience

"Design + Accessibility: A Semi-Dark Experience," hosted by Brands&People, a TBWA Global Network member, in collaboration with Strap Tech, the 2022 SXSW Innovation Awards winner for Best in Show and Wearable Tech, offers an immersive session. Renowned design experts Gerardo Ortiz and Diego Roel discuss their co-creation journey, rebranding, and redesign of Strap Tech and their flagship product, ARA. This thought-provoking session explores the transformative power of design, fostering empathy in semi-darkness. Join this inclusive infusion of assistance through design and tech, delving into the unseen with creativity.

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Accessibility: The New Key to Building Brand Engagement

Accessibility is a growing demand for consumers, with 80% preferring captioned videos. Despite that, online content has lacked accessibility standards to keep pace with change. Promoting accessible video increases revenue and engagement while enabling all voices to be understood. This panel will connect a video platform, transcription service, and disability advocate to explain how accessibility has been overlooked for the internet and their roles in improving the future media landscape.

The Science & Craft of Storytelling: How to Make People Care

How can brands and leaders tell stories that inspire human connection and positive action, especially in these anxious and uncertain times? Cheryl Miller Houser offers tactics grounded in the science and craft of storytelling to make people feel part of something bigger than themselves and move them to laugh, to cry, to propel change. Participants from all sectors can apply these tactics to drive success in building brand loyalty, marketing, galvanizing employees, creating community, fundraising and more.

How We Build Resilience and Compassion

Resilience and empathy have become cultural buzzwords. Everyone talks about how crucial they are — yet, too often, we don't know why these qualities matter or how we can cultivate them. In this session, learn from Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, who has written extensively about how these two qualities can improve our lives. He’ll discuss the biases embedded in our perceptions of resilience and how we overcome them. He’ll also share personal stories and daily practices that we can incorporate to help grow our empathy.

Sarah Herrlinger on Accessibility at Apple

An engaging conversation with Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger about the company’s decades-long commitment to accessibility and disabled users. At Apple, accessibility is a human right and a core value, which has lead to breakthroughs across products, services and representation for people with disabilities. Herrlinger will share the company’s latest innovations in vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive and speech accessibility and how these features advance the company's mission of creating technology that works for everyone.

Transformative Technologies in Education, Branding, and Social Impact

Learn about the transformative technologies changing the world today with Swan Sit and Cristina Carl, Founder & CEO of Ediphi — including technology like Web3, the metaverse, VR, and more.

Inclusive Tech - Technology of Tomorrow: Born Inclusive

Advancements in AI and ML have created waves across all sectors of society over the course of this year. There are extraordinary opportunities and responsibilities that emerge with new technology. For those who envision a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world, we have an opportunity to seize this moment to leverage new technologies to drive systemic change in inclusion and equity. This session will focus on the intersection of technology and Inclusion. It will also explore the imperative that technology be “born inclusive.”

Beyond Inclusivity: Remi Bader's Trailblazing Impact on The Fashion Industry

Compelling SXSW panel as we delve into the transformative journey of Remi Bader, a trailblazer in the fashion industry, who not only revolutionized size inclusivity but also pioneered a groundbreaking marketing vertical in doing so. Beyond the conversation of fashion, this discussion will explore how Remi turned two-way conversations with consumers into a powerful marketing strategy, influencing brands and generating bottom-line revenue. Learn how the unique blend of realistic hauls, interactive polls, trial, and error, and luck - reshaped the landscape of sales, marketing, and e-commerce, setting Remi apart as a visionary creator and businessperson.

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