Solving “Unsolvable” Problems with Tech Industry & Enterprise

December 20, 2018 Nicole Cappabianca

In today’s world – not only is there an app for everything – there seems to be tech that already exists or is going through development to make every aspect of our lives simpler. The Tech Industry & Enterprise Track highlights the innovations of today and the trends of tomorrow.

During the SXSW Conference, we’ll put on sessions that feature executives and leaders across a variety of industries from March 8-13. We’ll highlight tech that’s disrupting industries taking on massive societal issues. These sessions show how emerging tech can be used to address nuanced and complex issues like poverty, election hacking, privacy, censorship, access to wealth and resources, and other “unsolvable” problems.

Tech Industry & Enterprise Session Highlights

First Principles First: How to Solve Hard Problems

When you strip problem-solving down to the simplest form, what are you left with? Join Leigh Christie, Co-Founder of MistyWest, Lauren Cohen, Senior SW/FW Engineer at Microsoft, Ariel Ekblaw, Founder and Lead Space Exploration Initiative at MIT Media Lab, and Diba Kaya, UX Researcher at Google, as they talk through using first principles to solve the high-impact and often “unsolvable” problems that face our complex society like improving the human condition, positively impacting sustainability, or otherwise improving the future for all of us as these questions become more important for the lasting survival of our culture.

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Can the Tech Industry Disrupt Poverty?

Tech companies have developed ways to disrupt our very existence thanks to new technology that has changed the ways we get around cities, the food we consume, and the people we date. So why haven’t they gone further to disrupt more complex issues – like poverty? What would happen if the most powerful companies threw their power into such an ambitious task? In this session, Rajesh Anandan, Co-Creator of UNICEF Kid Power and Co-Founder of ULTRA Testing, Jessica James, Founder and Principal of Jessica James Consulting, Pras Michel, Founder of Blacture, and Diane Solinger, Director of Communications and Culture-sumUX at Google, will talk about which companies are starting to throw around ideas in this realm and what the benefits and challenges these companies will face as they move farther into the future of taming such a nuanced issue.

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Securing Our Nation’s Election Infrastructure

With Cyberspace having no bounds or limits, it becomes more crowded each day and therefore more susceptible to malign actors disrupting the space. After the 2016 election, the Department of Homeland Security took the lead in working with federal partners, the elections community, and the private sector to ensure that the 2018 midterm elections would be secure and would uphold the public trust – but they recognize there is still more work to be done. Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications for the Department of Homeland Security will be continuing these vital conversations around cybersecurity best practices, the hard lessons that were learned, and the importance of information sharing.

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SESTA/FOSTA: Forcing Internet Users to be Rated G?

What happens when technology tries to disrupt an industry but doesn’t quite get it right? SESTA/FOSTA is the radical new federal law that threatens internet providers with 10 years in federal prison if they allow content that “facilitates” or “promotes” prostitution. In response, Skype has banned nudity, Eventbrite banned all adult events, Craigslist banned all personal ads, etc. Web platforms have started censoring adult content and expression – but what does that mean for the future of the internet? Learn how to stay informed and get involved with Alex Andrews, Co-Founder of SWOP Behind Bars and SWOPUSA, River del Llano, Healthy Love, Sex, and Intimacy Coach at Uncage Love: Explore Body Freedom, Surrogate Partner, and Former Trial Attorney, Dan Savage, Writer, TV Personality, and Activist at Hypomania Content, and Lawrence G. Walters, Managing Attorney at Walters Law Group.

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Apps & Access: Democratizing Age-Old Industries

What about an instance where technology is disrupting industries and is doing it oh so right? Technology has been disrupting industries for decades, but more than anything technology has increased access – particularly for communities that have been historically marginalized. In this session hear from Jamie Hale, CEO and Co-Founder of Ladder, Brandon Krieg, CEO and Co-Founder of Stash, Afton Vechery, CEO and Co-Founder of Modern Fertility, and Julie VerHage, Reporter at Bloomberg News, who are all from companies that are using technology to empower people by democratizing access to services from financial services, to education, to healthcare.

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Check out other Entrepreneurship & Startups sessions as well as other Keynotes and Featured Speakers like Amy Webb, Sandy Carter & Kathy Klotz-Guest, and Susan Fowler:

Browse More Tech Industry & Enterprise Sessions

Enjoy primary access to all Tech Industry & Enterprise Sessions as well as other Conference Sessions with a Platinum or Interactive Badge, and secondary access to most other events.

Crossover Track Recommendations

Learn more and unlock your badge’s full potential when you explore sessions on the other 25 Conference Tracks that relate back to Tech Industry & Enterprise:

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Featured Image by Aaron Rogosin

The post Solving “Unsolvable” Problems with Tech Industry & Enterprise appeared first on SXSW.


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