The TreeHugger Preview of SXSW Eco

sxsw eco 2012SxSW Eco/Promo image

The Second Annual South by Southwest Eco kicks off in a couple days! From Wednesday, Oct 3rd till Friday, the 5th, we'll be in Austin, Texas covering the many people and ideas trying to solve the climate crisis and other important sustainability and environmental issues. Since there will be so much going on, I wanted to highlight some of the things we're most excited to check out. And if you can't attend, there are ways to follow along online, so you'll find details for doing that below, as well.

First things first, here's a full event schedule: And here's what I am planning to see:

Don't miss these SXSW Eco Speakers and Panels

10 am: A Conversation with Mike Mann: Dispatches from the Front Line
Considered "public enemy #1" to climate change denialists, Michael Mann is best known for his work on the famous "hockey stick" graph. If you care about climate change science, you won't want to miss this.

10 am: Food Anthropology
If climate change isn't your speed for the first panel of the conference, I think this discussion on the global food crisis will be interesting.

11 am: The Science Communicators
How can scientists be better communicators? It's an important question we need to answer since so many of the crises we're facing require explanation of complicated ideas. This is one panel I am excited to see.


10 am: Creating Significant Change at the System Level
It looks like there will be a lot of great panels and speakers during this time slot, but for me, I know that individual actions alone are just not enough to make the changes we need to solve the climate crisis. Creating change at the system level is the only way to get those changes to scale.

11 am: The Intersection of Art + Sustainability
Why Should I? Approaches to Drive Behavior Change
Digital Strategies for Environmental Guerrillas
Ahhh! Too many smart concepts to decide on just one! I love the sound of all three of these events, so I'm not sure which I'll check out in-person. Help me pick!

2 pm: Senator Byron Dorgan and Jigar Shah KEYNOTE: Is America Sleepwalking on Clean Energy? Can Entrepreneurs and Innovators Offer a Wake Up Call?
The keynotes are always worth checking out. This should be an inspired and impassioned plea for more action on clean energy.

3:30 pm: Building Value in the Age of Less
The idea of living with less, sharing instead of owning and collaborative consumption are all themes we are interested in here at TreeHugger, so this sounds excellent.

3:30 pm: Futurescapes: Imagining the World of 2025
The title alone is intriguing. We like to think of our problems being solved in "the future." But how near or far are we imagining?

Thursday night, Dwell magazine will be hosting a pop-up party that should be fun. Details here.

10 am: The New Environmentalists
10 am: Freeing Ourselves from a High Carbon Future
Again, the 10 am slot will be a tough decision. A lot of big names in these two panels. Which would you want to see more?

2 pm: KEYNOTE: Annie Leonard.
One keynote speaker I'm excited to see is Annie Leonard, who is such an inspiring person. Her Story of Stuff project makes complex issues easy to understand, so I'm certain this will be a good speech to watch for a jolt of inspiration and helpful ideas for improving our own communication skills.

3:30 pm: Farming the Future
Our own Jerry James Stone will be sitting in on this panel, so how could I miss this?

4:10 pm Sustainability as a National Strategic Imperative
"Former Marine Colonel Mark Mykleby argues that we should focus less on military force and more on building social capital and developing sustainable practices." Sold.

So, that's what I'm probably going to be seeing while I'm in Austin. If you're going, what panels will you be seeing?

If you're not going, the organizers of SXSW Eco will be streaming some of the speakers and keynotes live online, so don't miss those. We've embedded the video player below. You can find the live stream schedule here:

Streaming video by Ustream

And the full keynote schedule is here.

Outside of the conference, you should know that this is available...

Bikes! - "SXCycles presented by Tern"
Austin's pedal cabs are a fun way to get around downtown Austin, but sometimes you just want to hop on your own bike and go your own way. Thankfully, Tern Bicycles are offering a bike share for conference attendees; $45 will get you a full day's rental. Details via Tern:

Rental includes 24-hour use of a Tern Link D8, helmet, lock, and mobile assistance by Guerilla Cyclewerx, if needed. Bikes may be reserved online in advance from or at the rental booth located at the intersection of Whitis Avenue and West 20th Street on a first come, first serve basis.

Follow SXSW Eco With Social Media
To follow along with TreeHugger, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, where we'll be sharing the most updates from the conference. I'm @ChrisTackett on Twitter and Instagram. Our Editor, Meaghan O'Neill will be there, as well. She is @msoeden on Twitter and Instagram. @JerryJamesStone will be there, too!

Of course, follow the Twitter hashtag: #SXSWEco for the full stream of updates. And keep an eye on our SXSW Eco tag page for all our posts and videos.

The TreeHugger Preview of SXSW Eco
Here's a look at what we're excited to check out at South by Southwest Eco.