1. She felt she was chasing the wrong things while making her first two films.
2. She doesn’t shy away from a challenge.
3. Her daily “gratitude list” keeps her grounded.
4. Her mission is consistent from project to project.
It’s that magical time of year — the time to choose panels for South By Southwest Interactive. The event will be held March 13-17 in Austin, Texas. Every year, festival organizers field complaints about a lack of diversity among its presenters. So here’s a handy list of 10 panels that promote diversity we think you should support. See the complete list of potential panels here. Voting ends on Sept. 5 at 11:59 p.m. Central time.
- The Connected Culture of a Blended Classroom: Dr. Sybril Bennett of Belmont University and Federico Padovan of Immaculata-La Salle High School want to show how to teach the next generation of innovative mobile learning using the power and portability of the iPad.
- Is It Finally the Age of the Woman Entrepreneur: Jane Park of Julep Beauty Inc. will discuss how she went from being the owner of a single nail salon to CEO of the fastest-growing beauty brand, raising $56M from top VCs along the way.
- How to not hire and retain minority employees: 2014 saw the release of diversity numbers from tech companies: Google’s workforce is 61% white,Twitter 59%, Facebook 57%, and LinkedIn, Pinterest and Yahoo at 50%. Facebook and Pinterest engineers will use this panel to discuss the unsuccessful approaches that have been taken and then delve into what’s being to create more inclusive and diverse companies through reaching people earlier in the pipeline and investing in retention.
- Women in Publishing: Advice We Wish We’d Had: A diverse panel of women from across the publishing industry discusses finding success in what has historically been an old boys’ club. Panelists include breakout debut novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Roxanne Gay; emerging indie publisher Jill Meyers; and Lisa Lucas, the publisher of Guernica, an arts and politics magazine. Halimah Marcus, editorial director of the innovative digital publisher Electric Literature, will moderate.
- The Spook Who Sat In the Executive Suite: Diversity in the tech industry is a very popular topic. An African American internet company CEO and several of his peers will speak about their experiences as executives in the technology sector in the US and abroad.
- Social Media + Diversity: The ROI for Brands: Within the next 5 years, multicultural consumers will drive 86% of the total spending growth in retail. The panel will focus on how brands and marketers can strategically create an inclusive, authentic community using social media in order to create loyal, life-long customers and brand advocates.
- LGBT Workers: Young, Diverse & In the Closet: Five years after the end of the Great Recession, Millennials still face high barriers to achieving economic opportunity. For LGBT Millennials, these barriers add to the discrimination they already face based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This will be a conversation on how we can build an inclusive and secure environment for all LGBT workers by working with all levels of government as well as business and education leaders to highlight and address the challenges LGBT Millennials continue to face in entering and succeeding in any work environment.
- How to make content that people give a damn about: Content producers, creatives, marketers, and publishers invest millions to produce the next big viral moment. This panel will discuss how we can create better content that connects with people and moves them to action.
- A Fine Line: Journalism, Storytelling and Advocacy: German writer and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once famously said, “silence in the face of evil is evil itself.” When there is potential for storytelling or reporting to create a tangible impact, is there an obligation for the journalist or greater media ecosystem relay a call to action to the reader? Bryn Mooser, Co-Founder of RYOT News examines this topic with writers Cord Jefferson (Gawker) and Nitasha Tiku (ValleyWag).
- Disrupting the Venture Capital Landscape: The current venture capital funding landscape is limited in geographical scope, as well as diversity of management. Startups in the top 3 states (CA, MA, and NY) receive 70% of the VC funding. Startups with men at the helm receive over 90% of the VC funding. This session will examine how non-traditional venture funds can play a role in expanding access to capital for markets underserved by current VC models.
Benét J. Wilson writes for a non-profit aviation association. She is also an aviation/travel freelance journalist, and has written for publications and blogs including CrankyFlier.com, ACI-NA Centerlines, Aviation International News, Airport World, the Airline Passenger Experience magazine and the Runway Girl Network. She is currently a board member for the Online News Association and Vice Chair, Education, for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force.