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Our Picks for SXSW PanelPicker 2017

Forget back to school! Have you heard the good news? SXSW 2017 season has begun! Voting for PanelPicker has begun — and you must submit your vote no later than Sept 2nd to let the SXSW community know what panels and workshops you’re interested in attending.

Over here at Rocksauce Studios, we are huge fans of SXSW so we wanted to give you a head start on voting for some of our SXSW PanelPicker sessions for 2017!

Over the years, many of the most compelling presentations at SXSW have come directly from it’s own community. It has shaped the trends and themes of SXSW past since the official PanelPicker was launced in 2017. For 2017, a more cohesive conference experience has been created to give the community more programming choices throughout the week of SXSW. PanelPicker has launched and is open for voting and we’d like to share with you our recommended sessions to vote on.

SXSW Interactive

Here’s how that process works:

“While voting from the community is important, these totals are not the only factor in deciding SXSW programing. As illustrated by the graph below, the SXSW staff and Advisory Boards also inform a significant percentage in determining the content lineup.

The input of the SXSW staff and Advisory Boards helps ensure that less well-known voices have as much of a chance as being selected to speak at SXSW as individuals with large online followings.

Public Votes – 30%
Who knows what you want to see at SXSW better than you? Your input is very important in terms of shaping the look and feel of the 2016 event.

SXSW Advisory Board – 40%
A group of industry experts from around the world, the SXSW Advisory Board provides significant feedback on all submissions.

SXSW Staff – 30%
With years of experience programming this event, SXSW staffers work to fill any gaps in relevant subject matter, striking a balance between new and veteran speakers.” — SXSW PanelPicker Website

Here are a few of our favorite picks:


Creative Teamwork for Mission-Driven Design

Cause-based and academic organizations often partner with technical and creative firms to maximize their impact, tell better stories, and produce engaging digital products. But, how do these cross-sector relationships work?

The technical team at Citizen Code, the creative team at Radish Lab, and the nonprofit Coastal Seabird Project will discuss the challenges of working together on complex, high-cost web products. You’ll learn how mission-driven organizations and fast-paced technology companies navigate funding and grant cycle challenges and differences in workflow to collectively reduce costs on complex design and development projects.

Wanted: Women in Tech Mentors & Mentees

Mentorship might just be one of the keys to solving the lack of gender diversity in the tech industry. While we won’t talk about why mentorship is important, which is, by now, common knowledge, we will take a deeper dive into what’s preventing more tech companies from implementing mentorship programs that could positively impact both growth and talent retention and what’s preventing more women from proactively looking for mentors/mentees on their own.

We will also touch on why, instead of asking women to “fit” into the boys’ club, we should ask ourselves what needs to be done to create an environment where women can thrive in STEM fields.

How Do You Keep Your Brand Human in 2030?

From the cubicles of “Office Space” to the culture of “Silicon Valley,” you’ve worked hard to build a brand where team members are valued and don’t feel like cogs in a corporate machine. But what happens when machines start replacing them?

In the foreseeable future, the unprecedented rate of technological progress in AI,  digitalization, AR/VR, and automation will once again force us to reimagine the definition of meaningful work.

Every aspect of your brand, from your company culture to how you connect with customers, is going to be challenged.

Avoid “cog culture” – join us to learn what you can do now to safeguard your brand for decades to come.

5 Ways to Grow Fandom & Increase Followers

Want to grow your fandom and increase followers? Hear 5 ways to achieve YouTube success from Sara Dietschy who has made it her full-time career as a filmmaker and creator/host of Creative Spaces TV, a docs-series highlighting a variety of artists capturing how they do what they do. Along the way, Sara has learned what video skill sets are needed for new creatives who need to navigate the creative world – either in search of a higher-level job or a full-time career in filmmaking. Sara believes you’re always one tweet away from a job opportunity or one year of consistent YouTube uploads away from making filmmaking your full-time job. Hear how you can get there from here.



The Culture Code

Learn why corporate culture is more important than ever before and how you can effectively lead your business through cultural transitions. Together, we’ll explore modalities in organizational change rooted in traditional
brand strategy. Using Silicon Valley start-ups as a lens, we’ll discuss actionable methodologies for both implementing and measuring culture change. We’ll strategize as a group about how you can begin to put your ideas into action. What you will take away from this talk: a framework for effecting real change throughout your organization that will prepare you to kick off your culture change imperative on Monday.

Textual Healing? Storytelling & the Death of Words

In a world where printed words are on the path to extinction as people communicate via emoticons, selfies and images, brands and consumers alike are learning how to convey their ideas in a simple, visual way. Gen Zs are no longer interested in words and are deviating from notions of a two-dimensional online world.
Join Pinterest for an informative workshop on the importance of visual assets and how to tell an entire story with images and/or videos. This workshop teaches brands and marketers how to use social platforms appropriately, keeping visual and engaging content at the forefront of every pin. In today’s digital world, we need to live by a new adage: first comes image, then comes text.


sxsw panelpicker 2017



First Time to SXSW Interactive Meetup: Sweet John Muehlbauer

SXSW Interactive can be overwhelming. With 40,000 registrants and hundreds of sessions to choose from how do you take it all in? The first step once you’ve picked up your badge is to not do it alone. SXSW is truly about the convergence of people from all over the world bringing their energy and ideas to Austin. You came here to be a part of it. Why not begin with meeting others who are here for their first time and start making great connections right away! Meet Up facilitator Sweet John Muehlbauer has been attending SXSW Interactive since 1997 and will be giving tips and tricks to make the most out of your first year.

The Culture Paradox: Scaling What Makes You Grow

Every start-up discovers a paradox on their journey to become a successful enterprise. You have a unique culture that fuels your growth. Yet with growth come new faces, ideas, and decisions that can erode the culture that’s made your organization successful.

Learn how Red Hat, a 9,000 person tech company born from the open source and “maker” movement, is taking a purposeful approach to scaling its culture for the future.

See how the company found–and continues to find–its cultural strengths and differentiators, including open leadership and inclusive meritocracy. Learn how to translate cultural expectations for newcomers, while being open to the valuable perspectives they offer.


Mentor Sessions:

Mentoring with Jason Bender

As a motivated developer who mentors my team on a daily basis, I would welcome the opportunity to meet with others interested in advancing in their career. I’ve created apps for appreneurs, big brands, Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office) and for my own enjoyment. Pull up a chair and ask me anything!

Building a career in New Media Production

As a motion design director, I’ve been guiding and overseeing the way Rooster Teeth’s brand looks on screen for the past four years. That involves mentoring artists as they learn to design for the Roster Teeth look and helping people sort through design and technical problems. I can offer advice on what works when developing content for YouTube and other online content providers and I can talk about how one gets into the industry here in Austin. In past mentor sessions and other events like Behance portfolio reviews, I’ve done a lot of both.


So now that we’ve advised a few panels for you to choose from, head over to the SXSW PanelPicker website and get your vote on!