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Austin, TX – June 20, 2013 – SXSW Eco, a conference focused on progressing innovation and action around environmental and sustainability initiatives, today announced Robin Chase, founder and CEO of car-sharing company Buzzcar, as keynote speaker to engage attendees around the role of business and innovation in addressing climate change. SXSW Eco also announced initial programming for the show’s third-annual event, which brings together attendees at all levels to share best practices, innovations and forward-thinking initiatives around climate change, energy, technology, design, food, policy, education and more. SXSW Eco takes place October 7-9, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.
Robin Chase is founder and CEO of Buzzcar, a service that brings together car owners and drivers in a carsharing marketplace. Chase is also founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world, and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. She is on the Board of the World Resources Institute, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, and the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board. She also served on the Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force.
“We are excited to have Robin keynote as a part of our lineup of speakers, panels, workshops, multimedia presentations and competitions. Her topic is exactly in line with our aim to bring together people from various industries, trades and regions to apply what’s worked and can work across the board,” said Chris Sonnier, program manager at SXSW Eco. “SXSW Eco is focused on breaking down the barriers between sectors, and equipping individuals at any position to take action. We hope to elevate business innovations that create so many of the solutions that can also work for the economy, environment and society.”
The three day event will offer a diversity of top-level programming with over 100 sessions from distinguished speakers tackling critical topics, including:
Energy: Arun Banskota, president of eVgo, NRG Energy’s Division that is creating America’s first comprehensive and privately-funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure, will deliver a presentation on how they are working to redefine the utility business model to make the energy industry a technology industry. Also, hear from IBM’s Smarter Cities, Schneider Electric, and Boston University’s Sustainable Neighborhood Lab about their visions for a smarter, more-connected energy system. The session “Big Oil: An Ally for Cleantech?” will explore the philosophical and practical tensions that have emerged as large oil and gas companies begin to make large investments in renewable energy projects.
Policy & Activism: Leading water policy thought leaders from Ceres, Circle of Blue, Pacific Institute, Banyan Water, and Coca-Cola will participate in a round table on global choke points for water availability. In another panel, cultural leaders Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. (Hip Hop Caucus), Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), and Dr. Michael K. Dorsey (Dartmouth College Climate Justice Research Project) will explore the impact – health, environmental and social – of fracking on our culture, particularly for those of low-socioeconomic backgrounds.
Design: Mary Miss, the prominent artist behind City as a Living Laboratory, will deliver a session on making sustainability tangible by uniting science with participatory public art. Also, Pliny Fisk III, co-director for the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, discusses revolutionizing the world of building materials and the field of architecture.
Climate Change: World renowned climatologists, Alan Townshend and Jim White, will speak to the ethics and science of our planet’s future. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability will be joined by the C40 and Environmental Defense Fund to discuss novel and impactful ways to communicate levels of carbon pollution at the city level. The Climate Wise Women, a consortium of brave individuals who are leading their communities response to climate change, will be joining SXSW Eco from endangered communities in the Maldives, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and the Gulf Coast.
Food & Agriculture: Join discussions of the future of urban farming (Urban Patchwork), 3D printing as the answer to food security (Cabot Creamery) and farming solutions that produce healthy food without antibiotics (Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics and Heritage Acres Foods).
A number of additional sessions will look at everything from big data, energy efficiency, water scarcity, sustainable packaging, behavioral change, social good, finance, technology innovation, and much more with speakers from Safeway, National Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, Change.org, NAACP, WWF, Autogrid, Retroficiency, Austin Energy, CBRE, Greentech Media, and others.
SXSW Eco also presents the Startup Showcase, a one-day venture capital tournament exhibiting the best of cleantech startups. And, the Place by Design competition will exhibit design projects that achieve a positive community impact through the creation or re-imagining of public spaces. Interested participants can submit their works through July 31 deadline here: http://sxsweco.com/program/place-design.
SXSW Eco Exhibition occurs through October 7-8, 2013 and is expanding into a full size exhibition featuring compelling exhibitors, meet ups, startup events, and other opportunities to interact, learn and relax. For more information, please go to http://sxsweco.com/exhibitions
To register to attend, please go to http://sxsweco.com/attend. SXSW Eco is sponsored by Sierra Club, Austin Energy, ATI Clean Energy Incubator, Lagunitas and the Austin Chronicle. Media partners include Guardian Sustainable Business, Green Building & Design (GB&D), Greentech Media (GTM) and Grist.org.
About SXSW Eco:
South by Southwest (SXSW) is world renowned for cutting edge cultural, music, interactive, and film conferences and festivals. For SXSW Eco, it employs this experience in creating dynamic forums for innovation and collaboration to likewise serve the sustainability community. SXSW Eco presents a diverse array of interrelated programming. With this diverse programming comes a unique set of participants with which to connect. The laid back atmosphere facilitates open discussion which has led to a number of unexpected collaborations and projects. For more information go to http://sxsweco.com/