3p Weekend Preview: An Early Look at SXSW Eco 2014

Coming to SXSWEco? Join Triple Pundit for a Happy Hour event from 6-8 p.m. on October 7. RSVP here.

Park decor at SXSW Eco 2013.
Park decor at SXSW Eco 2013.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

We don’t know about you, but the 3p team is getting pretty excited to attend the SXSW Eco conference in Austin next week. So excited, in fact, that we already have our daily schedules planned and ready to go! Here are 10 panels, parties and events we can’t wait to check out. 

1. U.N. staff and partners discuss next steps after the Climate Summit

The world is still abuzz after the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York City last week. If you’re wondering how the international organization plans to keep momentum going, keep an eye out for answers at SXSW Eco.

At a panel discussion on Oct. 8, hear from key U.N. staff and partners about the next steps on climate and sustainability from the U.N., nonprofit and corporate perspectives. Panelists, including leaders who participated in the summit, will speak to the results and how they envision the conversation moving forward.

2. Triple Pundit and HP talk #livingprogress on Twitter

With HP Living Progress as its framework for thinking about how it does business, HP is working to create a better future for everyone through its actions and innovations. Through HP Living Progress, HP brings together people and technology to solve the world’s toughest challenges.

At SXSW Eco, Nick Aster, Founder and Publisher of Triple Pundit, and Chris Librie, Senior Director of Strategy and Communications at HP Corporate Affairs, will come together at the HP Living Progress Exchange to bring the dialogue to you via Twitter. Follow along at the hashtag #livingprogress on Oct. 7 at Noon PT/2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET to participate from anywhere in the world. Register here.

3. Experts discuss how #EcoDesign can drive change

Design is about more than creating a better product. As the #EcoDesign panel discussion on Oct. 6 will prove, great design has the potential to drive real change and address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

With panelists from all corners of the design space, including Vince Digneo of Adobe Systems, Paul Dillinger of Levi Strauss & Co. and Beau Trincia of Building Robotics, the talk will focus on design innovations that are defying expectations and making sustainability easy, cost effective and beautiful.

4. Clorox launches Twitter-powered water dispenser

Using bleach to purify drinking water may sound strange at first, but bleach actually has a long history of being safely used to treat water around the globe. Sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in Clorox bleach, is one of the most effective disinfectants on earth — killing over 99 percent of bacteria and viruses commonly found in untreated water, such as E. coli and cholera, the company says.

With this in mind, the Clorox Safe Water Project is installing public bleach dispensers in Peru to provide 400,000 liters of safe drinking water daily to more than 25,000 Peruvians. To raise awareness and funds for the project, Clorox is launching a first-of-its-kind Twitter-powered water dispenser at SXSW Eco. Attendees will be able to tweet @Clorox with hashtags #safewaterproject and #fill to keep the dispenser running. For each person who tweets using #safewaterproject, Clorox will donate $1 to the project — enough to provide one Peruvian with safe water for four months.

5. Up-and-coming startups go on display

Spotlighting innovation and entrepreneurship, the SXSW Eco Startup Showcase is a pitch competition featuring top early-stage companies from around the world. In the past two years, participating companies have gone on to receive seed and series funding totaling over $27 million and acquire global brands as clients.

Finalists in the Greentech category, presented by HP, offer solutions in agriculture, solar, wind, green building, recycling and waste, transportation and fuels, water, materials and more. Other categories include social impact and cleanweb.

6. Hackers converge to save the monarch butterfly

The SXSW Eco Hackathon, presented by World Wildlife Fund, provides an opportunity for environmentally-conscious hackers to help save the beautiful monarch butterfly.

Using data provided by Monarch Joint Venture and others, SXSW Eco is challenging hackers to spend 24 hours creating useable tools (websites or mobile apps) that will help the public participate in monarch conservation.

7. Designers use public spaces to boost communities

Place by Design, the SXSW Eco Public Space Design Competition, “honors visionary design work that achieves a positive community impact through the creation or re-imagining of public spaces.” The contest will highlight projects that transform the way communities interact with place. Catch a sneak peak at the finalists and semi-finalists here.

8. Industry leaders gather to ‘detox’ the fashion world

As the second most polluting industry (just behind petroleum), fashion is prime for a detox. At a panel discussion on Oct. 8, industry leaders like Christoph Frehsee of Amour Vert, Dave Cobban of Nike and Greta Eagan, author of “Wear No Evil,” will talk about how improved methods can lighten the impact of the industry. From sustainable textiles to closed-loop manufacturing, this panel invites you to the “future of fashion.”

9. Indiegogo talks crowdfunding for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that has raised $29.3 million for thousands of nonprofits since 2012. Last year, Indiegogo teamed up with #GivingTuesday to raise more than $2.6 million for nonprofits around the world.

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, Indiegogo is inviting SXSW Eco attendees to join its cause manager, Alisa Cordesius, and nonprofit leaders for breakfast at Center61 to discuss crowdfunding. At the event, attendees will learn how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign and take full advantage of the growing #GivingTuesday movement this December. Register here.

10. Eco Exhibition showcases sustainable innovation

Serving as a community hub and event space, the Eco Exhibition is a central feature of SXSW Eco. Features include meetups, lounges and other activities throughout the two-day show to connect registrants with top innovators from around the globe. Check out the Maker Space to interact with DIY concepts, take a break to watch the Ping-Pong Tournament, or browse the latest in ethical fashion and retail products at the SXSW Eco Good Style Shop.

Image credit: Flickr/annaaustin

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a senior editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands, Earth911 and the Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @mary_mazzoni.

Mary Mazzoni

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is the senior editor of TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist with a passion for storytelling and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, Earth911, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and the Daily Meal.

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian with an interest in climate resilience, clean tech and social justice. You can contact her at mary@triplepundit.com.

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