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SXSW 2019: Vote for your favorite speaker sessions!


It seems like just yesterday we invaded Austin with bots, talks, parties and workshops for the tech-fueled fantasyland that is South by Southwest — and believe it or not, we’re already planning for next year!

One of the biggest components of SXSW is the speaking sessions, during which innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists and experts from around the world take to the stage to share their thoughts. We were thrilled to have several Accenture employees and Fjordians participate last year, and we’re excited to introduce the next crop hoping to secure a space on South By’s coveted stage in 2019.

That’s where you come in.

The roster of speakers is determined largely by vote, so now’s your chance to help us get our sessions on stage and in front of the crowd (and even better, determine what panels you will get to see in Austin in March).

All of the proposed sessions from Accenture Interactive and Fjord can be found on the official SXSW PanelPicker site and are listed with descriptions below. Check out our pitches, find your favorite(s), and then click on the link and VOTE!

See you in ATX!

Track: Intelligent Future


How To Build an Ethical AI That Works for the Many

Presented by: Abbie Walsh, Group Director, Europe and Latin America, Fjord and Hollie Lubbock, Interaction Design Lead, Fjord.

Artificial intelligence will change how we work, entertain ourselves and interact with others. It has the potential to transform society for the better and it is our responsibility – as designers, brands, companies and users – to ensure we design an AI that creates a fairer, happier and healthier world.

View and vote now!

The AI-Augmented Pub Quiz Challenge!

Presented By: Stephen Foxworthy, Business Design Director, Fjord & Lakruwan Pemasiri, Senior Creative Technologist, Fjord.

Join us for the world’s first AI-Augmented Pub Quiz Challenge!
Human intelligence is no longer enough to win this world’s-toughest quiz, you’ll need a smarter partner…
Each team will be given a digital assistant to help them on their quest to be crowned AI-Quiz Champions.
Learn how best to work with your Assistant to answer the diabolical questions, marrying up human intuition with digital speed and accuracy to correctly answer quiz questions as quickly as possible.

View and vote now!

How it Feels to Actually Lose Your Job to a Robot

Presented by: Kelsa Trom, Senior Content Designer, Fjord and Eudi Paz, Business Design Lead, Accenture.

The conversation about automation tends to be one of futurism, predictions and extremes. In our fascination and hunger to envision the future, we sometimes lose sight of what’s happening right now, to real workers in long-standing jobs across industries, regions and skill levels.

View and vote now!

Renovating Home Buying With AI

Presented By: Mark Jones, Design Director and Data+Design APAC practice lead, Fjord.

We’re preoccupied with property. 2 out of 3 people own their home, yet finding and then buying a home is still protracted and painful. Sellers, agents, brokers, lawyers and banks all tell you different stories. How do you avoid wasting time and heartache pursuing homes you can’t afford? And once you find one, how do you navigate the archaic world of property transfers?

View and vote now!

Humanizing Government: Simplifying Immigration with AI

Presented By: Tim Hall, Group Director, Fjord.

Immigration is now one of the most pressing issues affecting the modern world. For governments, it’s not only incredibly complicated politically, it’s also a huge drain on human resources and a bureaucratic minefield. With immigration services often creating first impressions of a country, how can governments humanize to make the process more intuitive, supportive and effective?

View and vote now!

Conversational Society: Tension in the Machine Age

Presented By: Paige Maguire, Design Director, Fjord.

Without any training or without even really being aware of it, over the last decade we’ve become entirely accustomed to speaking to, and learning from machines.

Our virtual and physical worlds are pulled closer every day and although we benefit from it, it also brings tension. Nowhere is this tension felt more than in the conversation design.

View and vote now!

JFK 2020: Could JFK Be the Next American President?

Presented By: Al Byrnes, Executive Producer, Rothco | Accenture Interactive.

If AI can bring JFK’s voice, can it bring back his decisions, morals and views, and can we apply them to the problems facing the US today? Could we get JFK back into the White House?

View and vote now!

Who’ll Win the Battle Between AI and Creativity?

Presented By: Eco Moliterno, Chief Creative Officer, Accenture Interactive & Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-Founder, CognitionX.

Will AI soon be able to do what trained creative professionals can do? Two experts, both with a great passion for AI but with opposing views on how AI will affect creativity, battle it out on stage.

View and vote now!

Battle of the Extremes: An AI-Moderated Debate

Presented By: Jon Wilkins, Chairman, Karmarama | Jacqueline de Rojas, President, techUK | Mike Butcher, Editor-at-large, TechCrunch.

We are living in a time of unprecedented division in society. The world has become a culture of extremes, resulting in increased hostility. The objective of our session at SXSW 2019 is to explore how artificial intelligence can help us identify and drive out extreme thinking, encourage middle ground thinking – and achieve consensus.

View and vote now!


Track: Design


The P-Word: Digital Trends & Impact of Privilege

Presented By: Tanarra Schneider, Studio Lead & Managing Director, Fjord.

Let’s talk Fjord Trends. Then, let’s talk about why trends don’t matter if you can’t confront the impact of your privilege on the decisions you make to follow, or not follow those trends. It’ll be uncomfortable. I promise.

View and vote now!

Building Centaurs: Designing Human/AI Collaboration

Presented By: Connor Upton, Design Director, Fjord & Gemma Gallagher, Interaction Designer, Fjord.

At Fjord, we’ve been designing centaur systems for policing, healthcare and industry. Through a combination of micro-lectures, hands-on activities and practical guidelines we will introduce practices that increase the adoption and resilience of AI powered products and services.

View and vote now!

 Technology is Totally Useless

Presented by: Francesco Pini, Senior Visual Designer, Fjord. 

A deliberately provocative journey through the urgency of being a rebel to make innovation real.
From Caravaggio and The Ramones to the innovators of the future.

View and vote now!

Building a Culture of Innovation at Bose

Presented By: Dhruva Ganesan, Business Design Director, Fjord.

In 2018, Bose, Fjord and Accenture partnered to stand up an internal, innovation startup called “The Hive” focused on transforming the way Bose works and rapidly shipping new customer experiences that no consumer audio company has ever delivered before.

View and vote now!

Digital Vs Real

Presented By: Max Burton, Global Leader of Connected Products, Fjord.

The Digital Age has improved almost every aspect of our daily lives. We have access to the word’s information fingertips. Services like Spotify or Uber are on demand wherever whenever. We can control our homes and devices without needing to get off the sofa. Although this is great progress there is a downside…

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Is the Age of Empathy Dead?

Presented By: Martha Cotton, Group Design Director, Fjord.

To have empathy is to understand and accept others; their wants, needs, desires and fears. Design Thinking’s approach to human-centered problem solving has empathy at its core.
While it is commendable that Design Thinking is now the language of the boardroom and MBA classroom, empathy is increasingly becoming commoditized and “work on empathy” has become a box-ticking exercise.

View and vote now!


Track: Blockchain and CryptoCurrency


Win Trust Not Alienate People through Blockchain

Presented By: Thomas Mueller, General Manager, Managing Director Fjord Europe, Africa, Latin America, Fjord.

This session will explain how companies can grow using blockchain to deliver transparency and prepare for the inevitable shift from “touch points” to “trust points”.

View and vote now!


Track: Cities, Government & Politics


Rethinking Democracy: When Design Meets Politics

Presented By: Elodie Rousselot, Senior Program Manager, Fjord and Cristina Gómez Prada, Regional EALA Program Director, Fjord.

Democracy is in crisis all around the world. This session will explain how Service Design can map the gaps that lie behind the current voting systems and help us to create potential solutions.

View and vote now!

Designing Out Chaos: The Future of Cities

Presented By: Lucia Ciranova, Business Designer, Fjord and Hollie Lubbock,Interaction Design Manager, Fjord.

Designing for cities is a chaotic task. Cities are built on layers of complexity driven by socioeconomic, technological, environmental and political changes. In this talk, we will explore the forces behind these changes and their impact on the future of cities.

View and vote now!


Track: VR/AR/MR


Going from Behind the Screen to Mainstream with AR

Presented By: Greg Carley, Principal Director of Design Strategy Group, Fjord.

Simple Augmented Reality (AR) applications, such as Apple animojis or Pokémon Go, have captured our attention, but the full potential of AR is just now being realized in far more consequential ways. Content limited to pages on flat screens require people to mentally translate 2-D information for use in a 3-D world. AR vastly improves this by allowing people to process the physical and digital simultaneously, eliminating the need to mentally bridge the two. Come learn how this paradigm shift will change everything.

View and vote now!

Total Recall: The Future of Learning is VR

Presented By: Rori Duboff, Managing Director, Head of Content Innovation, Accenture Interactive | Molly Tierney, Senior Manager, Health & Public Service, Accenture | Cortney Harding, Founder, Friends With Holograms | Kevin Cornish, Founder, Moth + Flame.

The use cases for VR are far-reaching and transformational. This session will show you how VR is keeping children safe by training caseworkers to become seasoned decision makers.

View and vote now!


Track: Future Workplace


The Highway and the Wilderness

Presented By: Alex Jones, Engagement Director, Fjord.

The concept of ‘work’ is completely changing. Creativity is no longer monopolized by ad agency creatives – anyone can create things overnight now, with no cash. How can we use this opportunity best?

View and vote now!


Track: Music Industry and Culture


Dear Data Scientists, Please Don’t Kill Our Music! 

Presented By: Niklas Wiedemann, Business Design Lead, Fjord.

People consume most music digitally now – leaving rich data footprints. We know a lot more about how, when and where people are listening to music. Musicians increasingly experiment with iterative releases that resemble the way that software is released. Designers worked out how to use design-led and data driven approaches to build products with integrity – they’re good for customers and good for businesses.

View and vote now!


Track: Brands and Advertising


Game Changer: AR in Advertising 

Presented By: Raffaella Camera, Head of Go To Market, North America, Accenture Extended Reality

By 2020, AR will hit 1 billion users, with revenue expected to be four times higher than VR ($150bn vs $30bn). By opening its 3d lenses to advertisers, Snapchat is leading the charge. The addition of AR Kit and AR Core in all mobile phones are important elements in mainstreaming AR.

View and vote now!

How Retailers Can Recapture Lost Audiences

Presented By: Heather Hildebrand, Digital Strategy Executive, Accenture Interactive

Retail is changing rapidly as giants such as Amazon continue to scale and move into new markets. There are opportunities for other retailers to thrive and we’ll show you how.

View and vote now!


Track: Experiental Storytelling


Breaking Empathy Barriers via VR

Presented By: Andrew Whelan, Innovation Engagement Lead, Accenture Interactive, Creative Futures

The current socio-political climate and media have created a societal climate which is more polarised and divisive than ever. Meanwhile, the growth of VR makes it easier and more immersive than ever to connect and empathise with people of various backgrounds around the world.

View and vote now!


Track: Making Film and Episodics


What I Wish I’d Know Before Making My VR Film

Presented By: Jack Westerman, Digital Strategy Manager, Accenture Interactive

Fresh from writing, directing and producing his first Virtual Reality film, produced playwright and BAFTA-qualifying screenwriter Jack Westerman shares the biggest lessons from his trip into the world of VR filmmaking: how to do VR-storytelling well; what he wishes he’d known before starting; how to make sure your audience doesn’t vomit; and ultimately, how storytellers and brands can best harness it to make an impression on audiences.

View and vote now!


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