In case you missed it: last week, South by Southwest (SXSW) brought some of the best and brightest together in one giant festival all over Austin. It has come a long way since the 80’s when the event garnered 700 people for a small music festival for emerging artists. Today, thousands of business professionals, nonprofit and NGO leaders, government officials and artists convene for 11 days of connecting, learning and enjoying what Austin is all about, music.
Two of our CMS 2016 speakers attended different events at SXSW and shared insights into their experiences on the ground in Austin. But first, here are a few noteworthy innovative solutions showcased in Austin past week.
Cisco teamed up with Harald Neidhardt to create a language solution for healthcare providers treating refugees in Germany
Refugees often arrive in a new country in need of medical care due to physical and/or psychological trauma. Entrepreneur Harald Neidhardt and Cisco’s Mirko Bass got very creative and redesigned a shipping container, outfitted it with wifi, so that healthcare providers could instantly access translation services in over 50 languages to better serve refugees on the ground.
Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott, Kelly Clarkson and the Peace Corps partner "For My Girls”
This dynamic collaboration is focused on breaking barriers for the 62 million girls around the globe who are not in school today. The single will help to spread the word about the 62 million girls campaign and the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Initiative, which aims to break down issues and stigma that prevent 62 million girls around the globe from attending school.
HopeLab and their partners launched a game called Re-Mission to improve the lives of children living with cancer
This interactive game helps children to better understand their diagnosis and improves their confidence in fighting cancer. They use a variety of treatments to battle cancer cells. HopeLab is currently partnering with Livestrong, Cigna, Genetech and others to create Re-Mission 2.
And now, from our friends on the ground...
Devi Tomas, Senior Director at the UN Foundation, Shot@Life visionary and SxGood speaker had a unique experience in the SxGood Hub. Devi writes, “SxGood Hub was a part of SXSW Eco this year featuring partners such as the UN Foundation. This space was a perfect marriage of technology, innovation, business impact and storytelling. Whether it was using Virtual Reality to tell the story of an Ebola survivor or collaborating with Sony on Angry Bird ‘Red’ to launch the UN’s International Day of Happiness (#AngryBirdsHappyPlanet), SXSW has proven to be the best place to discuss where social impact meets the latest trends. Last week, in Austin, on a panel Social Good Entrepreneurs: Benefits, Barriers and Branding, I spoke about the power of social good brands at the table with powerful product brands. We used to just bring the halo with us, but now we bring large followers i.e. potential consumers, our own story-telling with creative visuals, and our own media networks – we bring a larger appeal and we take that role very seriously.”
Marshall Lauck, COO of JWT Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, former US Marine and expert in managing advertising for big brands like Kraft, explored the tech and business side of SXSW. He discovered that Crossfit built their brand with one main focus, community. Marshall reports, “Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of Crossfit, talked with SXSW attendees about "fitness, luck and health," explaining how Crossfit built a global brand by building community at the local level. In framing the impact of health and fitness on fighting chronic disease and stemming unnecessary medical costs, it was clear that these Crossfit communities are essentially cause-based microcultures with the ability to inspire people to live healthier lives, channel their energy and often adopt a nonprofit initiative important to their local community. SXSW has always been a leading environment for technology and business; however, it is increasingly well represented by additional areas like entrepreneurship, gaming, and cause-focused initiatives. The ever-increasing infusion of media (tradition and social), entertainment, and venture capital has shaped a venue where groundbreaking ideas take shape, as well as start-ups.”
For more on Devi, Marshall and all of our CMS 2016 speakers, check out our current lineup. Stay tuned for some surprises.
Jenn and Team CMS
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We hope your day is lucky, green and full of cheer. To honor the day, we are dedicating this newsletter to a few choice Irish businesses and organizations that give back.
Interesting fact: Guinness was one of the first companies in Ireland to provide pensions to staff and their widows. They also paid 20 percent higher than the Dublin average. In 2009, they established the Arthur Guinness Fund and since its inception, they have donated over seven million euro to the Fund to promote health and improve access to clean water in Africa. The Fund also provides support to firefighters with donations for updated equipment and resources. We will drink to that!
Glencree is a nonprofit dedicated to transforming violent conflict and building peace. Glencree continues to use its center to facilitate dialogue between groups involved in and affected by violent conflict. The organization was founded in 1974 at the height of the ‘Troubles’ to provide a safe space to build peace in Ireland.
iDonate is an online fundraising platform for charities in Ireland. They launched in 2011 and is available to the 8,000+ charities. The platform helps charities create custom fundraising charities, run auctions and host events.
The Ireland Funds is on a mission to be the largest network of friends of Ireland dedicated to supporting programs of peace, arts and culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland. On St. Patrick's Day in 1987, The Ireland Fund and the American Irish Foundation merged to form The American Ireland Fund, becoming the world's largest private organization funding constructive change in Ireland.
In case you missed it, purpose-driven promotions, peer-to-peer fundraising and pro-social speeches made it into this year’s 88th Academy Awards. We decided to give a few shout-outs to those doing good in Hollywood.
Best Live Auction: Chris Rock & the Girl Scouts
You thought selling Girl Scout cookies with your daughter’s troop outside Walmart was successful, then Chris Rock sold $65,000 worth of cookies in five minutes flat. The jury is out on the exact amount of money raised, but there’s no question, we were all inclined to buy a box.
Best Celebrity Spokesperson: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Environment
Leo reminded us that “Making “The Revenant” was about man’s relationship to the natural world, a world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history.” DiCaprio has been a longtime advocate for the environment and shows no signs of stopping, even if it means more bears.
Best PR Crisis Strategy: The Academy
As you probably know, the Academy was called out for the lack of ethnic and gender diversity among their nominees. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite started trending and stars like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee chose not to attend in protest. The Oscars did not ignore the issue, but rather expanded on it with several skits and monologues dedicated to addressing it. Thanks to Chris Rock, we now know that Hollywood is “Sorority Racist.”
While we cannot guarantee you a plug during next year's Oscars, we can guarantee you will learn a ton about purpose-driving promotions and tapping into our collective desire to make a positive impact. Please join us at the next Cause Marketing Summit this May 24 at NYU.