The SXSW Interactive Festival (scheduled March 11-15, 2010 in Austin, Texas) is a mega huge social media industry event. The final program is done through a combination of an open submission and voting process. The panel picker process has opened – so you can vote for the panels you think are worthy of being on the program until August 27th.
The nonprofit presence at SXSW has been growing steadily over the past couple of years. In 2008, I was honored to be on one of the few nonprofit panels on the agenda. It was organized by Ed Schipul. At the end of that panel, we all hoped there would be a larger nonprofit presence on the agenda for this 2009. And yes, indeed, in 2009, there were more nonprofit focused panels and happily the trend continued at SXSW 2010.
So, let’s get out the nonprofit vote for the nonprofit panels at SXSW 2011!
I hope you’ll also vote for my panel proposal, Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World and while you’re there vote for the other awesome nonprofit panel proposals (I’ve shared a list below). But first, let me share the description and what I’m planning:
This interactive session is based on a key theme in the book, The Networked Nonprofit, co-authored by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. We will explore how nonprofits can unleash the power of social good by transitioning from stand-alone institutions to networks energized by abundant resources in their ecosystem. In order to do this, they need to work with free agents, hyper-connected individuals who are passionate about social change, but don’t work within institutional walls. Free agents use social-media channels like Facebook and Twitter and can create social movements in the palms of their hands. They organize supporters, raise attention to important social and political issues, seek donations, and organize supporters to walk, run, shout, protest, and vote, things that were once done mostly by nonprofit organizations. The free agents do it when and how they please, making them distinct from and more powerful than traditional volunteers. But free agents are smashing headfirst into nonprofit fortresses—organizations with high walls and wide moats that work very hard to keep insiders in and outsiders out. Our session will explore how and why this needs to change. Kanter will bring together a group of highly visible free agents working on important social change causes and representatives from different nonprofits for a lively discussion with the audience
1. What are the change issues for traditional nonprofits that want to become “networked nonprofits?”
2. What are the techniques and strategies that nonprofits use to find free agents?
3. My nonprofit has found a free agent, now what?
4. What are the lessons learned from Free Agents about working with nonprofits?
5. In what instances is it just better to let Free Agents be?
I’m going to bring together some of the best free agents out there and folks from nonprofits responsible for social media to discuss best practices. This will be an interactive session with real and remote audience participation. Jonny Goldstein will do real time illustrations of the ideas swirling around the session which will be projected live and that will help us move towards a common understanding and enable us to share an artifact with others. (Check out his illustration of the panel)
In addition to the graphic facilitation, there will be other interactive learning elements. Trust me. In 2008, I designed the Nonprofit and Social Media ROI Poetry Slam and last year was a panel on crowdsourcing that modeled crowdsourcing in the design and delivery.
Here’s my picks for SXSW Nonprofit Panels:
A Conversation About Change Agents Through Social Media Social media is causing a revolution in how information is shared and communities are formed. Its true impact has yet to be measured, but Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and every other social media platform have already caused a revelation in how people want to communicate. They want to connect. They want to share in more than one medium. They are in control. The challenge for every business, organization, and nonprofit or for-profit company is that the world of social media is like the Wild Wild West. Everything is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up. What’s new? What works?
The Tools Artists Need Geeks To Create Join us to discuss the digital tools being used and abused by theatre makers, dancers, musicians, crafters, wordsmiths, cinematographers, photographers, painters, and other multimedia artists. There are over 200,000 professional artists in the US — and a bunch of them have problems the techies could help solve. What should we be building to help artists make and sell art, engage their audiences, and connect to other artists? What are we cobbling together today from existing technology, and what could we be doing tomorrow? What artistic problems need a dose of geek teamwork? What are the geeks doing that needs better artistic focus? What lies just beyond the current state of the art, for the arts?
Tiny Strategies: Social Media in 60 Minutes or Less In this quick-hit, practical-tips-focused panel, nonprofit social media experts will share their strategies for maximizing their social media impact with very little time to devote to it. We’ll go round-robin style to find out how you should spend your time, whether you have 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes a day to devote to social media.
Putting the Public Back in Public Media Think NPR and PBS are just broadcasters? Think again. Public media is no longer just a one-way street. In many towns, NPR and PBS stations are the only locally-owned media organizations, and their mission to serve the public demands that they develop new ways of engaging and strengthening those communities. They’re convening Barcamp-like unconferences called PubCamps all over the country, allowing local techies and citizen journalists to forge collaborative projects with NPR and PBS stations, both online and offline.
Crowdsourcing the Corporate/ Nonprofit Partnership. Who Wins? Online contests that award dollars to nonprofit causes are here to stay. Corporations use these contests to engage potential customers. Nonprofits use them to rally supporters. All participants are grappling with how best to use social media to find and mobilize an audience. Come learn the ups and downs of these contests from brands that sponsor them.
Doh! Lessons from Nonprofit Screw Ups Nonprofits are often team-centric, mission-driven organizations—which can lead to exuberant group cheerleading in the face of mediocrity. In this session we’ll throw those rosy-eyed glasses onto the bonfire and talk (nicely) about notable social media campaigns that didn’t deliver. Each panelist will provide in-depth analysis of a notable social media screw-up they’ve been involved in, isolate key failure factors, analyze the broader lessons, and talk about how these specific organizations improved on their mistakes.
Turning Facebook Followers Into Change Agents 100,000 followers, and you still want more. What are they good for? Online numbers don’t always equate offline results. How do you build an online community that makes a serious impact for your cause? Nonprofit social communications wizards share examples and tips to get your fans mobilized for action.
SoTropia Life in 2040 Let’s peer into the near future. It’s the Year 2040, 35 years after the social networking revolution began. How has human behavior changed? Just how blurred are the boundaries between public and private persona? How much do we share? And how will this impact the way we build relationships and find information? This visionary panel will explore the premise that openness will be ubiquitous by 2040 – when the debate will no longer be private vs. public, but instead public vs. broadcast.
No Hype Online Fundraising A panel of nonprofit fundraisers will cut the hype on text-to-give, email solicitations, social media, e-Cards and other interactive fundraising strategies. We’ll let you know what worked and what didn’t. And, when it depends, we’ll let you know what it depends on.
Getting Advanced With Social Media for Social Good
Online supporters are working to save the world one Tweet at a time. But how can nonprofit and philanthropic causes take their efforts to the next level and stand out from the crowd to increase the success of social campaigns? Hear from technologists and nonprofits on how to define and implement the ideal strategy and get advanced with metrics to make social a key component of online fundraising and advocacy campaigns.
You Mobile Non-profit: a play in three acts
Mobile is changing our lives, but it’s also changing the world for the better. We’re dying to share tactics, tools and trip-ups from organizations who have ventured deep into mobile and lived to tell.
Just ‘Cause: Can Technology Make Brand Irrelevant?
Thanks to technology, the line is starting to blur between the power of a household name brand and the passion of scrappy mission-focused organizations. Yet when it feels like nothing short of a crisis will engage people with your cause, how do you compel them to act? The battle of Cause vs Brand is on.
Creating Successful Collaborations: Right now, with the rapid changes in technology, media and globalization, the ability to quickly create successful collaborations is key to taking things to the next level. Whether you’re a solo-entrepreneur, creating award winning films and documentaries, innovating new or improving old technology, creating co-working environments, or building cross-industry relationships, knowing how (and when) to build successful collaborations allows work to happen in ways brings the most creativity, diversity, and strength to your group and project.
Method Tweeting for nonprofits: Much Ado About Something
When organizations use Twitter to promote themselves, it’s largely about playing a role. The person tweeting is tasked to be on message as the voice of the organization while creating a unique and engaging personality to draw an audience in. If Shakespeare on Twitter, how would he tweet? We’ll pick the brains of people who live this challenge daily in the nonprofit sector.
Some other nonprofit SXSW lists:
So, go and vote for my panel and these others. If your panel isn’t on the list, add a link and title in the comments.