I was fortunate enough to attend the South by Southwest Interactive and had many takeaways that I believe may be interesting for SW to explore.
1. Startup Weekend Healthcare vertical to work with Healthcare.gov
I went to a lean startups panel called “From the White House to the Boardroom, what you can learn from the lean giants” and I caught a truly inspiring presentation by the CTO of the United States, Todd Park. Probably one of the most attentive audiences which actually ended up in complete standing ovation. There is a group of true Lean advocates working within the government and are working with the likes of Eric Ries. One really amazing thing he announced which I feel Startup Weekend could potentially take advantage of was that Healthcare.gov will be releasing an API for their data. If we really wanted to create change in the US and in the World, this announcement could potential be a game changer for the startup world.
Here is a write up in Forbes about him: http://www.forbes.com/sites/zinamoukheiber/2012/03/12/good-for-government-new-u-s-chief-technology-officer-todd-park-is-an-entrepreneur/
2. Startup Weekend working with universities to give college create
I met Emily Pilloton who is a complete inspiration to me. She is a designer who creating incredible social impact through implementing design thinking into the education space. Here is her TED talk from 2 years ago
There was many things I could share about her since we are in a similar space as far as education, but one thing I wanted to share was how she is working with schools to help achieve college credit for their students active participation in her community development programs. Could SW do something similar? I know for sure university programs would be extremely interested if we could get their students involved with our programs, in fact I already know in Hawaii I could make this happen. Maybe we could create a small curriculum for students to be volunteers/organizers plus have them do social media, story development, research, metrics, etc. to help our mission move forward.
Or what might be even bigger is if we did something similar to Keith’s idea of a fellowship program for students. Having students go into a new community to really help design an new startup ecosystem there that creates large impact. From that they could be required to journal, report back, analyze metrics for us, etc. I really think that could be huge and I know universities would be extremely interested in that type of program. I even think students would be willing to pay for this type of opportunity similar to how they pay for studying aboard.
3. .CO notebooks
I met the CEO of .CO at a panel where they gave out over 500 of these design notebooks. I thought these would be a perfect thing for potential Startup Weekends. I know these must be expensive but potentially having these for targeted events like Startup Weekend Mega or some of our other high profiled events could be really awesome.
Sketch paper for webpage designs
Sketch pads for iOS designs
4. Startup Weekend Sports
I met the VP of Technology for ESPN and they too are releasing an API of the worlds best content for sports. They were there announcing their dev tools and looking for ways to better their services. What cooler thing to do than to help innovate in this space?? 🙂
5. Social Impact Metrics
One thing I have really been trying to ideate around is ways in which we can truly measure the amount of social impact we really are having. I met Barbara Brown Wilson (Director Center for Sustainable Development & Professor of Community and Regional Planning and Sustainable Development in the School of Architecture at UT), Jess Zimbabwe (Director Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use) and John Peterson (Founder & Pres of Public Architecture) at a panel called “Design for Social innovation and public good” and ask them ways in which they find ways to measure their social impact. They said this is another struggle they have as well but would love to continue to ideate with us on ways to create these metrics. I know this isn’t really an idea but I can continue to foster this relationship in pursuit to help find positive ways in which you can measure qualitative metrics of social impact.