Take Your Pick: Material SXSW Panels

It’s almost time for SXSW! (Well, sort of.) But it is time for PanelPicker voting which is open now through November 20 and we’re hoping to take the stage to discuss some important topics for us across Material. Explore recaps of each PanelPicker submission below, and please vote for any topics that stand out to you.

How to vote:

  1. Click on one of the panel links below
  2. Create an account/Log in 
  3. Click the thumbs up icon under “Cast Your Vote” 
  4. Bonus: Leave a comment and share on social media

Retrain Your Brain for the Upside Down

Even before the pandemic, the velocity of ambiguous projects, new technologies, and the push for innovation has left people and teams flailing. The result often falls short of corporate goals, leaving teams frustrated and opting for more predictable projects.

Ambiguity is something that people who lead creative teams have dealt with across their careers. It’s led to developing play-oriented ways to think, explore, and share ideas to rewire their own brains and teams. This session will identify why and what to do.

Featuring Jay Suhr, Chief Creative Officer of T3, a Material Company.

Translating Powerful Storytelling to the Small Screen

The industry has traditionally viewed the mobile screen as a limiting and uninspired medium for storytelling. The content must be bite-sized and addictive to catch consumer attention. We’re now inundated with click-bait style content and memes rather than rich, thoughtful storytelling associated with the larger screen.

We challenge that conventional wisdom. Backed by the result of transformative research in partnership with ESPN, we suggest a different possibility — inspiring, challenging, and provocative stories not only belong on the small screen, they are the stories worthy of the greatest investment for any brand seeking to resonate with and motivate their audience.

Featuring Collin Leirvik, VP, Head of HumanQuant at LRW Greenberg, a Material Company.  

The Economy of Habit Exchange 

Understanding habits is hard for the same reason they are effective: they are largely unconscious. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Up to 40% of our daily behavior is habitual, and understanding what motivates and reinforces our actions provides opportunities to shape the future of human connection. The process of change is typically slow and tenuous but the pandemic has forced a rapid transformation of daily life and exposed our strongest habits to manipulation, modification, and replacement.

We have a unique opportunity to identify the post-pandemic needs consumers will be trying to fulfill. Though some long for the old ways, strong new habits have formed under quarantine and some industries may never recover.

With Featured presenters Brandon Gredler, Executive Director of Innovation and T3 Labs at T3, a  Material  Company and Lauren Murphy Director, Research Scientist at LRW, A Material Company.  

4 Innovation Concepts to Take You from WTF to $$!

The future feels like one giant shrug emoji. Not only are our democratic institutions and the fabric of civil society in a state of unrest, but the future of business is equally mystifying. Big buzzwords that promise the path of tomorrow leave more people head-scratching than innovating.

We will serve up clear, quick-and-dirty explanations of four big-idea concepts that unlock future innovation for every company and industry: Biohacking, Drones, AI, and Automation.

This presentation will leave even the most perplexed or pessimistic attendee armed with newfound fluency and a competitive professional arsenal.

Featuring T3 CEO and President, Ben Gaddis (@bendgaddis)  

Demystifying Experience Ecosystems

There’s a war going on in organizations – who gets to speak for the customer experience? Marketing sells, product builds, design creates – so who the hell is in charge? The CMO? No, the CTO? Nah.The mythical CXO? Uhh…Either way, false choice. The customer is in charge. We’re going to show you an actionable framework to deconstruct your experience ecosystem so that you can use it to ensure you and your teams build brand experiences that reflect your customer’s rapidly changing needs, rather than your org chart.

We’ll offer lessons learned from helping steward some of the most beloved experience ecosystems in the world at customer-obsessed brands like Target, Google, and the Harry Potter franchise.

With featured presenter, Mark Micheli, Vice President, Experience Innovation at Kelton Global, A Material Company. 

Envision A World of Design Without White Supremacy

The current state of user experience design is broken. Based on Eurocentricity and approaches modeled for the highest capital gain. How can we build a world of design that demands inclusive representation, unearths new modes of creativity, and eradicates the normalization of bias and supremacy over time? It’s not impossible. It’s just hard but we, as a community, must try harder.

Join us for this inspirational discussion on what could be made possible when we allow representation and equity to reign in design, and how small, individual decisions can drive radical progress in the way we build experiences for a better future.

With featured panelists Angela Yang (@AngelaCYang), Lisanne Norman, Carmen Broomes, and Elaine Zuniga.  

No More Excuses: HBCU Students & Creative Industry

For generations, the lack of a diverse talent “pipeline” has been blamed for the lack of diversity in design. The lack of creative career opportunities for BIPOC students has been blamed on lack of access—rather than on the lack of intentional recruiting approaches. The reality: industry has failed to do the work. The solution: a group of the willing coming together to show it can be done—creating a model for others using a human-centric, radically collaborative approach.

With featured panelists Gabrielle Derenthal, Shawanda J. Stewart, Moyo Oyelola, and Steven Hatchett. 

The 21st Century Creative

As artists, we are both shaped by the world around us and have a profound ability to influence culture in return. Would the works of Hemmingway be recognizable to us if he hadn’t experienced the Spanish Civil War? What would Freida Kahlo’s work have been if she hadn’t experienced the rise of communism? In 2021, creative people have a responsibility to stay awake, stay connected, and use our perspective on world events to shine a light on the truth about this time that the media has failed to consistently record.

With Featured panelists Elizabeth Real, David B Devan, Ben McMillan and Caroline Kennedy. 

Value Driven Marketing

Fostering a sense of community and identity is core to developing a strong and equitable brand, and in order to do so, a brand must be consistently authentic to its values at every turn – both explicitly and implicitly. And while we as human beings are connected by the core fundamental needs that drive all of us, the echo-chambers that surround us make that more difficult than ever to see.

As our world becomes more and more segmented by this intersection of culture and technology, it requires us to re-evaluate how we can deliver messages and experiences in ways that are consistently authentic, yet brought to life in relevant and meaningful contexts that resonate with the myriad micro-audiences we serve.

Featuring Andrew Chizever, partner at Material, and Collette Eccleston, Senior Vice President at LRW, a Material Company.  

Dangerous Opportunity

In a COVID landscape, it can feel like a high wire act just getting beyond your front door. But the risks of exposure in modern life—about your social/political views, about private moments, made public over social media, even the state of your living room behind you on a Zoom call—go far beyond what a mask can protect. And yet, in the face of cancel culture, the world is in desperate need of bold, honest leadership. In this session, we’ll explore areas of vulnerability and how to turn them into fuel for you, your work, and your own purpose.

Featuring Wayne Morris, Principal at Strativity, a Material Company and Jen Randle, Advisor to the CEO at Juul Labs.

Visual Strategy: The Marketer’s Secret Weapon

Brands across every industry are seeing dramatic shifts in the ways audiences consume media and branded content. That’s why it’s no longer enough for marketers to be well-versed in SEO, written content creation, and traditional forms of outreach. Today’s marketing professionals need a whole new set of skills — not only to ensure their brand remains agile and relevant, but also to keep themselves competitive on the job market.

Join author and Killer Visual Strategies CEO Amy Balliett to learn how you can become capable of developing and executing the most innovative types of marketing content on the market today. Learn key skills that will boost audience engagement and help you achieve your goals.

Featuring Amy Balliett, CEO of Killer Visual Strategies, a Material Company.

Radical Collaboration

We’ve all seen the challenges that can come from organizations, brands and people trying to go it alone. It’s rare for any single entity to know all of the possibilities that exist in technology, culture and experience that can shape and maximize their voice and purpose. Material is rooted in this learning. We’re one company formed from many, who has learned lessons from unlocking radical generosity and partnership to unleash radical collaboration which ignites real and meaningful growth. In this panel, we’ll discuss the value of disagreement, rules for debate and the ultimate value of surrounding your expertise with diverse points of view.

Featuring Rachel Spiegelman, President of Connections at Material and Christian Barnard, COO of T3, a Material Company.