Porter Novelli

sxsw 2016As I jump back into the swing of things here in the New York office, I wanted to take time to reflect on what was an incredibly rewarding experience at SXSW. Having had the opportunity to support our SXSW Interactive client—truly an authority in the innovative tech space—has been incomparable. When I reflect on all of the powerful conversations I’ve had (and business cards I’ve received!) it’s empowering to know that our PN SXSW Interactive team led out on amplifying the thought-leadership of SXSW Interactive and our Innovation Awards finalists – all of whom designed works with the power to change the future as we now dream of it.

It’s fun to go out with co-workers after a long day and the bonds that I formed with talent across the PN network were strengthened almost instantly. To have had the support of on-site PN colleagues—all of whose leadership and wide-ranging category expertise contributed to our success—was a clear indicator of what sets PN apart from the rest. Go team!

In terms of personal enrichment, the messages that resonated with me most at SXSW Interactive were plenty. The first is that we must remain conscious about becoming too disconnected in an increasingly connected world. I had an eye-opening conversation with authors Jaime Boust – The Year 2056: A Day In the Life – winner of the 2016 David Carr Emerging Writers Award, and Brooke Baker Belk – The Death of Wonder – finalist. Both wrote pieces that warned about the consequences of our always-on humanity.

During separate conversations, both Jaime and Brooke cautioned that too much information may be harmful and ultimately diminish real-life human connections. As technology continues to advance – and particularly, as the VR and AR spaces become more fantastic – we absolutely can’t lose our innate sense of wonder. No piece of technology will change us the way that exploring a foreign country for the first time or experiencing a beautiful sunset will.

Finally, we must connect with and stay connected to others – not just those that look like us. The best ideas come from exploration outside our comfort zones and bringing diverse talent to the table not just as a means of affirmative action but through authentic curiosity about and respect for each of our identities.

In all, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with everyone on the team and using key learnings and experiences in my day-to-day interactions with my PN colleagues and clients. Here’s to another success!