South by Southwest will take place March 11-20, and the panel picker, which gives the public a chance to vote for their favorite potential panels, is now live. Check out these prospective panels submitted by the Ad Council and take a moment to vote for your favorites—voting is open through August 26.
Cause Over Competition: How America’s Sports Leagues Are Driving Social Good
Despite deep seated rivalries between teams, sports have an incredible power to bring us together as a people and as a culture. And when all the major sports leagues join the same team, you have no choice but to hit it out of the park. There are distinct lessons we can learn from these leagues when it comes to uniting an increasingly polarized and divided America and motivating them on the most pressing social issues of the day. Come learn from leading sports execs about how they’re driving action on critical causes from COVID-19 vaccinations to supporting veterans.
DEI in the Workplace: Progress Over Perfection
When an organization embarks on its diversity, equity and inclusion journey, the fear of making a misstep—exposing a blind spot, saying the wrong thing—can be one of the most common, and fatal, impediments to progress. And as every aspect of office life gets reimagined in the wake of COVID-19, it’s even more critical to convey not just a DEI philosophy, but tangible actions for leaders, learners and allies to take in order to help people overcome that fear and foster a truly equitable culture. Join us for a discussion on embracing the philosophy of progress over perfection.
From Experiment to Empowerment: Tuskegee Descendants Speak Out
The Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, conducted by the U.S. government, ended just 50 years ago. More than 600 Black men in Tuskegee, Alabama were falsely made to believe they were receiving free medical care – and more than a hundred men died from syphilis or its complications by the end of the study. Many, for good reason, have seen this unspeakable tragedy as a warning sign to avoid modern medical interventions. But today, the descendants of those who were involved in the study—including former Tuskegee mayor Omar Neal, pictured above—want to speak out and change their legacy. Their aim is to enable the Black community to become healthier, safer and more empowered in their own health decisions. Come learn from their history and help create a new legacy.
Information Hygiene: Combatting Mis- And Dis-Information Online
There’s no denying that today’s media marketplace is a hotbed for conspiracy theories, false narratives and disinformation. When facts seem malleable and individual headlines dominate in different locales, getting verified information out quickly becomes increasingly difficult. And in a time of crisis, that information can be critical and the difference between life and death. The COVID pandemic taught us a lot about how business, government, NGOs and others can identify misinformation, optimize their communications and mitigate harm on an ongoing basis.
Level Up! Bridging Gameplay and Advertising
In 2020, there were more than 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, and on average, they spend 6.5 hours playing each week. Gaming is crossing lines from consoles to mobile, from Gen Z to Boomers, from gameplay to spectating. As this genre of entertainment continues to expand and engaged gaming communities continue to form, advertisers have no choice but to learn how to shift their tone and traditional advertising tactics to join the fun and enter the game. This panel will tap into experts from companies including Twitch, Enthusiast Gaming, and Frameplay to explore 2021’s definition of a gamer and the various touchpoints to harness the community's engagement factor ultimately bridging the gap between virtual settings and IRL action.
The Next Generation Of DEI Culture
At an unprecedented moment in the culture, a bold new group of DEI practitioners are reimagining the creative process, dismantling inequitable systems and building digital communities. Join us for a conversation about the evolution of creativity, the intersection of representation and storytelling, and the new non-negotiables around DEI.
Using Agile Research To Move The “Movable Middle”
Polarization is core to many current news narratives, which focus on how Americans retreat to like-minded tribes, people ensconced in bubbles with their own set of “facts.” While polarization is real, it's misconstrued. It’s not half of the American public versus the other half. It’s 20% of vocal advocates on both the left and right. In between are the moveable middle majority. Identifying and communicating to the movable middle is at the heart of what the Ad Council does to move public attitudes and behaviors at scale on critical social and health issues, including controversial ones like welcoming immigrants, LGBTQ acceptance, and COVID vaccine confidence. Agile, empathetic, actionable audience research is key to enabling campaigns to drive social impact.
Who Do We Trust With Our Lives?
Who do you picture when we talk about today’s biggest influencer? If you’ve pulled up a vision of TikTok stars or an A-List celebrity, you may want to think again. When it comes to critical health decisions, or in times of crises like we’ve experienced these last two years, Americans are increasingly placing their trust in a different kind of influencer. Whether they’re leaders in faith, local business, or healthcare, they have the tools to truly change minds and guide decisions. The Ad Council has concrete examples and learnings of how to recruit and leverage these critical voices for social issues like vaccine hesitancy and education and is ready to provide the new playbook for social influence.