Keep Austin Weird: ROI at SXSW

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In March, 2012, with the help of an ROI Micro Grant, Simja Dujov participated in an ROI delegation to SXSW in Austin, Texas.

The trip to SXSW began long before arriving in Austin, when ROI made the invitation to attend the event. Friends who had been previously told me that it was awesome, very interesting, great for social networking, and just as important, so much fun.

Generally, the problem is expecting too much of anything. In this case, the whole festival was amazing, everyday surpassing any image you could have -- one surprise after another.

Full of ideas, a place for inspiration, sharing and thinking about the future.

The general feeling was to be living in the future, the future of ideas, walking through a place where trends are being designed, an image of how the interactive and artistic world can be in 5 years time.

The world of diversity had a meeting in Austin, and ROI invited us to participate. Diversity together generates new ideas and ROI had an active role in these meetings. SXSW was the place where you had to be, and that is why we went.

There were many instances to meet people and projects.  The Austin Convention Center panels and conferences were formal versions, and informal talks in the corridors were where ideas continued developing.

Every activity and learning experience that we had at ROI gatherings were directly exercised at SXSW: open space, project developing, social networks. Everything in realtime.

Meeting ROIers at the houses; assisting “Made In Israel” events; Jeremy Hulsh presenting musicians and producers; connecting with the PR; going together to see a talk by Bruce Springsteen telling us about life in the most simple way.

Walking the streets with Noa Margalit, watching the newest styles, Invitations for the Austin Facial Hair Club, attending meetings.  My fear is that, probably, life will be much more boring after SXSW.

A new world, full of ideas and feelings, a world ROI couldn’t miss, and that's why we were there.

Thanks ROI and thank you very much to all who were there.  Thanks Noa and No'a,  thanks Elissa and Jen, Justin and Jeremy, thank you all.

Celebrate Diversity. Keep Austin Weird.