SXSW Eco Deliberations to Cover 8 Themes; Robin Chase Key Note Speaker

June 21, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

October is not so near, but much enthusiasm is being generated for a prestigious event that would get underway during the month. In case you haven’t heard as yet, let’s tell you the SXSW Eco conference that would bring serious deliberations on themes such as Behavior, Education & Health, Business, Climate Change, Design, Energy, Food & Agriculture, Land & Water and Policy & Activism on to the global table, would be held between October 7 and 9 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

With anticipation heating up, SXSW Eco has made a new announcement of importance. We hear Robin Chase, founder and CEO of car sharing service Buzzcar and Zipcar would be the keynote speaker at the third edition of the annual event.

The conference will highlight innovations in the eight topics mentioned, and will deliberate on technology and other crucial elements that helps in harnessing sustainability and resilience.


Going by what Chris Sonnier, program manager at SXSW Eco, says, the conference would bring various industries, trades and places together, and would aim to break conventional barriers between business sectors and individuals.

That could mean that the event would look to create solutions for various  environmental and social issues. Sonnier also added that they are excited to have Robin as a part of this venture and her keynote will be in line with their efforts to bring changes in the society.

Robin Chase is the co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, a peer-to-peer car sharing service. is her other venture that combines online carpooling and social networking. She also works on various social issues like climate change, transportation, and wireless networks.

Robin Chase is now on the Board of the World Resources Institute, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, and also a member of the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board. Having served on several agencies such as Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force, she needs to be looked at as the most influential speakers that the event would have this year.

For her works on the urban transportation sector, Chase has won several awards, including the Massachusetts Governor’s Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit, Start-up Woman of the Year and numerous environmental awards from national, state and local governments and organizations.


SXSW Eco 2013’s three day event will cover over 100 sections on various top-level programming including exhibitors, meet ups, startup events, and other opportunities to interact. On the Energy front,  Arun Banskota, president of eVgo, NRG Energy’s Division, IBM’s Smarter Cities, Schneider Electric, and Boston University’s Sustainable Neighborhood Lab will deliver their working model and future plans in renewable energy projects, while Policy and Activism theme will include top water policy thought leaders from Ceres, Circle of Blue, Pacific Institute, Banyan Water, and Coca-Cola along with cultural leaders Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. (Hip Hop Caucus), Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky), and Dr. Michael K. Dorsey (Dartmouth College Climate Justice Research Project).

SXSW Eco this year will also witness Mary Miss, the prominent artist behind City as a Living Laboratory, will deliver a speech on sustainability, on the Design theme.  Meanwhile, Climate Change discussions will include speeches by renowned climatologists of the likes of Alan Townshend and Jim White. They are expected to speak on topics like ethics and science of the planet’s future.

Yet another important theme would be  Food and Agriculture, where speakers would discuss the future of urban farming, 3D printing as the answer to food security and farming solutions that produce healthy food without antibiotics. You may want to see the schedule here.

Look forward to something big!

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