Visionary and Digital Media Women at South by Southwest


On March 13th, digital media and tech professionals from around the world will gather in Austin at South by Southwest Festival (SXSW), the most important conference for the digital industry. We are inviting global women to discuss, deliberate and create visibility around the topics and ideas that matter most. We will host a series of talks including great networking possibilities on our Digital Media Women Day.

It´s about networking and connecting with amazing women

The Entrepreneurial Lounge at Fogo de Chao is one of the Hot Spot Meetups during South by. Last year I met the inspiring Leah Hunter at this rooftop event and invited her this year for speaking at our Digital Media Women Day in Austin. Leah Hunter writes about the human side of tech for Fast Company, entrepreneurial women for Forbes, and innovation for O’Reilly Media. She wrote a book on Augmented Reality — being published by O’Reilly at the end of March 2017. She speaks on “How To See The Future” via The Lavin Agency. Formerly as editor at MISC Magazine and AVP of Innovation at Idea Couture, she has spent her career exploring the intersection of technology, culture, and design. She has created brand strategies and new products for everyone from Apple to Target to Sephora. She founded a textile art company. And she is currently producing a television show about creators.


When she’s not writing or producing, you can find Hunter: leading IDEATE, a camp of entrepreneurs and world-changers at Burning Man; judging for orgs like the SXSW Accelerator and the Roddenberry Foundation Prize; doing on-air journalism and emceeing events; modeling; or teaching MBA courses and workshops on wearables and ethnography/deep observation at California College of the Arts, CEDIM — Mexico, University of California Berkeley, and The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Leah Hunter – Foto: Michael Calas

Why are you talking about the topic „Visionary Women“? Do we need more „Visionary Women“?

We have a world full of amazing visionary women!!! In my talk, I highlight some of those — the well-known and the less-celebrated-but-equally-amazing. Women have led societies, countries, space programs, companies, and social movements since the beginning of time. I celebrate that!


The overall focus of the talk, though, is how a person (of either gender) can see the future and the present more broadly. The point: to give you principles you can apply to think bigger — in life, at work, for your future.


What is your vision in life and how do you fulfill it?

My vision is for a life of fun-filled adventure, joy, love, and harmony. I create that for myself by making sure that every day is a celebration of all the incredible things in my life. I go to parks and notice the colors of the leaves. I take myself to the beach and write there. I give myself as much time as I want to get dressed in the morning. I say nice things to myself and to other people. I fill my house with inspirational quotes and bright colors and travel mementos and my daughter’s artwork. I say thank you. And I help others using the gifts I’ve been given. It all matters.


What is your motivation to get up in the morning – what makes you happy every single day?

Flowers. The color red. Gold shiny things. My daughter’s silly faces and soft heart. My sweet man. The sunshine coming in through my windows. Living and playing near oceans and rivers. Happy music. Art museums. Fast wifi. Coffee. Lovemaking. Being healthy. Being alive. The choice to be happy. Because it IS a choice — one that I make again and again and again every morning. It doesn’t have to do with what’s happening outside of me.


Which vision should corporates develop to be successful in the future?

A flexible and unified one. A corporation will never run the same way as a startup, by design and necessity. But being agile is important. Startups within corporations, lean methodology, experimenting and rapid prototypes — these are all highly valuable. Beyond structure, though, there are important ideas bubbling up around consciousness — personal and social. Mindfulness as a tool for business success (see conferences like Wisdom 2.0 and Dreamforce). Giving back, whether that’s B-Corp style or through other means. Being willing to forgive and forget. Whatever the history of your company has been — there is always a chance to do better — and everyone else deserves that chance too.


Which trends do you see in the global economy in five years?

China is where it’s at. Where they swing, so goes the world.


Which skill/quality is compulsory needed in a startup or enterprise to be successful in the future?

Embracing diversity. That means gender, skin color, thinking style, attitude, sexual orientation, country of origin — all of it. The diversity will vastly improve your product and company. The embracing is what will make you wildly successful. When true love and respect gets baked into a company culture, it shines through in everything you do…you make…and you are. Physics and metaphysics agree: we are all energy. People are. And companies are made of people. And love, acceptance, and appreciation are some of the highest, most powerful energies of all.


What’s your insider tip for visitors that are at the South by Southwest Festival for the first time?

Pay $40 to and have them RSVP to all the events. You’ll find wonderful content at SX. AND a lot of the magic happens all around Austin — at events in unexpected places. To get into most events, you need to RSVP in advance.


What’s the session you are looking forward the most at SXSW 2017?

I look forward to hearing the Tim Ferris and Cheryl Strayed conversation. Marc Jacobs will also be very interesting. My favorite thing, though, is exploring 🙂

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Es war wieder soweit: Die #re:publica hatte ihre Tore geöffnet und all jene eingeladen, die die Zukunft aktiv mitgestalten wollen oder sich über aktuelle Entwicklungen informieren möchten. Die Veranstaltung ist eine vielfältige Mischung aus Medien, Journalismus, Politik, Bildung und kreativen Technologien. Hier trifft sich, wer etwas zu sagen hat und die Welt von morgen mitkreiert. 

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