Reflections on SXSW and SXSW EDU 2018

The South By Southwest (SXSW) conference has grown significantly since its launch in Austin, Texas in 1987. We have participated in the SXSW education-focused SXSW EDU since its inception, and this year Michael Dell participated in SXSW Interactive on behalf of the foundation. Every year, we are excited to connect with and learn from partners, students, teachers, and a growing network of people invested in a bright future for children living in urban poverty around the world.

This year, we presented several sessions on our work with partners to support the future of healthcare, students in K-12 and in college around the country, and families navigating the road to stability and prosperity. We compiled snippets of these conversations and photos in a Twitter moment here.

When reflecting on our time at SXSW and SXSW EDU, our team at the foundation shared how these events inspire and spur creativity as we tackle some of our most deeply entrenched issues:

  • “The biggest benefit and excitement around this event is getting to network and hear about all the great work our peers are doing in this space and challenging ourselves to continue to meet students where they are.” – Ninfa Murillo, Program Manager, Dell Scholars
  • “It’s great to network with so many innovators in the field who come to our backyard all at once. This year, I really saw how important it is to bring others along with us as we are working on issues across the education space. So many things we have been working on are gaining momentum, which is exciting to see.” – Kevin Byrne, Managing Director, US Programs
  • “I loved seeing panels really focused on the wraparound student supports we have been using in our Dell Scholars program. And I kept hearing that more and more schools and programs are investing in finding out what happens to students after high school graduation. It’s so important to not just help students get into college – but to follow them and support them through college graduation.” – Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, President, College Success Tools

As a foundation, we know money alone won’t solve problems. The opportunities to learn from other funders, practitioners, and community members is incredibly valuable to our work. We are looking forward to SXSW 2019!