SXSW 2016 conversation prep: Must-read articles to discuss while networking

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Are you in Austin, Texas for SXSW’s interactive conference? It kicks off March 11 and runs through March 15 (the sister film and music festivals continue to the 20th). If you’re there and prepping for client meetings, or simply gearing up for networking at various parties, we have put together a reading list from THINK Leaders’ archives that will help you have thought-provoking conversations. We’ve interviewed some of the conference’s prominent speakers, and have also published how-tos and deep trend pieces that address some of the big themes at SXSW this year.

Even if you’re not in Austin this week, you can keep up with what’s happening on the ground via our Twitter handle: @IBMTHINKLeaders—we’ll be there and quick to share takeaways for current and future C-suite leaders like you.

In the mean time, here are some THINK Leaders articles that we’ve curated for you to provide talking points as you’re mingling in Austin.

1. We asked SXSW Featured Speaker Gary Vaynerchuk (who speaks on March 11 at SXSW) a bunch of questions that keep CMOs and other executives up at night, and he gave us some strong advice.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, speaks at SXSW on March 11 at 12:30pm Austin, TX time in Room 18ABCD at the Austin Convention Center . He’ll talk about entrepreneurship, life-hacking and mastering social media. You can read our own Q&A with Gary here.

2. We interviewed Twitter co-founder, CEO of Jelly Industries and SXSW Featured Speaker Biz Stone (who speaks on March 14 at SXSW). He discussed how marketing continues to morph into new forms in the age of social media.

Biz Stone, CEO of Jelly Industries and a co-founder of Twitter, speaks at SXSW on March 14 at 12:30pm Austin, TX time in Ballroom D at the Austin Convention Center. He’ll be focusing on the evolution of search and how humans can ensure we are evolving along with our algorithms. You can check out our own Q&A with Biz here.

3. We have put together how-tos on disruption and the future of tech leadership, two big themes at this year’s SXSW.

Keynote speeches (including one by U.S. President Barack Obama) and panels will address how to guide our tech and business leaders to steer us toward the most promising future. Look to and begin to shape the future with our how-tos on leading like a Millennial executive and how to understand hidden, yet emerging competition.

4. We have just published a piece that addresses the big SXSW theme of how to address challenges specific to female executives and engineers face.

Numerous SXSW panels and speakers will examine the difficulties and opportunities that are unique to women in the tech world—along with women in general. We found evidence that one particular leadership role is attracting more female leaders: that of the chief digital officer. Read our story and use it as a thought-provoking conversation starter in Austin. And of course, feel free to share it.

Photo credit: SXSW Instagram

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