Let us blow your mind: @enabledby & @FutureGov does #SXSW

At this moment in time I’m sat in front of my laptop feeling extremely proud and excited, as SXSW has finally arrived and today’s the day that FutureGov‘s Dominic Campbell and Carrie Bishop hit the stage to run a session on 3D Printing for people with disabilities. In an ideal world I would be joining them to showcase some of the 3D printed prototypes from our recent Enabled by Design-athon, but sadly I wasn’t able to join them as my health has been a bit up and down recently and I felt it was too risky to travel when not feeling 100%. So the best I can do is be there in spirit and I’ve been informed that the audio from the session is being recorded, so I can share this with you at a later date. Well, it’s not long until Dom and Carrie kick things off, so I wish them lots of luck (not that they need it of course! ; ) and you can follow the session via the #3Dability hashtag on Twitter. Enjoy! : )

In the meantime, here’s a recent post from Carrie on the phenomenon that is SXSW…

Audience at South by Southwest

This week is one of the most exciting weeks in our calendar as we’re on our now annual adventure to Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest (SXSW). For one week, the small city of Austin is flooded with geeks for this massive tech conference – Dom hit the nail on the head when he described it as ‘Ibiza for geeks’. Aside from the parties, the huge scale of the event, and the delicious Texan food, the best part of the week is having our minds blown by hearing about what’s at the bleeding edge of technology. Last year there was an actual robot on one of the panels and a keynote about cyborgs and this year promises just as much.

This being the digital age, lots of the sessions are being livestreamed, or will be podcast after the event so you should definitely spare 20 minutes a day to check out the keynotes which are always fascinating. Today was the opening keynote with Bre Pettis, CEO of Makerbot, the 3D printer manufacturer. We’ll blog about that separately because there’s so much to say. Happily, though, Dom and I will be doing a panel session here on Sunday talking about 3D printing and how this revolutionary technology can be used to make assistive equipment for people with disabilities.

This follows on from the awesome Designathon which we had with Enabled by Design at the end of last year, which brought together designers, people with disabilities technologists, and ideas people (none of these are mutually exclusive btw!). The teams at that event came up with some fantastic prototypes and we can’t wait to share them with everyone at SXSW. While we love the 3D manufacture movement it’s largely focused on things like tiny little monsters, which is fine (who doesn’t love a tiny little monster?) but what we love is taking new technology and applying it to social problems. The question we’ll be asking is how can we use 3D printing to help people make their lives better?

We’ll be bringing you all the action from SXSW for the next week, through this blog plus Twitter and Instagram – from everything we’re learning about tech, digital innovation, to photos of Dom on a bull ride.


Oh, and robots. LOTS of robots.