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SXSW Interactive 2015

Is mobile tech the answer to our political apathy?

The explosive growth of mobile is changing the way we interact with each other and with the outside world, including government. 92% of Americans own at least one (1) cell phone, and overall in the US, we have more wireless devices than people. On the other hand, Americans are exhibiting an increasing dissatisfaction with the decision-making effectiveness and speed (or lack thereof) of our elected officials, especially Congress.

This session will:
a) Explore whether mobile technologies are helping increase civic engagement.
b) Evaluate whether mobile civic-tech companies are getting traction & funding.
c) Question whether social media is helping solidify this new E- Democracy trend.

Moderator: Adriana Gardella, writer at the New York Times

Ana Roca: Founder of LATISM (Latinos for Social Media and Technology);
Nathan Daschle: Founder of Ruckus, VP at ClearChannel, Investor;
Ximena Hartsock, PHD in Policy and Founder, Phone2Action

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  1. In what specific ways are mobile devices changing the way people interact with one another and the outside world? Can this be applied to their relationship with government & Congress and can this truly help accelerate the passage of laws?
  2. What are the most disruptive innovations that we see today in mobile tech for civic engagement and what can we learn from them? What are their outcomes?
  3. Are investors interested in tech companies in the civic engagement space? Who is investing in these companies?
  4. Is mobile engagement for the elite? Are low-income minorities receptive to this trend? What about the digital divide?
  5. How do you translate online mobilization into real-world "change"?



Ximena Hartsock, President, Phone2Action

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Policy and Civic Engagement
  • Level: Advanced
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