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SXSW Interactive 2016

Laugh and Look Good While Standing for Something

The Internet is a noise factory: cats, fails, and celebrity gaffes occupy the majority of available attention. But it doesn’t have to be all fluff. Digital content can be more than laughed at and forgotten; it can serve a better purpose and speak about important issues. And with the mass of eyeballs, ears, and clicks at its receiving end, it should. The people on this stage are creators who realize that we can trade GIFs for media that brings important issues to the public eye - with a comedic twist. To further encourage this shift and help shepherd more substance into the viral sphere, we propose a mission for all online content creation: learn to laugh about the hard stuff.

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  1. How does comedy change the way we talk about serious subjects in video?
  2. Where's the line between satirizing taboo subjects in video and evangelizing them?
  3. How do we incorporate purpose into sharable videos?


  • Amy Emmerich, EVP of Programming at Refinery29, Refinery29
  • Caren Spurch , Senior Advisor, Arts & Entertainment Engagement, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood
  • Jill Soloway , Writer, Director, Creator, Self employed
  • Azie Tesfai , Actress and Activist , Self Employed


Nell Riley, Creative Assoc, Refinery29

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