When Genius is in the Room, Someone Should Take Notes: Evernote Captures SXSW in Words

“Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now.” —Hamilton, the Musical

Nowhere can you find such sheer exuberance and excitement about technology, art, music, film, and innovation in today’s world than at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas. Every March, people from all over the world flock to the tech hub of the American south to rub shoulders with celebrities, share ideas, and simply celebrate life in the 21st Century. There’s so much to take in, SXSW lasts more than a week. While a trip to the event may be an unforgettable experience, remembering everything you learned throughout the week, it’s nearly impossible. That’s where Evernote came in.

This year, Evernote served as the official note-takers of the Workplace Track at SXSW. From March 10-13, five professional note-takers attended more than thirty sessions. We wanted to capture not only the spirit of SXSW, but the genius of the speakers.

Evernoters Bijan, Ariel, Amanda, Cipriano, and Dorothy worked tirelessly throughout the weekend, sending notes from Austin to the writing team in California. Those five editors polished the final notes and published them in an Evernote public link. The result is a collection of modern thought and insights into the current state and future of how we work.

Join the SXSW Workplace Track notebook »

Spread the Words

“Spread the words,” we encouraged attendees. “Bring the ideas from SXSW to your companies, your jobs, and do your part to be the change coming to the global workplace.”

We’d like to give you sneak peek of Evernote editors’ favorite snippets from the session notes—a tasting menu of some of the great content you’ll find in the notes.  Be sure to join the notebook, read the notes, and spread the words!

Quotes about Women’s Issues:

Session | Short Changed: Why Women’s Salaries Fall Short

Stacey Redman: I want to say, “push back on this.” …If women do push back, they apologize. Men don’t apologize for asking.

Session | Elephant on Madison Avenue

Bradley Jakeman: I’m leaning into and advocating for these issues from a business perspective. 85% of purchases in most industries are made by women. So, why is 90% of the marketing for them done by men?

Lisen Stromberg: We hire men for potential and we hire women for what they’ve accomplished.

“Barbara Hillary was the first African-American woman to reach both North and South poles at ages 75 and 79, respectively, after beating both lung and breast cancer. She has only two sentences on her Wikipedia page.”

Quotes about Technology:

Session | Augmented Intelligence: The Next-Gen AI

Melanie Cook: “The most important question isn’t how to make super intelligence, or when will it come about. The most important question is, when it does come about, how do we make it do the right thing?”

Session | Get Out, Be In: What I’ve Learned Working Remotely

David Weaver: “Technology is great, but it can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Take a moment and ask yourself ‘why and I using this technology?’ More often than not, you can remove that app, or software from your life and find a handful of things to meet your needs.

Quotes about Inclusion and Diversity:

Session | Don’t Dis My Ability: Universal Inclusion

“Anchor yourself in the confidence that you have value. When you start from there, it’s trial and error for everyone, regardless of if a disability is present.

Britta Wilson:  “Diversity is about headcount, inclusion is about making those heads count.”

Session | Convergence Keynote: Jessica Shortall

Jessica Shortall: “Data can build bridges, but only our shared humanity can collapse the divides.”

Quotes about Innovation:

Session | You’re an “Innovator.” Then What?

Susan Cantor: If the company doesn’t support different points of view, that’s not the company for you.

Quotes about Workplace attitudes:

Session | Disrupted: Ending Bro Culture and Bias in Startup-Land

Dan Lyons: “The social contract that existed between employers and employees is gone. The safety net that we all thought we had is gone. So, the only way for us to survive is to look out for each other. We have to create companies that we want to work for so that we can create a world that we want to live in.”

“The era of people putting up with abusive work is over.”

Session | Radical Candor: How to Say What You Really Think

Kim Scott: “There’s no humility in truth, but there’s a lot when giving candor. Remember, you want to help the person. “I want you to succeed,” “this is about making you successful.” Say it with love, but just say it.”

Session | Leading with Love: Future of Emotional Leadership

Terry City:The best thing that ever happened to me is when I thrust into an environment where I was the oldest. I found that I was embracing Millennial views about life as well as their values. I learned a lot from them and their access to information as a generation makes them better equipped in the workforce today.”

Quotes about Lifehacks:

Session | Outthink the Future with Just 10 Ideas a Day

James Altucher: “If you’re ever car-jacked in the middle of nowhere, hooded guys steal your car, steal your wallet, steal your phone, everything out of your pocket, what do you do? You go to the local pizza store, order delivery, and hitch a ride with the delivery boy back to your house.”

Quotes about Hiring:

Session | Interactive Keynote: Adam Grant

Adam Grant: “You are 30% more likely to get hired when you list your weaknesses instead of your strengths. Someone who is more willing to point out their own flaws is more likely to get heard and considered due to being self-aware and ahead of the curve.”

“At Zillow, we work on building a workplace where people want to stay. When people do leave, it’s because it’s their personal desire for change and development outweighs our ability to provide it for them.”

What happens at SXSW stays…in Evernote

The annual celebration of music, film, interactive technology, human intellect, creativity, and innovation draws more than 72,000 people from around the world to Austin, Texas. Participants attend workshops, concerts, festivals, and go to conferences led by world leaders in subjects as diverse as sports, brands, food, journalism, social impact, entertainment and film, and television. The Workplace Track was one of 24 tracks available at SXSW, and Evernote is the only place you can get the official notes. We invite you to explore them.

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