SXSW – South by Southwest

March 10, 2023 – 12:24

Author: Dušana Risović

My story with the SXSW (South by Southwest) festival began when, after 21 years at the helm of Ambev, it was time for a change. However, defining the next step was a big dilemma. Go to another big company and continue intrapreneurship or use your learning to start your own business? Become a consultant or trade the security of a structured career for something else? All this uncertainty about the new and the risk of making the wrong choice made me worried.

Until Guilherme Alves, my husband, always very connected, told me about the biggest creative-tech event in the world that takes place every year in Texas (USA), which sounded like the Disney of those eager for transformation. I looked at all the content available online and went to a lot of downloads, events where people talk about what they’ve learned. When I was hit by festival provocations, I decided to take a big step in my professional path and make a move that was so unusual and questionable at the time, but at the same time so crucial for the “pivot” of my career. I decided to go to the world of technology, the new economy. That’s where the trends showed up and she saw her future. It was a place where I could promote real solutions to real problems with great potential for scale. I joined the 99 team and, in parallel, Guilherme and I founded Explore, to help revolutionize education through creative learning.

My relationship with SXSW took on a new chapter when I actually went to see the event at the venue. It was much more than I expected, even with such high expectations, and I was even invited to participate in a panel on mobility at Casa Brasil. Excited to bring inspiration and learning to as many people as possible, we signed up to lecture in 2020, talking about the case that closed my cycle in mobility, about how we use artificial intelligence to help identify cases of passenger and driver harassment, along with counseling Think Eve.

A few days before boarding, the dream of speaking in Austin was cut short by a major pandemic that would change everyone’s history forever. It could have been a coincidence, but I believe the dots were connecting. During the biggest health and humanitarian crisis of the century, I started my journey in the world of health and became a partner in Liv Up, a healthy food startup, and recently joined Afya, the largest ecosystem of health education and digital solutions in Latin America, a company dedicated to transforming health together with those for whom medicine is a calling. Since then, this has been my main focus: helping to improve people’s lives by combining three aspects: technology, health and education.

Six years after my first contact with SXSW, I arrive in Austin confident in what drives me personally and professionally. I no longer have the anxiety and uncertainty of the path I should follow, but am an eternal learner, ready to fully absorb all that is happening here and develop my capacity to create and transform. We are part of a team of Afya correspondents with doctors, intrapreneurs and business leaders covering the event, gathering impressions, seeing what the world thinks and discussing the future of education, healthcare and the use of technology to make the medical journey as successful as possible. better, stronger, stronger and more influential.

Creativity is connecting with the repertoire you have. Open your agenda to decompress and take a breath, see new things, see more about topics you already know, and even more about what you don’t. It’s about creating a repertoire and more references so that, even inadvertently, your head creates stronger and more innovative associations.

If I can give you some advice: give yourself the right to take a break from the maddening routine of everyday life, to renew your mind, body and relationships. That’s what SXSW gives me. These are what I call acceleration breaks, time dedicated to your self-development.

Good SXSW for us.

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