That sound you heard a moment ago was my head exploding.  There are 2,215 SXSW Interactive Festival programming proposals and many of them are by or for social entrepreneurs! The Festival happens March 12-16 in Austin, TX and you can vote for your favorite panels now, but just finding your way through them is a challenge.  So, to avoid any more heads exploding, we’ve tried to narrow down the list to under 2% of panels that are of particular interest to social entrepreneurs. Use your collective #SocEnt powers and vote for them all to help these fascinating discussions see the light of day. Let’s see social entrepreneurs take over SXSW.

Connecting Communities for the Common Good: Owning Online Organizing, Kari Dunn Saratovsky, The Case Foundation :  When community transcends “place,” how do you create dynamic online spaces for activists to connect and take action? …How do you balance online action with offline engagement?

Networking Good: How to Win Money and Mobilize People!, Michael Smith, The Case Foundation : Social networks are transforming how people support causes, how ideas are shared and how nonprofits raise money. Today’s online communities…are building social capital, increasing awareness and raising millions of charitable dollars.

Social Innovation Camp: A World-Changing Web Bootcamp, Jessica Shortall, Social Innovation Camp : Launched in the UK, now a global movement, SI Camp is an intensive hack weekend that builds functional, crowd-sourced web models to change the world.

Rocking Both Sides of the Digital Divide, Kjerstin Erickson, FORGE : Are we just going to forget about the millions of people who don’t have iPhones or Facebook yet? Nope. Come hear how FORGE tackles this challenge with an innovative blend of initiatives to link constituents from Silicon Valley and prestigious campuses to refugee camps and post-conflict communities in Africa.

Can Double-Clicking Change The World? Slacktivism 101, Jacob Colker, The Extraordinaries : Sl’ack-Ti-vism. Noun. Taking action for social change without lifting a finger. As the latest technology allows people to “engage” from their computers/phones rather than getting their hands dirty IRL, will this impact the future of volunteerism? A panel of experts will debate the pros & cons of couch potato activism.

Innovation: How The Web Helps Africa Solve Its Problems, Eve Dmochowska, IdeaBank   
Africa’s problems are unique and severe. Good healthcare, education, democracy, entrepreneurship, community, nutrition and communication are either non-existent or under threat in many regions. Yet the web offers hope …Find out how Africa is solving its own problems through smart, innovative and daring use of technology.

Reimagining Revenue: Business Models for Social Innovation, Pat Christen, HopeLab : Double- and triple-bottom-line business models are becoming more popular in the swell of social entrepreneurship. Some traditional principles apply, but how does an organization prioritize revenue when social benefit is also a primary interest?

Competition > Innovation > Change: Examining Competitions For Social Change, Amy Sample Ward, NetSquared : Organizations, foundations, even individuals are creating social innovation competitions, hoping to drive social change projects and solutions into the global marketplace. What are these new competitions about—are they working?

Social Apps To Save The World, Matthew McCabe, Austin Social Innovation Hub : Disease, malnutrition, homelessness, and unemployment are rampant in the U.S. and around the world. We will discuss innovative web and mobile solutions to these problems. Crowd sourcing, dev camps, mobile applications, microfiance, green tech, and socially innovative business models will be discussed.

Designing Change: Social Innovation In Product Development, Richard Tate, HopeLab : Designers and developers dream of creating products that solve problems and improve lives. Sometimes it just "happens," but can positive change be intentionally designed? Social innovators discuss creating interactive products for health and education, how impact is measured, and how principles of play and behavior change drive efficacy.

Technology for Global Social Innovation, Tegy Thomas, SuperNova7 Productions : This panel discusses the means in which social entrepreneurs use technology to help their communities as well as the challenges they face.

Amplifying Social Innovation: Insights from Entrepreneurial Changemakers, Emily Doubilet, Sustainable Party : The internet can be a cold & dark place…So how can we maximize the potential for the web to create meaningful connections among changemakers, and inspire humans to truly connect with one another?

Passionate People: The Key Ingredient to Social Media Success, Meghan Warby, Hill & Knowlton Canada : Regardless of the different avenues an organization takes to inform online audiences about a cause, there is but one vital factor that successfully binds social change and social media – passionate people…
Widgets for Social Change, David Rogers, OMTP : Can widgets really be the answer to giving low-income communities and developers a platform for social change? How can governments and local communities use widgets to create innovative, free services? How could widgets help in a crisis zone or during a natural disaster?  

Augmented Realities: Are Games Changing Documentary For Good?, Wendy Levy, Bay Area Video Coalition : You’re a filmmaker or journalist desperate to keep up with emerging technologies. …see award-winning examples of documentary content in radical environments, augmented reality with social change potential, games for change…

Social Change for Zero Dollars a Day Using Social Networks, Gradon Tripp, Social Media for Social Change :  Join SM4SC’s co-founders, Gradon Tripp, Meg Fowler and Matthew Knell as they talk through their experiences raising money for needy charities with no fixed budget. Topics covered include pro-social brand development, the real value of social capital and networks and harnessing social media for good.

Beyond Tokenism: How Social Media Can Fix S***, Deanna Zandt, Media technologist : It’s clear that even in 2009, we don’t live in a post-racial, post-sexist, post-homophobic, post-anything-like-that society. But the potential for social media to cross-pollinate across cultures and start dissolving barriers is undeniable and huge. We’ll present strategies and projects for systemic social change.    

A Conversation about Social Change through Social Media, Mark Horvath, : A few words, a few pictures, a transformative experience. Good stories are three-way – they include the storyteller and the audience both in the experience and transport to a third place, a shared experience, together. Discuss how social media can affect real social change!       

A Different Documentary: Online Storytelling & Social Change, Boyd Neil, Hill & Knowlton Canada : Activists, enthusiasts & evangelists seek new ways to raise awareness, affect social change & fundraise. A documentary can effectively transport your story online to achieve these aims…Learn how serializing content, engaging an audience in the filmmaking process and involving supporters in the project itself is transformative.

Doing More With Less: How Not-for-Profits Leverage Technology for Change
, Nancy Lublin, They’ve won Webby Awards. The sites attract millions. And the user-adoption numbers are ridiculously high. How is it that not for profits are managing to use communications technologies to rock social change–when they’ve got pennies to spend? Ami Dar and Nancy Lublin, two social change leaders, present best practices and spot current trends. 

Building an Employee Platform for Social Change, Patrice Thramer, Nike, Inc. : For the past year, a small team at Nike has been collaborating with its employees to design a digital platform, the WE Portal, to connect the 33,000 employee workforce to community issues. … the story of international cross-collaboration within a complex corporate system … the design and development challenges that emerged …possible futures for collaborative platforms and the technology that could scale social change and quicken positive action.

SMS And Social Change: Lessons From Senegal, Terra Weikel, UNICEF : UNICEF and Tostan project managers from the US and Senegal will present lessons learned, questions remaining, and interesting data gathered from the 2009-2010 project that is launching and testing several SMS services in Senegalese communities, integrating them into a non-formal education program, with a focus on empowering girls and women.

An Innovative Social Venture for Environmental and Social Justice
, Sudhir Raghupathy, Kade Social Ventures : This is a explanation of an innovative (Bottom of Pyramid) approach to urban uplift and transformation, using a model of smart and therapeutic organic garden design …great value for any center that serves the underserved with available land and committed stakeholders.

Yes, We Can – But How ? Technology for Social Good, Zaheda Bhorat, Google Inc. :  Isn’t all open source software for social good anyway ? We will describe innovative concepts using "open" projects impacting key issues such as Climate Change, Poverty and Healthcare. Our ideas will enable you to impact change around the world…

Utilizing Web 2.0 to Secure Donors, Glenn Lim, PayPal : It’s no secret that in the nonprofit world, the ability to raise money online is essential. What’s less understood is how to effectively raise money online…It’s not just about Web sites or even blogs anymore – now, the most coveted donors are spending their time on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, and tweeting about the causes that matter to them most.

Digital Marketing for Non-Profits, Amy Seidenwurm, LA Phil : How to work with limited marketing budgets and a failing economy to build an online brand, raise awareness of a cause and fundraise effectively. We’ll also talk about how you can get sizeable online grants and free/discounted help from key professionals.

Generation Y and the Future of Nonprofit Communications, Sarah Davies, ACLU of Washington : Generation Y engages more frequently and deeply with nonprofits than any previous generation. Bleeding edge technology has allowed for nonprofits to reach millions of people with nonexistent budgets. This panel will go over success stories from nonprofit organizations and professionals. Learn the secrets of social media, interactive technology, and grassroots support.

Access This – Online Accessibility Takes on New Meaning, Angela Wrigglesworth, Ms. Wheelchair Texas Foundation : Accessibility is more than accessible Web design. We’ll explore the inventive ways that three nonprofit organizations define what accessibility means, both online and offline, to their respective Communities…

Data, Data, Everywhere: Drowning in a Sea of Analytics, Marissa Goldsmith, Beaconfire Consulting : A Web site gives a nonprofit access to data that makes old school direct marketers salivate. But many organizations find themselves getting bogged down in producing graphs every month, obsessing over drops in pageviews, throwing their hands up on the air, and deciding they don’t have enough resources to maintain this kind of analytics analysis. Stop obsessing about the small stuff, and start learning about creating a goal-oriented, actionable analytics plan that can help your Web site thrive.

The Socially Conscious Geek: Makin’ Money While Doin’ Good, Leif Utne, Zanby : Can you make a living as a geek without sacrificing your ideals? Definitely. These pros have carved out a niche working with mission-driven, ethical clients in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors – and want to show you how to bring your values to work while keeping a roof over your head.

Mobile Platform Battle Royale, Mark Phillip, T3 : We all know what the iPhone can do, but what about Android, Blackberry and WebOS? We’ll build four mobile applications for a nonprofit and share code samples and thoughts on the strengths of each platform. Follow the concepting and development process at

Design and Development Powers for the Social Good, Frank Duran, T3 : A series designed to help nonprofits in the Austin area, this two-part session, focused on the design and development phases, will solicit participation from the audience to create new Web sites for selected NPOs. Panelists will review design and development best practices and provide guidance while participants learn from each other along the way.

Cloud Technology: $2/month. 1M Connected African Teachers: Priceless, Danny Kim, FullArmor : How do you leapfrog from antiquated teaching tools to those of tomorrow at 1/5th normal costs while fighting poverty and illiteracy? Learn how using the cloud and an orchestration of software is enabling Ethiopia, Nigeria, and other emerging markets. “Get schooled” on lessons learned by FullArmor and Ethiopia’s education minister.   

The rise of P2P Lending: From Microlending to Creditworthy Borrowers in the US
, Rob Garcia, Lending Club Corporation : Peer Lending and Microlending has recently risen as a clear alternative and complement to traditional bank loans. Lending Club eliminates the high cost and complexity of the current banking system, providing borrowers with loans at more attractive rates while offering investors an opportunity for better returns. Kiva empowers individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe for the sake of alleviating poverty. 

Crowd Sourcing Innovative Social Change, Beth Kanter, Beth’s Blog : Social media builds buzz and raises money, but what about real, on-the-ground change? The Social Change Challenge will crowdsource innovative ideas from nonprofits to change the world. We’ll share big ideas for using social media for nonprofit program delivery and some good tips for crowdsourcing for social change.

The Cause Effect: Social Media Inspiring Social Awareness, John Kim, Pelago, makers of Whrrl : We all know social media can be used to connect with others. Many people are involved in cause marketing, but few are successfully leveraging social media to educate and inspire people to participate. Hear from those making a difference including the Creator of, and lead for “Summer of Social Good”; and others.

Non-Profits and Social Media: Not the Usual Suspects, David J. Neff, Lights. Camera. Help : A panel of 5 nonprofit leaders, social media monsters, and how they leverage their social networks, to advance their respective organizations missions, collaborate with one another and use social media for social good.

The Real Housewives of Social Media, Jordan Viator, Convio : You’ve heard the buzz around how nonprofit organizations and corporations are using social media for social good. Now hear from the "real housewives of social media" who are driving successful online campaigns, as well as others who are helping lead the social media revolution.

Privacy in Public: The Social Significance of Social Media, Jacqueline Vickery, FlowTV : From citizen journalists, to celebrity Twitterers, social media is reconstructing the meanings of what is public and what is private…This panel will explore the meaning of social media to broader issues of identity, community, social change and more…

Power to the People: Does Crowdsourcing News Work?  Poison data, disreputable sources, information overload: how do we find facts? We’ll pit advocates of qualitative versus quantitative, crowdsourcing versus citizen-reporting, and non-profit versus profit against each other for the answer.

Which leads us to the other big trend at SXSW:
Journalism reinvents itself – with 47 sessions (out of 135 News proposals) including:

  • Shut Up And Code! (Hacking The Future of News), Jacob Harris, The New York Times : Talk is cheap. Talk about the future of news is cheaper still, especially since so little leads to action. It’s time we reversed that pattern…
  • Process Journalism: Getting it First, While Getting it Right.  Iterative journalism, process journalism, wiki journalism — call it what you want — the ‘first draft’ of history is rapidly changing with digital reporting and immediate delivery…