You could tell that today was day five. The bleary eyes of the weary souls trudging down to the convention centre belied five non-stop days of stimulation overload. With no easing up in the quality of the talks happening across the day, though, it was time to armour up for one last day of learning, discussion and inspiration.
After a working week’s worth of days crammed full of talks, networking, panel discussions, ideas and more – it seemed fitting that the final keynote of the festival was a talk around mindfulness and the importance of making space for meditation by Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe (who, incidentally, is from Bristol!). Taking us through his fascinating journey from his degree in circus studies, through a ten-year stint as a monk in various monasteries across Tibet and the Himalayas, through to life as a Californian tech entrepreneur – it’s safe to say it’s a story unlike many others. We were even treated to a ten minute meditative exercise.
On that Zen note, we the masses departed from SxSW’s 30th year determined to give the experience the time needed to sink in, ensure that what we’ve picked up along the way can be pulled in to our daily routines and that the relationships founded here are given the attention they deserve. For many here, it’ll be as much about what happens over the coming months and weeks as it has been about what happened out here.
Watch. This. Space.