#CouchXSW: How to enjoy the best of SXSW Interactive, without leaving home

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Bummed you’re missing the 21st Annual SXSW Interactive Festival this weekend? Don’t be. You can enjoy the best of what SXSW Interactive has to offer without getting up off the couch. So brew a fresh pot of coffee and prepare to be enlightened. When your friends get back from Austin next week, they’ll be jealous that you learned just as much as they did without having to brave the 70,000+ crowds.

The Indie Science Revolution

In 2012, Cindy Wu and her colleagues started a crowdfunding company called Experiment (formerly Microryza). It’s a crowdfunding platform, like Kickstarter, but for scientific experiments ranging from space to ecology to medicine. Also on the panel is Daniel Grushkin, the co-founder of Genspace, a community-based biotechnology lab, and Jacob Schiach, Founder of Brightwork CoResearch Program, an open and collaborative research space built to make scientific research and entrepreneurship more accessible.

#CouchXSW: Follow the conversation using #indisci and @JacobShiach on Twitter. You can also get lost for hours looking through all the cool science experiments on Experiment.com, including can microorganisms help protect our groundwater from contamination by hydraulic fracturing?

A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden

Former CIA employee, NSA whistleblower and fugitive internet activist Edward Snowden will be dialing into SXSW via teleconference from Russia on Monday, March 10th at 11AM (CST). He’s talking with Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist, about the future of technology in the age of big data and mass surveillance. Are our communications secure? And what can the tech industry do to protect consumers from mass surveillance?

#CouchXSW: You can watch a free livestream of the session courtesy of The Texas Tribune. A recording of the event will also be available on the ACLU website later Monday afternoon. Participants will also be live-Tweeting using #SXSnowden.

John Wilbanks: My Sensors. My Data?

Data scientist John Wilbanks is considered somewhat of a rockstar among his contemporaries in the tech world. His mission is to make our data shareable. The more data we pool, the more we can discover. For the past eight months, he’s been wearing 10+ activity trackers, or wearables, experimenting with how easy it is to use the data from these devices.  This panel will discuss barriers and enablers to creating an open data ecosystem that lays the foundation for one integrated network of connected devices.

#CouchXSW: For anyone interested in the future of the internet, John’s TED Talk is a must. You can also check out his website (all the content is licensed under a Creative Commons). John Tweets @wilbanks.

Make Yourself the Happiest Person on Earth

Chade-Meng Tan is a Google engineer who first got noticed as Google’s in-house Zelig, posing for pictures with every celebrity that came to visit the Mountain View campus. Since then, he’s become a New York Times bestseller and personal growth pioneer. His job is to teach the best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques to their life and work, producing happier, healthier, and more creative employees.

#CouchXSW: Check out Chade-Meng Tan’s star-studded photo gallery and watch his TED Talk on Every Day Compassion at Google.