March 9, 2017 |


Why is our global health NGO going to a raucous festival known for its high-voltage energy and brain power? Let me tell you why.
Photo of a lab with a graphic overlay that has the copy "PATH is going to SXSW."
PATH is on the ground at the world’s preeminent interactive festival searching for emerging technologies with lifesaving potential. Photo: PATH/Jean-Pierre Leguillou and Gabe Bienczycki.

PATH is headed to SXSW!

David Shoultz, the head of our Drug Development Program, will join other panelists from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and John Snow, Inc. to discuss the benefits and challenges of tech solutions in developing regions around the world. While in Austin, a small field team and I will be joining David, bringing you live updates across our social media channels.

If the connection between our global health organization and this music and interactive festival seems unclear, allow me to explain. At PATH, we’re always on the lookout to meet other like-minded organizations. We knew that by going to SXSW we’d have a chance to discover creative and cutting-edge technologies that might show promise in addressing global health needs.

On the ground and streaming live

A close-up of water being poured into an MSR SE200 Community Chlorine Maker (electrochlorinator) held in one hand.
For PATH to pursue an innovation, it must meet established requirements while increasing effectiveness. Criteria include providing access, reducing costs, ensuring or increasing quality, scalability, and lifesaving potential. Pictured here is the SE200™ Community Chlorine Maker, which we’ll demo live from SXSW to show how it’s used for making water safe in low-resource settings. Photo: PATH/Jesse Schubert.

Our field team will be providing ongoing social media coverage of what we see, who we meet, highlights from the panels we’re attending, and all of our PATH appearances and pop-up demos.

For instance, on Sunday we’ll be live streaming from the panel that PATH’s David Shoultz is joining with fellow panelists Anne LaFonde from John Snow, Inc. and Tracy Johnson from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together, they’ll talk about the successful development of technologies that not only reach but help the people who need them most.

We’re excited to bring PATH technologies to this mecca of tech innovation. On Monday afternoon, David Shoultz will demo the SE200 live for conference attendees in the Social Good Hub.

We’ll also be interviewing electronic music artist and activist Madame Gandhi who (like us), is a big believer in breaking down stigmas around menstruation. We’ll find time to ask climber and photographer Mike Libecki of the National Geographic Explorer what he sees when he travels to remote areas around the world. We’ll meet with our friends at Tableau Software to talk about how our unique partnership is helping eliminate malaria in Zambia. And we’ll live tweet while former Vice President Joe Biden talks about the Cancer Moonshot initiative. Plus there will be more on-the-ground reports through the weekend and into next!

People gather in a colorful indoor environment.
SXSW has been around for decades now. What began as a meshing of high tech, film, and alternative music has morphed into a high-voltage gathering of brain power. Photo: Nan Palmero/licensed under CC BY 2.0.

All the equipment has arrived

So we’re packing up the field equipment—a menagerie of monopods, battery packs, selfie sticks, and microphones. We’ll need them as we bring you some of the world’s leading social influencers and mix with partners across an array of sectors.

I’m looking forward to this unique fact-finding trip! Our discoveries will be ongoing and real-time. And part of the adventure will be juggling our reporting back to our PATH teams and you, our followers.

Explore the festival with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn. Stay tuned for more!

Want our field team to check out a specific panel? Will you be attending any panels? Let us know by tweeting @PATHtweets.

MSR SE200 is a registered trademark of Mountain Safety Research, a Division of Cascade Designs, Inc.

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  • Lippi Doshi is a communications and digital advocacy officer at PATH.