Giving Compass' Take:

· Roger Riddell at Education Dive highlights the key topics and points discussed at the 9th annual SXSWedu conference, focusing on neuroscience-based approaches and transformation strategies. 

· How is media literacy boosting students' success? How can donors support the expansion of trauma-informed education model based on neuroscience research to help students heal and succeed in school? 

· Find out what was discussed at last year's SXSW EDU Conference.


Educators and thought leaders swarmed the Austin Convention Center Monday as the 9th annual SXSWedu conference kicked off with an opening keynote on the critical nature of community and social capital.

Focused on the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project, which aims to connect community organizations and support common cultural foundations, the session's speakers laid out the argument that social fragmentation is society’s core problem, as isolation and alienation ultimately foster greater division.

But to start the session, SXSW EDU founder Ron Reed welcomed attendees to the show. What began as a regional event has grown to a conference with attendees from around the globe, he said, and the breadth of topics has expanded to reflect that, with more than 450 sessions and 1,100 speakers this year.

“The power of education to transform and empower and include and embrace is at the heart of this morning’s keynote,” Reed said, introducing the Aspen Institute's David Brooks.

Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times who also leads Weave, largely focused on his experiences with isolation as a writer, and how society is in a valley with high percentages of chronic loneliness, depression, suicide and addiction. And when humans are alone, they revert to tribalism — a condition not based on mutual affection and community, but on mutual hatred and a desire to build walls between groups, he said.

Read the full article about the 9th annual SXSWedu conference by Roger Riddell at Education Dive.