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TechCrunch writer Megan Rose Dickey is becoming a White House regular, and recently attended the first ever South By South Lawn festival at the Presidential HQ. I spoke to her about the experience for this week’s episode of TCBC, and we also discuss her first trip from earlier this year, when she attended the second annual LGBTQ Tech and Innovation Briefing.
SXSL provided a unique opportunity for a variety of people to speak on a number of relevant social topics through panels, including a social justice forum including Congressman John Lewis, Anil Dash, Evan Wolfson, Brittany Packet and Carmen Rojas, and one on “Fixing real problems” with Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, NYT’s Jenna Wortham and more.
Megan also got the chance to actually meet and shake the hand of President Barack Obama, so understandably we geek out about that for a while.
At SXSL, Megan also checked out a VR installation piece called 6’x9′ designed to provide some idea of what it’s like to experience solitary confinement in the U.S. prison system. It’s an effort that highlights some of the potential VR holds to do more than provide a new, more immersive medium for games, and we discuss some possibilities for how experiences like 6’x9′ could have a more far-reaching impact.
Finally, we also talk about a recent panel at the Virtuous Circle conference where TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot discussed the relationship between affirmative action and efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech industry today. Also, keep an eye on the site today for a discussion between Megan and Salesforce’s new Chief Equality Officer Tony Prophet.
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