The SXSW Interactive Scholarship program 2014.


Submission Deadline:  July 26, 2013, 11:59 PM CT on Friday.

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, United States.

What is the 2014 SXSW Interactive Scholarship Program?

The SXSW Interactive Scholarship program recognizes individuals from all sectors and from anywhere in the world who are using new media to push the boundaries of tackling community problems. Non profit leaders, grassroots organizers, individual citizens, and civic-minded entrepreneurs are all eligible. We’re looking for people whose work (whether it’s a job, a hobby or volunteering) helps people through technology.

Seeking Community Technology Visionaries

SXSW Interactive wants to find the leaders of the next wave of movers and shakers in the tech industry. For this scholarship, SXSW seeks undiscovered creative talents who can use the springboard of SXSW Interactive to make connections in the SXSW tech community. Help us identify the unsung community heroes you admire so that we can recognize their good work at SXSW in March in Austin.

Tell us who is using technology or new media to do the most innovative work for good within their community. 

How the 2014 Scholarship Program Works

SXSW invites individuals and / or their supporters to enter 300-word essays by 11:59 PM CT on Friday, July 26, 2013. Essays should answer the question,

“Who is using technology or new media to do the most innovative work for good within their community?”

Tell us why your essay subject is so effective at leveraging new technologies and media to help make a difference in their community. The person you write about may even be you! In the spirit of SXSW, think big and think differently. After reviewing all the essays submitted, SXSW and CauseShift will select the top five (5) essays judged by content and creativity. Quantities of recommendations for a single person will NOT be considered (more votes do NOT equal a better chance at winning).

You + Your Nominee Both Receive a 2014 SXSW Registration

If you write one of the 10 winning essays, then YOU AND YOUR NOMINEE could BOTH win a free registration to SXSW Interactive, thus giving you and the subject of your essay a tremendous opportunity to network with other amazingly innovative digital creatives from the non-profit (and for-profit) sector. 1 + 1 = 2 registration winners!

Scholarship recipients will be responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Austin, as well as providing their own lodging while in Austin. Winners will be announced on or before September 23, 2014. Community leaders identified by this competition may also be eligible for consideration for the 2014 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award

Tips for a Successful Essay
Your 300-word essay should briefly explain what the designated person does and the innovative ways he / she uses technology for a good cause. Please keep in mind that we are looking for an essay, not a novel. Responses cannot exceed 300 total words.

The Criteria
The essay must be an original work presented in a unique way.
How novel and creative is the use of technology and/or media? Has anyone done this before?
How is this person impacting their community in a positive way? Give examples of change for good that has come about because of this person’s work.
Spelling / Grammar / Punctuation
While most of the focus will be on the quality of the idea, how well you present your idea matters, too.

The VOWEL Scale
Only aiming for well known people as the subject of your essay is probably unwise. The purpose of this scholarship is to discover and promote new talent.

Fresh opinions and new ideas count. Having a new angle or perspective on the world makes for an interesting essay.

There are thousands of extremely qualified women in the media industry and we hope for our speakers and attendees to reflect that.

Different ethnic backgrounds and different cultures take a different approach to different topics. And, different is usually a good thing at SXSW.

Lots of amazingly talented professionals call New York, L.A. and the Bay Area home. But, there are scores of very qualified media experts located at various other locations in the US and around the world. Their voices also help contribute to this ongoing goal of diversity.

The Fine Print
* Deadline for entries is 11:59 pm CT on Friday, July 26, 2013.
* Essays must be submitted through the online form.
* Each essay must be 300 words or FEWER. Essays exceeding 300 words will be immediately disqualified.
* Only one (1) essay per person.
* Only two (2) scholarship recipients per organization.
* Essays can only be submitted once. Duplicates will be discarded.
* Ten (10) scholarship recipients will be announced on or before September 23, 2013.
* Each scholarship winner will receive two SXSW Interactive registrations (one for the essay author and one for the essay subject).
* Scholarship recipients are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.
* Scholarship winners MUST be able to attend the March event, or the registration will be awarded to a runner up. If a winning essay writer is also the subject of said essay, recipient can transfer second registration to person of his/her choice.
* All essays submitted must original work issued as Creative Commons Attribution. If no designation is made, essays will be by default become Creative Commons Attribution.
* All essays submitted will be distributed by SXSW Interactive and CauseShift in various forms.
* SXSW reserves the right to make changes and any and all final decisions.
* For more information about the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, visit

How Do I Enter?

Apply Now for the 2014 SXSW Interactive Scholarship Program

For More Information:

Visit the SXSW Interactive Scholarship Program Webpage


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