Sharing Solutions: Exploring Technology with Cities

As a first-time attendee of the South by Southwest (SXSW) event in Austin, Texas, I was thrilled to be part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Civic I/O. This annual event brings together mayors, creatives, and entrepreneurs to explore how technology can help solve urban challenges. As one of 27 mayors participating, I engaged in panels, discussions, and exercises focusing on future trends and the impacts of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and electric vehicle infrastructure on cities across America. The experience was incredibly valuable and opened my eyes to the possibilities of technology in addressing our cities’ biggest issues.

During one session, a founder of SXSW discussed the early days of the conference when social media was a major topic. He emphasized the importance of being mindful of the unintended consequences and potential dangers of emerging technologies like AI, drawing parallels to the current excitement surrounding this rapidly advancing field.

One workshop that stood out to me was titled “Leading with Foresight.” This session focused on the importance of thinking ahead in a time of transformative technologies, environmental disruptions, social divides, threats to democracy, and other systemic challenges. Led by experts in foresight, design, and anticipatory governance, the workshop sharpened my ability to navigate change and plan for the future.

Overall attending SXSW was a great learning opportunity for me as a mayor and I believe that local business owners and non-profit leaders would also benefit from this experience. Even though I only spent a few days at the event, the ideas and insights I gained continue to inspire me. It’s always valuable to connect with other leaders

By Riley Johnson

As a content writer at, I dive into the depths of information to craft compelling stories that captivate and inform readers. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging content that resonates with our audience. Whether it's breaking news, in-depth features, or thought-provoking opinion pieces, I am dedicated to delivering high-quality, informative content that keeps readers coming back for more. My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to every article I write and to make a meaningful impact through the power of words.

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