3rd annual SXSW Eco Festival kicks off in Austin

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by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 7 at 2:35 PM

AUSTIN -- While the Austin City Limits Music Festival takes a break, South By Southwest is back in the mix with its Eco Festival.

The event's third year kicked off Monday, bringing collaborative thinkers to Central Texas.

About 3,000 people are expected to attend the three-day festival; everyone from skaters to senators. They all have one goal: to save our planet.

In the past conventions like this were more segmented into groups. For example there was one for the farming industry or one for the water preservation industry. This year that has changed. Organizers say that kind of event was not productive because people couldn't talk about improving one thing without it affecting the others.

SXSW Eco brings professionals from a range of different fields together to make change happen world-wide.

"Be it in energy, design, food, water, etcetera. It's a place where all of these professionals come together, hopefully get on the same page [and] make new business collaborations that they wouldn't make at other events," Program Manager Chris Sonnier said.

Sonnier says he is learning a lot with each year of the South by Southwest Eco Festival. He says it shows Austin is ripe for innovation, and he's hopeful some great partnerships will come from relationships formed downtown.

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