CL Takes SXSW - Day 5

Healthy food, ride-sharing for good and trade-free chocolate

SXSW has something for everyone, either in the scheduled sessions or at pop ups. Want to sit around and smoke cigars at the PwC house? You can do so. Want to roller skate at a DJ party? Viceland has you covered. Did you know there's such a thing as 3-D printed, edible sushi? It's a thing. Can't sample it yet, but it's coming soon. While it's a must to navigate SXSW with a plan, you also have to know that it's going to change. Multiple times a day. One of my favorite sessions was one I stumbled upon. In between sessions I found Hungry for Healthy, digging into what healthy means, and how it's being talked about culturally. See more details below, along with info about how a chocolate company is not focused on their bottom line, rather creating slave-free sweets. And how Lyft is giving people a 'healthy' ride.


Designing Technology for Health

SXSW Session:

About 40% of Americans are obese, another 30% are overweight, and these numbers continue to increase. By 2020, the CDC predicts 75% of all Americans will be obese or overweight. We have created a modern world in which our environment is changing faster than our genome can keep up. As a result, there is a mismatch between who we are and the world around us, which makes it very difficult to live healthy lives (e.g., fast food, smart phones, automobiles) – as if we are swimming upstream every day and the currents are getting stronger. The common response to this daily struggle that a majority of Americans face has been “try harder,” but that’s not a sustainable way forward. We need to think more radically about our health: How do we reverse the flow of the river?

This requires us to reimagine fundamental aspects about the way we live and consider health more broadly. In addition, more organizations need to establish health as part of their core values like Niantic and Lyft have. One way this has come to life is through games like Pokemon Go, which requires players to walk around in order to advance. Lyft is doing this by identifying people in food deserts and signing them up for shared rides to grocery stores for $2.50 each. They are also integrating public transportation, bikes and scooters into their apps, making it easier for people to go to the doctor and commute to work. Flux, which takes blue light out of laptop screens at certain times of the night, may not force you to go to sleep, but it changes the conditions around you that make falling asleep more conducive. Often, healthy behaviors aren’t adhered to simply because they are inconvenient, and it’s well within the power of technology to create that convenience. “Reversing the flow of the river” is not just about creating healthy products, but building in health as a design goal across all the products of our everyday lives.


Changing the Chocolate Industry

SXSW Session:

Ynzo van Zanten, Tony’s ‘Choco Evangelist’ is an economist, author, entrepreneur and storyteller of Tony’s Chocolonely. The mission when he started in 2005 was to make 100% slave free chocolate. He was so passionate he came up with a five-step process for doing it. Here’s Tony’s recipe for trade free cocoa:

  1. Traceable cocoa beans
  2. Higher price
  3. Strong farmers
  4. The long term
  5. Improved productivity and less dependency on cocoa

Financial success wasn’t his goal, but it was a result. He wanted to create awareness and lead by example even though he was the little guy. He challenged his behemoth competitors to blatantly copy his business model. He wanted them to be inspired to act and make 100% slave free chocolate. In fact, he invited them to his headquarters for a meeting and a cup of coffee.
Almost all our clients have a mission around putting patients at the center of everything they do. How could they take this further? Would they be willing to risk financial successes to make patients’ lives better? How can we pose this provocative question to clients in a non-threatening way?

See Tony's Impact

Hungry for healthy

SXSW Session:

Counting calories, fad diets and farm to table. There's an abundance of focus culturally on what we're eating, what's good for us and knowing where it comes from. This panel focused on our relationship with food and how key players are helping to continue educating us about what we're eating.

An offshoot of Bon Appetits' most popular annual issue, Healthyish, is a digital magazine reporting on food, culture and news related to food, digging beyond recipes and into trends and information. Recipe lovers never fear, an added benefit of being related to BA, all recipes they do share are tried and true, with a stamp of approval from the BA test kitchen which includes validation from chefs, nutritionists and scientists.

Kirby Bumpus, Head of Impact and Social Inclusion at sweetgreen, a restaurant chain bringing a farm-to-table approach to fast-causal dining, spoke about announced their partnership with FoodCorps, to help improve the school cafeteria experience. Their goal will be to help develop pilot programs in communities FC serves, with the intention of rolling it out to 350 schools in the next couple years. Programs will teach kids and their parents about where their food comes from, different varieties of produce and recipes. Kids will also be enabled to help shape the menu items in their schools based on taste testing foods and voting what they like.

Similar to the session on how housing has an impact on health , food and access to food is an important factor we need to pay attention to. From educating kids on healthy eating, to helping adults make sure they can get good food on the table, healthier communities equal better health outcomes.


Follow along to see the latest and greatest

Go straight to the source and connect with us so you never miss a thing.

More from closerlook

Musings on things digital, marketing and pharma

Our Thinking

Our closerlook team

See our team at SXSW  


Tags: events, industry, marketing

See all articles

The drugs, Optistavin, Easovartis and Librylin, and names, results, case studies and specific information, referenced in this advertisement are fictional and were created solely for illustrating the digital marketing capabilities of closerlook, inc. Any resemblance to actual drugs, medications, treatments, persons, living or dead, or to actual events, is purely coincidental. closerlook, inc. does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage or disruption caused by such party’s reliance on the fictitious information contained in this illustration.

Let’s talk about what matters most.

Contact us