If you are not already planning to attend SXSW 2011 (and have a hotel reservation, that is), I probably can’t do much cheer-leading here that would justify your having to stay in, say, San Antonio. Still, I’m really excited to be taking part in what is the best conference/party experience I know of. I have attended SXSW Interactive for the last three years and have been inspired and entertained each year more than the previous. That never happens at conferences; usually, it’s a system of diminishing returns if you visit more than once.
This year I am happy to be speaking about a program on which I have had the amazing fortune to work—the Bedsider birth control support network. Not only is the cause so important (and as a dad of a nine-year-old, personally important very soon), but I have had the opportunity to work with awesome people at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and outside the organization as well.
Carbon Five is the development shop for Bedsider and I am so pleased that many of the team will be at the conference. The innovation and design firm IDEO has been with us since day (minus) one pondering how to solve a very difficult problem: unplanned pregnancy among single young adults, 18-29.
I have had the great fortune to work with Jenn Maer from IDEO for the last two and a half years. Jenn is my co-presenter at SXSW Interactive this year for a presentation called “Re-branding Birth Control: Behavior Change through Design.”
Our presentation is an exploration of how human-centered design gives us the only chance we have to overcome the barriers to the proper use of birth control. The presentation will also offer some details of the program and insight into what’s working as the first results of an evaluation come in.
I look forward to introducing Bedsider to an audience of people who are so capable of spreading the word and for whom the example of human-centered design, and good learning theory will apply to almost anything they do.
If there is anything I have learned in my two and a half years at The Campaign it is this: it’s a lot easier to have sex than talk about it. Bedsider intends to make birth control easy and maybe even fun. We hope that it will open up the doors to better conversations.
I also know that if Bedsider is to succeed it will be because we work with great partners. Bedsider will be a part of a system for behavior change that will grow into a movement—a movement that changes how we talk about birth control and ultimately how we use it. I look forward to acknowledging those partners and our joint work in future posts.
I hope to see you in Austin!