SXSW: ‘We need you’ - Obama’s plea to the tech community

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 12 March 2016
Obama talking at SXSW. Photo credit: The White House twitter account.

Barack Obama, President of the United States, has taken to the stage at South by South West (SXSW), to call on the tech community to use their skills to make government processes better.

Obama talked about how the government has spent a lot of time working out how to streamline its processes using technology, but added there’s still room for improvement.

“We want to make sure we’re using big data, analytics and tech to make civic participation easier. [We want to] increase voting rates and to make sure people are more informed in who they vote for and what they do,” he says.

“I’m actually here to recruit all of you,” he added. “How can we start coming up with new platforms, and new ideas and new approaches, across disciplines and across skill sets, to solve some of the real problems we’re facing today?”

The President explained that the US government has already brought in tech guru’s from the likes of Facebook and Google in order to tackle some of the inefficiencies the government faces in its processes.

Obama talked directly to the tech community when he said: “This group is primed to make a difference,” explaining that as he is preparing to leave office he needs others to take up the baton and continue to work for what they’re passionate for. For those at SXSW - that means technology.

“We are at a moment in history where technology, globalisation, our economy is changing so fast,” he added. “This gathering SXSW brings together those who are at the cutting edge of those changes, those changes offer us great opportunities.”

Sarah Homewood is in Austin, Texas, for SXSW.

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