Obama speaks at SXSW tech conference, pushes for public engagement

Obama speaks at SXSW tech conference, pushes for public engagement

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President Obama speaking at the SXSW tech conference / Photo White House

By Mariela Hernandez

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – President Barack Obama spoke at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX Friday, making him the first sitting president to attend the tech conference.

SXSW is an annual gathering of some of the most creative thinkers, coders, makers, and entrepreneurs from across the country. The president’s visit is a timely shift in the evolution of SXSW, showing how closely science and politics are connected.

“The reason I’m here is to reunite all of you. How can we start coming up with new ideas, to solve some of the big problems we face today,” Obama said.

Obama spoke about the critical role technology plays in everyday lives, and technology’s increasing role in politics.

“Technology, globalization, our economy is changing so fast,” Obama said, “this gathering brings people together that are at cutting edge of this change.”

Since being in office, Obama has worked to showcase the importance of technology in the modern world. Over the last several years the administration has worked to get rid of the digital divide in America, where not all Americans have access to broadband Internet, and currently working to expand internet access to low-income household.

He said that technology will embrace issues from the Syrian refugee crisis, signing people up for healthcare, paying bills, connecting people to jobs, to developing ways to combat climate change. He said that it is now easier to order a pizza than vote online.

“It is critical that all of you think about how we can get people like you engaged…. take this democracy back and running,” Obama said.

The administration has worked on modernizing the technology of the federal government by tackling some high technology special operation units.

“Making sure our government of the people and by the people works better for the people in the 21st century,” Obama concluded.

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