San Jose is working to shed its image as the other city where the John and Jane Does of the tech industry live. It’s redefining itself as a community of collaboration where musicians, small business owners and artists celebrate creativity and cultural diversity. The expansion of local tech companies and small businesses into the downtown area isn’t as contentious as it is in San Francisco. As a result, events like Creative Convergence Silicon Valley (C2SV) and the SoFA Street Fair have emerged in the last couple of years in an effort to bring all kinds of people together.
C2SV is a four-day technology conference and music festival consisting of several micro-events, including tech talks, music showcases and the SoFA Street Fair that take place in the heart of Downtown San Jose. It's been going on for three years, two as a music festival and one as a music and technology event. C2SV is about keeping Silicon Valley innovative, livable and inclusive. Community engagement is an important component of the event. Creative Convergence contributes to 28 An Jose nonprofits, including Children's Discovery Museum, LGBTQ Youth Space and Ballet San Jose.
This weekend will no doubt capture the unique experience of San Jose and how it differs from Silicon Valley's other cities. The event will conclude with the SoFA Street Fair on Sunday. Over 50 artists will perform on three outdoor stages and in multiple indoor venues. This weekend has a lot to offer plus, it's all free. Here are five things not to miss:
1. Talks on some of Silicon Valley's most pressing social issues
The conference kicks off this Thursday (Sept. 11) with a discussion led by Yasha Levine, a tech journalist who coined the term Surveillance Valley. Levine will talk about surveillance and the risks of mass data collection (something was writing about well before Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton’s nude pics started floating around the Internet). Maybe this will be the push you were looking for to finally start encrypting your data.
On Friday, Entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa will give a talk entitled Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology with Elisa Camahort Page of BlogHer. It would be nice for a talk of this nature to address the issue of underrepresented minorities like women, African Americans and Hispanics in tech. It would also be nice for a female speaker to lead the event and share the stage with a male speaker, not the other way around. The talk is still worth attending and hopefully these issues will be addressed.