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SXSW Eco puts focus on environment

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TWC News: SXSW Eco puts focus on environment
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South by Southwest is branching out, it's not only about music, movies and technology anymore.

South By Southwest Eco takes place this week at the University of Texas' AT&T Center.

As South by Southwest Eco program manager, Chris Sonnier has to make sure more than 2,000 people can navigate the three-day conference.

"We're really looking to advance the conversation of sustainability. But focus it on solutions-oriented rhetoric," he said.

The conference is made up of 30 panel discussions per day.
In between those discussions, industry professionals, government officials and students hang out in between lectures.

Terry Levy came down from Chicago to represent ARCOA, a company that recycles electronics.

"There's a lot of exciting things, a lot of different types of industry being represented here," Levy said.

Last year, South by Southwest’s music, film, interactive and edu brought in $170 million.

However, there is a reason Eco is held separately from the other conferences in March.

"We'd run the risk of it getting swallowed by all the noise, so we thought that we'd move it out to another time of year, give it some room to grow to take on its own look and feel," Sonnier said.

South by Southwest Eco ends Friday. Officials will announce the economic impact of 2012's conferences Thursday.

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