SXSWi 2016 Recap: Brene Brown + Amanda Enayati


ImageThink’s graphic recordings have made SXSW more engaging for 6 years. We’ve been graphic recording at SXSW for 6 years, scribing nearly 350 talks, and Brene Brown was the best keynote we have EVER heard! This year, a big theme throughout the conference was storytelling. Brene Brown went through different stages of this internal and external form of communication that truly engaged the audience.

  1. When you choose courage over comfort, you sign up to fail.
  2. Vulnerability is not a weakness, it is an accurate measure of courage.
  3. Writing your first crummy draft
  4. When you own your own story, you can write your own ending

Since creating the above sketchnote, which received thousands of responses on twitter, we have enjoyed collaborating with Brene on additional projects including a digital time lapse for her Brave Leaders Inc site. She has multiple ongoing projects, which all have such a positive impact on the world, & it is delightful to be a partner with her.


Another inspiring SXSW Interactive talk was from Amanda Enayati called “How Abundance Thinking Can Transform Your Career”. As a “stress writer” Amanda told stories about dealing with hardships; from being a refugee to being diagnosed with cancer. She discussed how stress is a natural instinct for survival, but to use stress to accelerate growth.

Post Traumatic Growth is a construct of positive psychological change that occurs as the result of one’s struggle with a highly challenging, stressful, and traumatic event. Turning a negative into a positive is one of the healthiest things we can do in our lives, and we found this talk to be quite impactful.


A common theme throughout the conference was about clearly visualizing your future. When you record your thoughts, you are able to become more aware and focused. We’re happy our new book Draw Your Big Idea fits in with all of the topics and trends, and acts as a tool to interpret events and behaviors in the world.

We have supported many conferences and our work reinforces the content, excites the audience, & serves as a creative takeaway of the discussion. Events like SXSW are always looking for ways to engage their audience, Hugh Forrest praised our work, “digital images were the easiest information to share with the participants of ALL the real-time information that SXSWi received.” Here are some results of our presence over the years at SXSW:

  1. Wowed tens of thousands of attendees while generating major buzz, increasing site visits, and press
  2. We conducted a sold out workshop
  3. ImageThink cofounder Nora Herting presented “Picturing Your Big Ideas
  4. Buzz Feed, Jimmy Fallon, UFC and other industry and thought leaders shipped the physical boards of their sessions to their headquarters to display them to their team

Have you attended SXSWi? Did you see ImageThink in action at the conference? Have a favorite speaker? Tweet us @imagethink and let us know!

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