Chances are, you may have never heard of Dewey Winburne, especially if you are somewhat new to Austin. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time to help change that possibility, in a small way.
Because, regardless of whether you never met Dewey Winburne before he died in 1999 or have never even heard the name before, Dewey is a symbol for Austin and its tumultuous, joyous, sometimes depressing, yet eternally optimistic tech start-up ecosystem and the collateral acts of goodwill that thrive alongside the entrepreneurial journey.
I won’t go into Dewey’s life, partly because I personally never met him during his years of greatest visibility as an ambassador for SXSW, and partly because I can’t imagine ever being able to do as good a job as the tribute website that has stood in his honor for years: http://www.patrickcurry.com/dewey/ But, it’s a life that merits a few moments of reflection, which I hope you will take to honor his memory, by following the link.
For several years, carrying forward a tradition of honoring Dewey’s memory, the SXSW Interactive organizers have circulated a call for nominations that goes something like this:
Greetings and happy early October from SXSW-land.
I am writing because you are a past honoree for the Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards, which have traditionally recognized Austin-area technology-related do-gooders…
As a past Dewey honoree, we would love to hear your ideas about your friends / peers / associates / followers / heros who are doing good work through new media in Austin, as well as in other communities around Texas, around the nation, and around the world.
What kinds of people are we looking for? This person might be a teacher who is using new media in some amazing way. Or, this person might be a software developer who has created an app that helps improve the living conditions of a particular area. Or, this person might be a community organizer who has a particularly innovative strategy with regards to technology.
There are numerous other kinds of people who would be a great candidate for the 2012 Dewey Awards. Indeed, just so long as this person works at a grassroots level to better society through the power of new media, then you are on the right track with your idea.
Yes, I receive this email because I’m a past Dewey Winburne Award finalist. In other words, I’m a little Dewey (see below). But, you don’t have to be a past finalist or award recipient to nominate candidates for the award. In fact, in the 2012 SXSW plans are efforts to make the Winburne Award one for a global audience.
Help make it so, by passing on the story of Dewey Winburne to others, by nominating a deserving candidate, and by attending the 2012 Awards ceremony. You don’t have to be a nominee to be a little Dewey yourself.
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The title of this post “I’m a little Dewey” has an added, double meaning for me as it is the last one I’ll be writing as a regular contributor for AustinStartup. Not to get overly misty-eyed or sentimental, but the friends I’ve met through the tech start-up scene in Austin have meant a lot to me.
Now, as I head to China to help my own start-up, Appconomy, accomplish what we hope are great things, I look forward to getting involved in the start-up scene and adding new friends there. When I’m not writing about the mobile scene for Appconomy, I plan to chronicle observations via my personal blog (guengerich.com).
I’ll also be introducing readers to one or two of the more popular Chinese social media, if you care to follow along – hope to hear from you!
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From the generosity and good record-keeping of the SXSW organizers, here is a full accounting of Dewey Winburne Community Service Award honorees (finalists and recipients) – the next time you see one of these women or men, take a moment to say “thanks” or – better yet – ask them what they are doing in the community!
Ileana Abounader, Brenda Adrian, Jim Allan, Shahed Amanullah, Stephen Amos, Meredith Beal, Tricia Berry, Anthony Bertucci, Bianca Bickford, Janet Blake, Silona Bonewald, Dennis Borel, Stacy Bouwman, Donny Branam, Lisa Byrd, Andres Carvallo, Gary Chapman, Jeanine Christensen, Sue Cole, Pierce Collins, Jayne Cravens, Julia Cuba,
Laura Donnelly, Thea Eaton, Dave Evans, Jennifer Evans, Joe Faulk, Teresa Ferguson, Tiffany Galligan, Juan Garcia, Rodney Gibbs, Lisa Goldman, Danny Gomez, Mona Gonzalez, Sheri Graner Ray, Steve Guengerich, Bobbie Guerra, Richard Halpin, Wendell Handy, Sheena Harden, Tim Harrell, Rondella Hawkins, Josie Hughes,
Kat Jones, Leroy Jones, Kathy Keller, Karen Kreps, Joyce Lauck, Jon Lebkowsky, Walter Lenoir, Herman Lessard, Adina Levin, Nick Lewis, Rich MacKinnon, Dario Martinez, Jan McSorley, Lisa McWilliams, Gordon Montgomery, Melanie Moore, Maria Morissey, Rachel Muir, David Neff, Joanna Nigrelli, Pat Pound, Roberta Przybylski,
Alicia Rascon, Armando Rayo, Connie Reece, Sam Robertson, Monica Roesch, Chip Rosenthal, Sharron Rush, Keith Rutledge, Dave Sanders, Carl Settles, Randi Shade, Trent Sharp, Dr. John Slatin, Leroy Smith, Harvey Smith, Ken Starks, Roger Steele, Sharon Strover, Dale Thompson, Angela-Ja Touza-Medina,
Allen Weeks, Adam Weinroth, Melvin White, Monica Williams, Stefan Wray, Richard Yu, and Kevin Zeppernick.