AUSTIN, Texas – The South By Southwest Interactive Conference for digital startups and and emerging technologies officially kicked off on Friday in Austin.
President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the Long Center.
In front of a group of 2,000 spectators, Obama told the crowd that it was great to be back in Austin.
"I'm here because I like excuses to come back to Austin, Texas," Obama said. "That's a good enough reason."
Obama sat down with Evan Smith, editor in chief of the Texas Tribune, to talk about how to make government work better through technology.
"We want to make sure that we are using big data, analytics and technology to make civic participation easier," Obama said. "Increasing voting rates and making sure that people are informed about who they are voting for and why."
Obama called on the audience to make government service work better and make classrooms better by fixing outdated systems to making sure disadvantaged communities are connected.
He also asked the crowd to protect young people from terror groups like ISIS.
"Whatever your concerns are, we need you," Obama said. "In 10 months, I will not have this office. It's not like I stop caring about the things I care about right now."
First lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to speak at SXSW on Wednesday.