(left to right) Google chairman Eric Schmidt, United States Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and “The Innovators” author Walter Isaacson on a Monday, March 16 panel about innovation at SXSW Interactive. Credit: SXSW

Date/time:12:30 p.m. Monday

The gist: At a tech conference, it’s tech leaders who pack in the seats, even more than most celebrities. Who knew? Walter Isaacson, the author of “Steve Jobs” and “The Innovators” moderated a panel on what makes innovation, what could be done better in places like Silicon Valley and Washington D.C., and why history shows us how innovators like pioneer Ada Lovelace did what they did. It seems like there’s a lot of work to do even as technology springs forward; in policy, in promoting the spread of fast Internet and in being more inclusive to what innovation is available and in getting women and minorities into these fields.

Takeaways: Schmidt said three things can solve almost any problem: innovation, entrepreneurship and broadband. True innovation requires an element of rebellion. As far as government, there plenty of people with entrepreneurial spirit, but what’s lacking is more technical knowledge.  Diverse teams make better products. Isaacson’s advice to innovators: “Ask yourself, ‘how is this going to make our society a little bit better and more inclusive?’ ” From Isaacson: “Innovation without execution is hallucination.” Don’t just be an entrepreneur, get to know the technology itself.

Session hashtag:#innovators