Featured Speaker sessions bring together some of the biggest and brightest names of our time for mind-expanding presentations. These high-profile sessions present the key leaders and top trends impacting the SXSW community. Learn more about our 2017 lineup of confirmed speakers below.
Buzz Aldrin with Jeff Kluger (Entertainment Influencers) – Buzz Aldrin is an American engineer and former astronaut known for his historic Apollo 11 moonwalk with colleague Neil Armstrong. Since retiring from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, Aldrin has remained a tireless advocate for human space exploration. Jeffrey Kluger is the Editor at Large for Time magazine and Time.com, principally covering science and social issues.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Entertainment Influencers Track) – David Benioff works as an author and screenwriter. D.B. Weiss is a writer and the author of Lucky Wander Boy. Both Benioff and Weiss are co-creators and executive producers of the Emmy Award-winning Game of Thrones for HBO.
Sen. Cory Booker (Government) – New Jersey Senator and former Newark Mayor Cory Booker has established himself as an innovative and bipartisan problem-solver committed to developing collaborative solutions that address some of our most complex challenges. Booker will be the opening speaker at SXSW 2017.
Anthony Bossis (Health Track) – Dr. Anthony Bossis is a clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and an investigator in FDA-approved psilocybin-generated mystical experience research.
Amber Venz Box (Style Track) – Co-Founder and President of rewardStyle and the cross-channel consumer shopping service, LIKEtoKNOW.it.
John Cena (Sports) – John Cena is a WWE Superstar, 16-time World Champion, actor and television host. Cena devotes much of his time working on behalf of numerous charitable causes. He is Make-A-Wish’s most requested wish granter of all time and the only celebrity to grant 500 wishes.
Steve Case and Beth Comstock (Startup Village Track) – Steve Case is America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution. Beth Comstock is Vice Chairman at GE. In this capacity, she leads GE’s efforts to accelerate new growth.
Vint Cerf interviewed by Susan Hassler (Intelligent Future Track) – Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and Co-Founder of People-Centered Internet, Vint Cerf, will be in conversation with IEEE Spectrum Editor-in-Chief, Susan Hassler.
Dr. Robert Cialdini interviewed by Guy Kawasaki (Brands & Marketing Track) – Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of the groundbreaking book, Influence, and president of INFLUENCE AT WORK will be in conversation with Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool.
Scott Cook (Startup Village Track) – Join expert, Scott Cook, and guest to learn new methods to drive ideation, how to test ideas in more measurable ways and advice to effectively communicate your ideas to decision-makers.
Andrew Coy and Sonya M. Pryor-Jones (Tech Industry) – Andrew Coy served in President Obama’s White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy as Senior Advisor for Making. Sonya M. Pryor-Jones is the Chief Implementation Officer for The Fab Foundation and manages signature projects with Chevron, DARPA and GE.
Kate Crawford (Intelligent Future Track) – Leading researcher, academic, and author who works on the social implications of data, machine learning, and AI. In 2016, she co-chaired the White House symposium AI Now, and wrote about AI and discrimination in The New York Times.
Mark Cuban and Adam Lyons interviewed by Michele Skelding (Tech Industry Track) – During the Featured Session Is Government Disrupting Disruption?, Michele Skelding will interview panelists Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and investor, and Adam Lyons, CEO of The Zebrawill, as they explore working with and against government regulation in marketplaces such as car travel, ticketing, and insurance.
Tom Cwik, Maggie Malone, Steve May, and Vick Schutz (Entertainment Influencers Track) – Tom Cwik leads Space Technology development at JPL, initiating and maintaining the Laboratories long-term tech strategy. Maggie Malone is the Head of Creative Affairs at the Walt Disney Animation Studios, where she has worked on such films as Zootopia, and Frozen. Steve May is the Chief Technology Officer at PIXAR, overseeing the development of visual effects tools and processes for the entire studio. Vick Schutz is the Computer Graphics Supervisor at ILM, where he completed work on films such as Avatar, War of the Worlds, and more.
Nick Denton and Jeff Goodby (Journalism) – Nick Denton is the founder and former proprietor of the Gawker Media Group, one of the most freewheeling and provocative sites on the web that was shuttered after a legal campaign funded by one of the tech billionaires it covered — and provoked. Jeff Goodby is a writer, artist, director and the co-founder of award-winning advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Paul Dillinger and Dr. Ivan Poupyrev for Project Jacquard (Style Track) – Paul Dillinger, Vice President of Global Product Innovation at Levi Strauss & Co., will be in conversation with Dr. Ivan Poupyrev, an award winning scientist, inventor, and designer working at the cutting edge of interactive design and technologies blending the digital and physical realities.
Amy Farley (Food) – Senior editor Amy Farley oversees Fast Company’s front-of-book Next section, covering innovation and creativity in business. Before joining Fast Company, she was the news editor and columnist at Travel + Leisure. Farley and The Kitchen founder Kimbal Musk will discuss how startups are changing the way we experience food.
Gregory F. Fenves in conversation with Bob Metcalfe (Startup Village Track) – Greg Fenves, President of The University of Texas at Austin, will be in conversation with internet pioneer and Ethernet inventor, Bob Metcalfe.
Tim Ferriss and Cheryl Strayed (Journalism) – Tim Ferriss is an early-stage technology investor/advisor and the author of four #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild and the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough.
Mick Fleetwood (Music Influencers) – Mick Fleetwood is a founding member and the drummer for Fleetwood Mac, one of the most successful and enduring bands of the last fifty years. Formed in 1967, their debut hit at #4 in the UK charts bringing overnight success. Fleetwood’s latest endeavor is his forthcoming book Love That Burns – A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac (Genesis Publications).
Bill Ford and Doug Newcomb (Intelligent Future Track) – As Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford Jr. is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. In August, Ford Motor Company announced plans to mass produce a line of self-driving vehicles by 2021. Ford will be in conversation with C3 Group President and Co-founder Doug Newcomb, a leading authority on connected car and mobility.
Alex Gorsky and Ginni Rometty interviewed by Clay Johnston (Health Track) – Clay Johnston, Dean at Dell Medical School, will interview Alex Gorsky, Chairman & CEO of Johnson & Johnson, and Ginni Rometty, President & CEO of IBM Corporation, about the convergence of health and IT during their Featured Session Collaborative Innovation in the Digital Health Age.
Sammy Hagar (Music Influencers) – For the last four decades, Sammy Hagar has been one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists. From breaking into the industry with the seminal hard rock band Montrose, to a multiplatinum solo career. Hagar has also become a dedicated philanthropist, a two-time New York Times best-selling author and auspicious entrepreneur.
Gale Anne Hurd, Richard Gladstein, and Ruth Vitale (Film & TV Industry Track) – During the Featured Session How to Make Art, Pay the Rent, and Survive Piracy, panelists – Academy Award-winning film producer and CEO of Valhalla Entertainment, Gale Anne Hurd; Academy Award-nominated film producer and the Founder and President of FilmColony Richard Gladstein; and CEO of CreativeFuture Ruth Vitale – will explore how to build a career in the arts.
Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro and Dr. Ryuichiro Higashinaka (Intelligent Future Track) – Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro is director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, part of the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, Japan. Dr. Ryuichiro Higashinaka is a Senior Research Scientist at the Audio, Speech, and Language Media Laboratory, a part of the NTT Media Intelligence Laboratories.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs (Entertainment Influencers Track) – President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences serving her fourth term. She has represented the Public Relations Branch as a governor for 24 years. She produced the Academy’s 2012 4th Annual Governors Awards.
Marc Jacobs interviewed by Sally Singer (Style Track) – Design icon Marc Jacobs has stores across the globe featuring Women’s and Men’s RTW and accessories, a children’s line called Little Marc Jacobs, multiple award-winning fragrances, the bookstore Bookmarc, and most recently Marc Jacobs Beauty. Marc Jacobs will be in conversation with Sally Singer, Creative Digital Director of Vogue.
Brad Jakeman (Workplace) – Brad Jakeman is president of PepsiCo Global Beverage Group. Jakeman leads global category strategy, brand building, design, advertising, marketing, innovation and branded content for PepsiCo’s global portfolio of beverages. He will be joining the Elephant on Madison Avenue featured session.
Mary Lou Jepsen (Health Track) – Founder and Chairman of Openwater, whose goal is MRI resolution imaging in a wearable, previously co-founded One Laptop per Child and held executive roles at Facebook, Oculus, Intel, and Google [x].
Bryan Johnson, Adam Cheyer, Reshma Shetty, and Chris Shipley (Intelligent Future) – American entrepreneur and venture capitalist Bryan Johnson is founder and CEO of Kernel and OS Fund. Adam Cheyer is co-Founder and VP Engineering at Viv Labs and was co-founder and vice president of engineering of Siri Inc. Reshma Shetty co-founded synthetic biology Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. Chris Shipley is a writer, analyst, commentator, and co-founder & CEO of Guidewire Group.
Van Jones (Government Track) – Van Jones is an author, CNN political commentator, and host of The Messy Truth with Van Jones on CNN. Jones worked as the green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama, and has founded and led four not-for-profit organizations engaged in social and environmental justice.
Kesha and Amy Emmerich (Social Impact) – Kesha took the world by storm with the release of her debut album Animal in 2010. Kesha has had eight consecutive Top 10 hits, including four #1 singles. Kesha has branched out into TV, philanthropy, film, and fashion becoming a global cultural icon. Amy Emmerich is the chief content officer at Refinery29, the leading digital lifestyle media company for women.
Brian Knappenberger, Julie Bush, Michael Farrell, and Walter Parkes (Entertainment Influencers) – Brian Knappenberger is an award-winning filmmaker and director of NOBODY SPEAK: Trials of the Free Press. Julie Bush is a screenwriter and host of the podcast Threat Surface. Michael Farrell is an editor at The Christian Science Monitor. Walter F. Parkes is an American film producer, screenwriter, and former studio head.
Marie “KonMari” Kondo (Design Track) – Marie “KonMari” Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, author and visionary entrepreneur. Kondo has captured the findings from her lifelong journey of organization as the best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.
Ray Kurzweil and Amy Kurzweil (Tech Industry Track) – Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists. He is co-founder and Chancellor of Singularity University and a Director of Engineering at Google. Amy Kurzweil is a cartoonist and writer whose comics have appeared in The New Yorker. She is the author of Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir (NY Times: Best of 2016). She teaches writing and comics at Fashion Institute of Technology and The New School for Design.
Loic Le Meur, Lili Cheng, Eugenia Kuyda and Stan Chudnovsky (Brands & Marketing) – Loic Le Meur co-founded LeWeb, one of the largest European tech events. Lili Cheng is a Distinguished Engineer and General Manager in Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research. Eugenia Kuyda is co-founder and CEO at Luka. Stan Chudnovsky is Head of Product for Messaging at Facebook.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Timothy Simons, Reid Scott, Gary Cole, Sam Richardson, and David Mandel (Entertainment Influencers) – Join Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the cast of Veep for an intimate and behind the scenes look at the award winning show. Veep will return to HBO for a sixth season.
Mike Luciano, Phil Matarese, and Jen Roskind (Making Film & Episodics) – Mike Luciano and Phil Matarese are the creators, and Jen Roskind is the co-executive producer, of the HBO animated show Animals alongside the Duplass Brothers. The inaugural two episodes premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival followed by a full season debut on HBO in 2016. Season two premieres on HBO beginning March 17.
Parag Khanna (Intelligent Future Track) –Leading global strategist, world traveler, and best-selling author. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Dan Lyons (Tech Industry Track) – Author of the New York Times best-seller, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, and a former writer on HBO’s Silicon Valley.
Michele Madansky, Lisen Stromberg, and Leslie Wingo (Workplace Track) – In a follow up to the SXSW 2016 Elephant in the Valley Keynote, Michele Madansky, Michele Madansky Consulting; Lisen Stromberg, CEO and Founder of PrismWork; and Leslie Wingo, President and CEO SandersWingo come together for the Elephant on Madison Avenue Featured Session to discuss sexual harassment and gender bias in the advertising industry and how it compares to tech.
Candice Morgan (Workplace Track) – Head of Diversity at Pinterest, leading strategy and programs to enhance diversity and inclusion.
Wagner Moura and Alice Braga (Entertainment Influencers Track) – Golden Globe Nominee actor Wagner Moura (Narcos, Netflix) and actress Alice Braga (Queen of the South, USA Network), two Brazilian artists, discuss diversity in Hollywood as both star in cutting-edge, prime-time drama series in the United States with Latin American protagonists.
Kimbal Musk (Food Track) – On the boards of Chipotle, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX. His personal mission is to strengthen communities through food. Musk is a cofounder of The Kitchen, a growing family of restaurants that sources directly from local farmers.
Casey Neistat (Journalism Track) – Casey Neistat is a YouTube creator with over 1.3 billion views, a filmmaker and a technology entrepreneur. In November 2016 he became part of CNN Worldwide, where he is currently building an entirely new stand-alone media and technology company that combines CNN’s global resources with a fresh approach to the news.
Krist Novoselic (Music Influencers) – A member of the groundbreaking rock band Nirvana, Krist Novoselic and his bandmates changed the course of music history with their much-acclaimed album Nevermind. Novoselic went on to become one of rock’s most politically-minded musicians and an influential part of the Northwest political scene. He serves as Board chair for FairVote, a non-profit that seeks to make democracy fair.
Bob Odenkirk (Entertainment Influencers) – Bob Odenkirk is an Emmy® Award-winning comedy writer, producer, actor and New York Times bestselling author. In 2015, Odenkirk reprised the character he originated on the hit drama Breaking Bad, playing the title role in AMC’s Better Call Saul, which has earned him two Critics’ Choice TV Awards and nominations for an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award.
Peggy Orenstein (Social Impact Track) – Author of The New York Times best-sellers Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and Waiting for Daisy among others. She has written for dozens of prestigious magazines and newspapers, with her articles anthologies many times.
Frank Oz and Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Influencers) – Oz is a four-time Emmy winner and he’s performed with The Muppets and on the Star Wars films. He’s also directed over a dozen films including Little Shop of Horrors, and The Score. Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide.
Randall Poster (Making Film & Episodics Track) – Renowned music supervisor, perhaps best known for his long-term collaboration with director Wes Anderson, as well as directors including Harmony Korine, Todd Haynes, Richard Linklater, Todd Phillips, Martin Scorsese, and Sam Mendes.
Sean Rad, Sarah Kate Ellis, Nick Adams, and Zackary Drucker (Social Impact) – Sean Rad is the founder and chairman of Tinder. Sarah Kate Ellis is the president and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization. Nick Adams is the director of GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program. Zackary Drucker is an independent artist, activist, and producer of the TV series Transparent.
Vivek Ranadivé (Sports Track) – Entrepreneur, technology visionary, The New York Times best-selling author and philanthropist, Ranadivé is recognized for his outside-the-box thinking. He is the owner and chairman of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
Rachael Ray (Music Influencers Track) – Television host, best-selling author and Austin enthusiast, Rachael Ray, has hosted two annual Feedback food and music events in Austin during SXSW for the last 9 years which have played host to the likes of The Districts, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Shovels & Rope, JEFF The Brotherhood, Blondie, Raekwon, and over 150 others.
Cecile Richards and David Karp (Social Impact) – Cecile Richards is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. David Karp is the founder and CEO of Tumblr, a platform home to more than 300 million creators, and also a board member of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Sam Catlin, and Garth Ennis (Film & TV Industry) – Seth Rogen is an actor, writer, producer and director known for his work on Sausage Party and Preacher. Evan Goldberg is a Canadian director, screenwriter and executive producer on Preacher. Sam Catlin is the showrunner, executive producer and writer of Preacher. Garth Ennis has been writing comics for 25 years and is the co-executive producer for Preacher.
Will Roper interviewed by Nick Thompson (Government Track) – Will Roper, the Director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), was recently featured on the 60 Minutes segment “The Coming Swarm,” which addressed autonomous drones.” He will be interviewed by Nicholas Thompson, Editor of newyorker.com.
Kerry Rupp (Startup Village) – Kerry Rupp is a General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, a new early-stage venture capital fund investing in women-led businesses in the sustainable consumer and consumer health sectors. Rupp will join Professor Bob Metcalfe and University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves in a discussion about evolving startups at the university level.
Chris Sacca (Startup Village) – Chris Sacca is the founder and chairman of Lowercase Capital, reported to be one of the most successful venture funds in history. These days, you can catch him as a Shark on Shark Tank doing everything he can to make Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary miserable.
Adam Savage (Tech Industry Track) – Internationally renowned television producer, host, maker and public speaker.
Alan and Sarah Schaaf interviewed by James Ledbetter (Tech Industry Track) – Alan Schaaf, Founder and CEO of Imgur, an image-sharing community, and Sarah Schaaf, Director of Community at Imgur, will be interviewed by James Ledbetter, Editor of Inc. magazine and Inc.com.
Gen. Paul J. Selva (Government Track) – Gen. Paul J. Selva (Government Track) – General Selva serves as the 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he is the nation’s second highest-ranking military officer and is a leader of innovation and next-generation technology within the Department of Defense.
Fidji Simo, Tali Rapaport, Stephanie Hannon, and Merci Grace (Development & Code Track) – This Featured Session Product Mavericks: Top Tips From Women Who Build, will feature panelists Fidji Simo (Facebook), Tali Rapaport (Lyft), Stephanie Hannon (Hillary for America), and Merci Grace (Slack). Hear from the women who are defying the numbers, building the products we’re all using each and every day, and are both figuratively and physically shaping our future.
Thad Starner (Intelligent Future Track) – Thad Starner is the Technical Lead of Google Glass, Director of Contextual Computing Groupat Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, and Georgia Tech Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computing.
Bruce Sterling (Tech Industry) – Bruce Sterling is an author, journalist, editor and critic who is best known for 10 science fiction novels, in addition to his short stories, book reviews, design criticism, opinion columns and book introductions. His most recent publication is a collection of Italian fantascienza stories, Utopia Pirata: I Racconti Di Bruno Argento (2016).
Noor Tagouri (Social Impact Track) – Journalist and motivational speaker, Noor Tagouri, has gained international attention since launching the viral #letnoorshine campaign in 2012.
Jake Tapper (Government) – CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper joined the network in 2013. He is the host of The Lead with Jake Tapper and the network’s Sunday morning show, State of the Union. Jake Tapper will interview General Paul J. Selva who is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Elliot Tebele, Jessica Tebele, James Ohliger, and Mick Purzycki (Tech Industry) – Elliot Tebele (@fuckjerry), Jessica Tebele (@beigecardigan), James Ohliger (@krispyshorts), and Mick Purzycki (@jerrynews) are heading to SXSW to lead a moderated discussion on the business of social, the future of how we’ll consume media, and what they’ve learned along the way. Move over cash, content is the new king.
Nadya Tolokonnikova (Music Influencers Track) – Russian conceptual artist, political activist and member of punk rock group Pussy Riot.
Ingrid Vanderveldt (Startup Village Track) – Self-made businesswoman, investor and media personality, Founder & CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020.
Gary Vaynerchuk (Tech Industry Track) – Entrepreneur, investor, four-time New York Times best-selling author, and CEO of VaynerMedia.
Padmasree Warrior (Intelligent Future Track) – Chief Executive Officer of NextEV, U.S., Warrior also serves as the Chief Development Officer of NextEV, as well as a member of its Board of Directors. Forbes has named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” for three years running.
Melanie Whelan and Tyler Haney with Julia Boorstin (Health Track) – Melanie Whelan is the CEO of SoulCycle, the country’s premier indoor cycling brand. Tyler Haney is the Founder and CEO of active lifestyle brand Outdoor Voices. Julia Boorstin is the Senior Media and Entertainment Correspondent for CNBC.
Chris White (Intelligent Future Track) – Chris White is a Principal Researcher and Partner at Microsoft working on special projects. Prior to joining Microsoft, Chris was a Program Manager developing advanced technologies for data science and leading President Obama’s Big Data Initiative at DARPA.
Cindy Wilson (Music Influencers) – Cindy Wilson is a singer, and is one of the lead vocalists, songwriter and a founding member of new wave rock band The B-52s. Her new solo project is as far from The B-52s as one can possibly imagine. Wilson swoons and whispers over swirls of subtle psychedelia, Quincy Jones-era strings, and pulsing synths.
Rainn Wilson and Justin Baldoni (Entertainment Influencers Track) – During their Featured Session, Shake Up the Industry by Entertaining with Empathy, panelists Justin Baldoni, actor, entrepreneur, and founder of Wayfarer Entertainment, and Rainn Wilson, actor and founder of SoulPancake, will explain that how their projects provide an opportunity for people to rethink the industry.
Whitney Wolfe (Intelligent Future Track) – CEO and Founder of Bumble, a social discovery app with a unique twist: encouraging women to make the first move. Using a modern day Sadie Hawkins concept, Bumble creates a selective and meaningful environment for connecting with and discovering new people.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche – (Intelligent Future Track) – Dr. Dieter Zetsche has been a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since December 16, 1998, and Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since January 1, 2006. Zetsche is also Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division. Dr. Dieter Zetsche will focus on the ever growing importance and opportunities of maps for future mobility during his conversation.
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All speakers subject to change.