Inspiration this October: Spotlight on SXSW Eco 2013 Speakers

Written by Jordan Roberts | September 17, 2013

SXSW Eco Speakers Adrian Grenier, Amber Valletta and Ron Finley SXSW Eco speakers are pioneering individuals and systems influencers who are actively working to take us beyond sustainability and passionate about sharing their original perspectives. Below we have highlighted a smattering of not-to-be-missed speaker sessions including a sustainable fashionista, a "gangster gardener," a comedic green news journalist and many others! View the 285+ speakers on our online schedule and begin planning your SXSW Eco adventure that's right around the corner, October 7-9.

This Friday, September 20 marks the final day to book a hotel at the group rate through the SXSW Housing Desk and save off the walk up rate for a badge. Register today and book your hotel to experience three full days of inspiring speakers, engaging sessions and more!


  • Ron Finley, designer and self-proclaimed "gangster gardener," doesn't plant in rows; he prefers his gardens to be a wild array of textures, colors and smells because "nothing in nature is straight." This is the perfect analogy for why we chose him to present the Opening Remarks Keynote at SXSW Eco. Finley also joins other leaders and innovators in sustainable food on the panel, Food in the City: Designing a Healthy Food Future.

  • Chip Giller is the founder and editor of the environmental web magazine Grist, known for dishing out green news and commentary with a wry twist since 1999. Giller heads the session So This Climate Walks Into a Bar: Why Humor and Storytelling Matter in the Fight for the Planet exploring how humor leads to meaningful action and why storytelling is a crucial part of the sustainability movement.

  • Amber Valletta – supermodel, humanitarian and entrepreneur – is currently working on launching a sustainable fashion and lifestyle brand. She will join fashion and business experts including environmental icon Summer Rayne Oakes, Modavanti founder David Dietz and more in a session titled Sustainability: The Future of Fashion, which will explore the latest initiatives and advancements in responsible fashion.

  • Brian Merchant of Vice Magazine is a journalist who dives into the issues surrounding climate, clean energy and technology. As the senior editor of Motherboard, Vice's science and technology department, Merchant has contributed to the likes of Slate, GOOD, Discovery News and others. Merchant joins Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Cara Pike on the panel Shattering the Barriers, which will explore ways to use the strengths of culture to overthrow its weaknesses.

  • Adrian Grenier is an actor, filmmaker and co-founder of SHFT, a digital media platform that brings a filmmaker's perspective to sustainability. In the session Positive Propaganda: Creative Media to Nudge Social Change, SHFT co-founders Peter Glatzer and Grenier will discuss their work to tackle the communication challenge facing environmental issues.

  • Eden Full is an aspiring product designer interested in human-centered, appropriate technology for the developing world. She is the inventor of the SunSaluter, a low-cost mechanism that optimizes solar panels while providing clean water. During the Straight to the Point session, Rising Stars I: The New Class of Impact Entrepreneurs, Design Curator at GOOD Adele Peters will speak with Eden about the challenges she faced as a young entrepreneur while establishing her clean technology startup.

    Photos courtesy the speakers - Adrian Grenier, Amber Valletta and Ron Finley