2021 Sessions

Explore SXSW community-sourced Conference sessions across seven different programming themes for SXSW Online 2021.

Photo by Mike Jordan/Getty Images for SXSW


All ideas received during the PanelPicker® entry period were posted online for community voting. The SXSW community was able to review, comment, and vote to help shape SXSW programming for 2021 SXSW Online.

Community votes comprise 30% of the final decision plus input of the SXSW Staff (30%) and Advisory Board (40%). Together these percentages helped to determine the final content lineup for the 2021 SXSW Online slate of PanelPicker-curated sessions for the Conference. Browse over 230 sessions for SXSW Online below divided by Conference theme.

For 2021, seven Conference themes underscored the event. Browse over 230 sessions for SXSW Online below divided by Conference theme.

Conference Keynotes and sessions will remain available to SXSW Online registrants on the event platform and Connected TV apps through April 18. Browse the complete list of post-event on demand content including select Music showcases and Film programming.

2021 Themes

A New Urgency | Challenging Tech's Path Forward | Cultural Resilience in the Arts | The Rebirth of Business | Transforming the Entertainment Landscape | Connection in Disconnection | An Uncharted Future.


A New Urgency - 2021 SXSW Online - Conference Theme

2020 has amplified issues like racial injustice, poverty, nationalism, and the climate crisis amidst a global pandemic. The future depends on the business, non-profit, government, science, and technology communities all working together. What advancements are needed to create immediate and lasting progress?

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If we are to achieve real change as a society, then the many ways in which the tech industry impacts our lives must be leveraged as a positive force. To build a better tomorrow, what lessons can an industry integral to our existence learn from its current failings?

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Great art often thrives in times of turmoil and chaos. How will the eruption of creativity we are currently seeing across music, film, experiential, written, and visual arts impact our culture for the next decade and beyond?

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From startups to small companies to major corporations, capitalism must be examined as we look to rebuild the global economy. A potential leveling of the playing field awaits if we seize this opportunity for more equitable systems across race, gender, and class.

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Conventional wisdom from entertainment industries has lost its shine in the face of evolving consumer habits, technological advancements, and an increased focus on social issues. These pressures are forcing a much needed metamorphosis. What lessons can music, film, television, sports, and gaming learn to keep up with an ever-accelerating pace of change?

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We’re living lives we never could have imagined as we head into our own brave new world. The consequences of social isolation have been brewing for years. Now online platforms are some of the only outlets available to foster a sense of community. How do we return to a world where individual concerns give way to embracing the value of humanity?

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Biohacking, consumer space travel, quantum physics, radical life extension, drone delivery — these concepts that once belonged in science fiction are now part of our immediate future. What mind-blowing new ideas will inspire the next generation of innovators?

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