Featured Speakers

March 13-21, 2020

SXSW Featured Speakers are leading figures in society and industry, presenting mind-expanding ideas to shape today and tomorrow.



2020 Featured Speakers


2019 Featured Speaker, David Byrne – Photo by  Aaron Rogosin

2019 Featured Speaker, David Byrne – Photo by Aaron Rogosin

About Featured Speakers

 

Spanning the many themes and trends of SXSW, Featured Speakers present a snapshot of the ideas that can most transform our future. Browse 2020 Featured Speakers and Featured Sessions below.

To explore more influential speakers at SXSW, visit the Keynotes page and all confirmed 2020 programming on the SXSW Schedule.

Access these exciting speaker presentations and more when you register to join us this March for the 2020 SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin, TX. Stay tuned for more SXSW programming announcements throughout the season at SXSW News.

2020 Featured Speakers

 

Stay tuned to SXSW News as even more Featured Speakers and Featured Sessions are added throughout the 2020 SXSW season.

As you get to know the latest speaker additions below, add events to your SXSW Schedule and explore 22 programming tracks associated with each Conference session.

  • Composer (Us, Get Out) Michael Abels in conversation with Politifact creator and professor Bill Adair (Making Film & Episodics Track)

  • TBWA\Media Arts Lab Global Chief Creative Officer Brent Anderson (Advertising & Brand Experience Track)

  • Comedian, actor, creator, and host of Adult Swim’s hit series The Eric Andre Show, and star of Bad Trip Eric Andre has joined a conversation with Academy Award-winning filmmaker and director of Apple’s upcoming documentary feature Beastie Boys Story, Spike Jonze (Making Film & Episodics)

  • Director and comedian Judd Apatow will interview Emmy and Peabody Award-winning host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, bestselling author, producer, and comedian, Stephen Colbert (Film & TV Industry Track)

  • Former Microsoft CEO and founder of the non-partisan and non-profit USAFacts, the most comprehensive online source of American government data Steve Ballmer (Government & Politics Track)

  • Beat Games s.r.o co-founder and Head of Music Jaroslav Beck (Future of Music Track)

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee host, comedian, writer, producer, and actress Samantha Bee (Media & Journalism Track)

  • Actor, entrepreneur, and Founder of Belushi’s Farm Jim Belushi (Cannabusiness Track)

  • Founder and Chief Trend Curator of the Non-Obvious Company Rohit Bhargava (Fantastic Future Track)

  • Producer, songwriter, artist Benny Blanco (Future of Music Track)

  • Founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer in conversation with Politico federal cannabis policy reporter Natalie Fertig (Cannabusiness Track)

  • Researcher and #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Brené Brown as part of the launch of her new weekly podcast, Unlocking Us, in conversation with activist and #metoo founder Tarana Burke, on the topic of empathy (Climate & Social Action Track)

  • Multi-Platinum rapper, comedian, producer, writer, and star of FXX’s DAVE Dave Burd in conversation with director and Dave co-creator, executive producer and writer Jeff Schaffer (Making Film & Episodics Track)

  • Amazon Web Services Vice President of Public Sector Partners and Programs Sandy Carter (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona Noam Chomsky, with senior columnist at The Intercept and host of the Deconstructed podcast, Mehdi Hassan (Government & Politics Track)

  • Veteran industry executive and River House Artists founder Lynn Oliver-Cline (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

  • Future of Sex founder and podcast host Bryony Cole (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Patreon co-founder, musician, and filmmaker Jack Conte (Future of Music Track)

  • Entrepreneur, activist, and writer Anil Dash and writer and News Editor of The Root Monique Judge (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Cannabis rights activist Steve DeAngelo (Cannabusiness Track)

  • Multitalented comedians, authors of the upcoming book God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx, and co-hosts of Showtime’s first late-night talk show Desus and Mero as well as the long-running Bodega Boys podcast Desus Nice and The Kid Mero (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Venture capitalist and leading spokesperson for Bitcoin, Blockchain, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies, as well as the founder of Draper Associates Tim Draper (Startups Track)

  • Performer and independent afrobeats artist Mr. Eazi joined Featured Session The Path To Creative & Economic Freedom with CEO and Founder of Platoon Denzyl Feigelson (Future of Music)

  • Starburst Accelerator co-founder & Managing Partner Van Espahbodi (Space Track)

  • CEO and Founder of Platoon Denzyl Feigelson (Future of Music Track)

  • Graphika Chief Innovation Officer Camille François (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Entrepreneurs and Magnolia founders Chip and Joanna Gaines (Media & Journalism Track)

  • Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, and creator, writer and director of the upcoming FX on Hulu limited series Devs, Alex Garland (Making Film and Episodics Track)

  • Psychotherapist, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and nationally recognized journalist Lori Gottlieb. She serves as the Opening Speaker for the 2020 SXSW Conference, taking the stage at 11 am on Friday, March 13. (Connection & Culture Track)

  • CEO of Verizon Media Guru Gowrappan (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital Arlan Hamilton (Startups Track)

  • Center for Humane Technology co-founder and design ethicist Tristan Harris (Design Track)

  • Since the 80s co-founder and head of marketing, Kei Henderson (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

  • Electronic musician and composer Holly Herndon (Future of Music Track)

  • Award-winning writer and publisher of the Water & Music newsletter Cherie Hu (Future of Music Track)

  • Entrepreneur and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in conversation with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Author and co-founder and CEO of Affectiva Dr. Rana el Kaliouby (Fantastic Future Track)

  • Thirty Five Ventures co-founder and partner, and Kevin Durant’s manager Rich Kleiman in conversation with ESPN host, former basketball player, and entrepreneur Jay Williams in a discussion about The Boardroom: the innovative content platform that showcases the new way athletes & executives engage off the court and at the intersection of sports, business, tech, entertainment, and culture (Sports Track)

  • Cirque du Soleil, One Drop Foundation and Lune Rouge founder Guy Laliberté (Climate & Social Action Track)

  • WIRED Editor-At-Large and author Steven Levy with Senior Editor-At-Large at LinkedIn Jessi Hempel (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Global adventurer, TV host, motivational speaker, and bestselling author Leon Logothetis (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Multi-Grammy Award winning musician, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Ben Lovett (Future of Music Track)

  • Designer, author and technologist John Maeda (Design Track)

  • One of the world’s most respected film critics and historians, and author of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, Leonard Maltin; with his daughter and co-host of the Maltin on Movies podcast, Jessie Maltin (Film & TV Industry Track)

  • Actor and comedian Cheech Marin in conversation with Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Journalist, writer, attorney, and the host of MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, Ari Melber has been added to a conversation with CEO and co-founder of 300 Entertainment and author Kevin Liles (Future of Music)

  • Bassist, composer, and YouTuber Adam Neely (Future of Music Track)

  • Researcher and #1 New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Brené Brown as part of the launch of her new weekly podcast, Unlocking Us, in conversation with Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness, on the topic of vulnerability (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Professional speaker and storyteller Dan Nevins, Yoga instructor Gioconda Parker and Wanderlust Yoga Austin founder Ashley Spence in conversation about Rising Voices, a training platform that provides healing and authentic connection through storytelling (Climate & Social Action Track)

  • NSA Director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger with WIRED editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • James Beard Award-winning chef and author Kwame Onwuachi (Connection & Culture Track)

  • Executive Director of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Cat Packer (Cannabusiness Track)

  • Founder and CEO of DropLabs and former CEO of Beats By Dre Susan Paley (Future of Music Track)

  • Canva CEO and co-founder Melanie Perkins (Design Track)

  • C3 Presents concert and festival promoter Huston Powell (Future of Music Track)

  • Acclaimed country singer-songwriter Margo Price (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

  • Boston Dynamics Founder and Chairman Marc Raibert (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Musician, producer and songwriter Nile Rodgers in conversation with music industry executive and entrepreneur Merck Mercuriadis (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

  • Professor, sound engineer, and record producer Susan Rogers (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

  • Riot Games Chief Diversity Officer Angela Roseboro (Game Industry Track)

  • New York Magazine and Vulture senior art critic Jerry Saltz (Design Track)

  • Actor, writer, director, producer, and New York Times bestselling author, Jason Segel, who is the creator and star of the new AMC drama Dispatches from Elsewhere (Making Film & Episodics Track)

  • Screenwriter, director, and producer M. Night Shyamalan (Film & TV Industry Track)

  • Executive Chairman of S4 Capital Sir Martin Sorrell (Advertising & Brand Experience Track)

  • Mycologist and author Paul Stamets (Health & MedTech Track)

  • Writer, journalist, editor, and science fiction novelist Bruce Sterling (Fantastic Future Track)

  • eOne Music Global President Chris Taylor (Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

  • Multi-talented comedy writer and performer, creator, star, and executive producer of HBO’s, A Black Lady Sketch Show Robin Thede in conversation with Fast Company associate editor KC Ifeanyi  (Film & TV Industry Track)

  • Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri (Sports Track)

  • Amazon.com Chief Technology Officer Dr. Werner Vogels (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Acclaimed anime and film director, Shinichirō Watanabe, director of Carole and Tuesday, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and most recently Blade Runner Blackout 2022 (Making Film & Episodics Track)

  • Quantitative futurist, author and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

  • Reddit Chief Operating Officer Jen Wong (Advertising & Brand Experience Track)

  • Author and scholar Shoshana Zuboff (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track)

View Featured Speakers Schedule

All speakers subject to change.

2020 FEATURED SESSIONS

 
  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track) – A conversation on the emergence of surveillance capitalism as the dominant form of information capitalism and its implications for individuals, society, and democracy in the 21st century with producer, musician, and songwriter T Bone Burnett, and author and scholar Shoshanna Zuboff.

  • Are You Ready for the Future of Space Exploration? (Space Track): Join NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Tyler N. “Nick” Hague with CNN Business writer Jackie Wattles as they discuss how we’ll get people back to the Moon, what they’ll do there and how it will lay the groundwork for missions to Mars.

  • The Big Picture Live: The Illusion of Identity with Frank Oz and Derek DelGaudio (Making Film & Episodics): Ringer Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey sits down with filmmaker Frank Oz and writer / creator Derek DelGaudio

  • The Black List Podcast (Film & TV Industry Track): Co-hosted by Black List founder Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen featuring Wu-Tang Clan founding member, filmmaker, and Cut Throat City director RZA. Coming soon to LuminaryPodcasts.com.

  • The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen (Connection & Culture Track) – A behind-the-scenes conversation with Bon Appétit Test Kitchen chefs Brad Leone, Claire Saffitz, Andy Baraghani, Molly Baz, Chris Morocco, Carla Lalli Music, and Alex Delany appearing on stage together for the first time outside of New York.

  • Building the Consumer Bank of the Future From Scratch (Workplace Track): A conversation about the transformation and innovation happening at Goldman Sachs with chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs group, David M. Solomon and Managing Editor of Business at Axios, Jennifer Kingson.

  • Changing the Immersive Storytelling Wild West (Experiential Storytelling Track) – A conversation about how to collaborate to create sustainable, transformative and inclusive work in immersive storytelling, between Royal Shakespeare Company Director of Digital Development Sarah Ellis; anthropologist, technologist, professor and Intel senior fellow Genevieve Bell; and Guild of Future Architects Executive Director Kamal Sinclair. Moderated by Watershed CEO Clare Reddington.

  • Climate Justice and Unlearned Lessons of the Day the Levees Broke (Climate & Social Action): In this session, The Atlantic’s staff writer Vann Newkirk and CNN’s chief climate correspondent Bill Weir will share their reporting on issues of climate change, where vulnerable communities are increasingly on the frontlines. Joining the session is Aracely Jimenez of the Sunrise Movement, which mobilizes young people to take action to combat climate change.

  • Disrupfluencing in the Age of Social Media with Jaboukie Young-White (Connection & Culture Track): Social media titan and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah correspondent, Jaboukie Young-White charts the future iteration of internet culture. In this multimedia presentation, Young-White will teach the next generation of social influencers the disruptive tools they need to master the art of online personal brand impact.

  • Driving Herbal Economic Equality (Cannabusiness Track): Listen to hip-hop legend Raekwon discuss his newest venture alongside CitizenGrown CCO, Deepa Vora, Vice host and executive producer of Weediquette Krishna Andavalu, and author, influencer and The Breakfast Club co-host Charlamagne tha God, as they discuss the opportunity of leveraging cannabis as a tool for the community and why the bulk of the new market economy should be delivered for opportunity and economic growth.

  • Embracing Mental Wellness at Home and in the Workplace (Connection & Culture Track): Author, mental health advocate, and CCO of ban.do Jen Gotch, in conversation with Fast Company writer Rina Raphael, shares her personal journey, dives into how fostering a healthy online community can create positive conversations around mental health, and how she balances professional and personal responsibilities as a mental health advocate.

  • Escaping Doom: Transforming Science into Experience (Design Track) – A conversation about how scientific research can be integrated into an engaging, entertaining, and educational storytelling experience, with Gensler principal David Kramer; University of Texas Assistant Dean, School of Design and Creative Technologies Doreen Lorenzo; Associate Professor in the Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Texas Fernanda Leite; and general manager of Unreal Engine at Epic Games Marc Petit.

  • Featured Session: Hear To Slay Podcast with Roxane Gay & Tressie McMillan Cottom (Connection & Culture Track) – A live podcast recording offering compelling conversations and uncommonly incisive reads of the politics and pop culture that shape the world we live in, featuring writer, editor and podcaster Roxane Gay; award-winning professor and author Tressie McMillan Cottom; and Special Guest.

  • The Future of Independent Media (Media & Journalism Track) – A discussion about what journalism will look like in 10 years: the evolving relationship between audiences and journalists, how journalism will be funded in the future and the intersection of technology and independent media, with Director of Investments, Independent Media for Luminate Nishant Lalwani, Rappler CEO Maria A. Ressa, and Principal of NWong Strategies Nicole Wong.

  • The Future of Influence is #accountable (Advertising & Brand Experience Track) – A conversation about the spread of misinformation on social platforms and the responsibility of influencers, featuring actress and activist Sophia Bush and Seed Health co-founder and co-CEO Ara Katz.

  • Holding our Humanity: From the Border and Beyond (Connection & Culture Track): Through their work at the border, each of them has used their platform to highlight the struggle of families and children in this area, tell their stories, uplift voices and focus on their humanity. This conversation with activist and co-founder of This is About Humanity Elsa Collins, and actor, activist, entrepreneur and co-founder of HARNESS Wilmer Valderrama will focus on how their journey has influenced them to talk about how they are invested in inspiring others to use their gifts and become an activist in their own life.

  • How HBO Max Plans to Break Through the Streaming Space (Media & Journalism Track): A conversation about HBO Max’s strategy to expand a treasured brand into new (streaming) territory, how it will stay disciplined in a marketplace that is anything but, and the importance of quality programming in an age of infinite content, with Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer Robert Greenblatt, and Chairman and CEO of MediaLink Michael E. Kassan.

  • How to be Political in an Apolitical World (Future of Music Track) – A conversation about political activism in the music industry and the role artists can play in driving change, featuring Run the Jewels manager Amaechi Uzoigwe; #iVoted founder Emily White; Middle West Management and “46 for 46” founder Kyle Frenette; and artist and activist Madame Gandhi.

  • How Women are Reclaiming Their Power to Advance Gender Equity (Film & TV Industry Track): A conversation exploring the backlash to the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements; the perpetuation and stigma of shame, and how to overcome it; and what responsibility the entertainment industry has in working on intersecting issues core to women’s lives, with The Good Place actress, activist and founder of I Weigh Jameela Jamil in conversation with President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center and co-founder of TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, Fatima Goss Graves.

  • How Women Win on Gun Safety – and Stop the NRA (Government & Politics Track): Tackling an increasingly pressing issue in America, this session will explore how a grassroots army of “mothers and others” transformed gun violence prevention from a third rail in electoral politics to a central plank of the 2020 election, featuring Oscar and Emmy Award-winning actress, and Creative Council chair of Everytown for Gun Safety Julianne Moore, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts, 2-time WNBA Champion and gun safety advocate Devereaux Peters, and MSNBC Political Analyst and MoveOn’s Chief Public Affairs Officer Karine Jean-Pierre.

  • Immersive Entertainment and the Future of Games (Game Industry Track) – Join technology pioneer, entrepreneur, and scientist Nolan Bushnell; founder of Collabsco Valerie Vacante; and Hollywood Creative Director turned game maker Zai Ortiz.

  • The Intersection of Music, Business, & Alcohol (Future of Music Track): For years we have lost members of the music community to substances and recent tragedies have amplified calls for action. This conversation with Grammy-nominated musician and member of SOFI TUKKER Sophie Hawley-Weld, Athletic Brewing Company founder Bill Shufelt, and former professional athlete and Creative Projects Manager for RICKiRICKi Richie Crowley, will explore attitudes, surface consumer trends, and interpret lyrics to help us understand our affinity, or dependency, for alcohol.

  • Journeying to the Outpost of Humanity in Space (Space Track): Join co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios Felix Lajeunesse, TIME Editorial Director of Enterprise and Immersive Experiences, Mia Tramz, NASA ISS communication manager Dylan Mathis, and astronaut Jeanette J. Epps in a conversation about the rise of public and private collaborations to create immersive experiences like Space Explorers: the ISS Experience — the most ambitious project ever filmed in Space — that transport audiences to the edge of space exploration.

  • Leadership in Turbulent Times (Media & Journalism Track): A conversation about the unprecedented period of disruption in the media and technology industry, and the strong leadership that is required to navigate that change, with former University of Texas Chancellor and retired U.S Navy Four-Star Admiral William McRaven and Executive VP and General Manager of CNN Digital Worldwide Andrew Morse.

  • Less Trust, More Truth: The Web 3.0 Thesis (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track) – A presentation on trust, truth, and the new internet with Ethereum co-founder and CTO Dr. Gavin Wood with a Q&A by Austin Blockchain Collective Executive Director Pete Harris.

  • Marvel Comics: The Oral History of the X-Men (Connection & Culture Track): Marvel’s Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski, and EVP, Creative Director + fan-favorite writer/artist Joe Quesada lead an interactive discussion on the storied history of the most beloved super hero team of all time, the X-Men! Join them as they walk through the franchise that revolutionized comics and re-defined the boundaries of super hero fiction – from its creation in the 1960s, to its various TV & film iterations, and finally to the current startling world of the HOUSE OF X that has captivated fans and critics alike!

  • The Music World Beyond Streaming (Future of Music Track) – A conversation about authenticity and brand partnerships in music, with President, CMO, and Founding Partner of WeTransfer Damian Bradfield and Founder and CEO of Q&A Troy Carter.

  • Nat Geo Storytellers: Exploration Unleashed (Film & TV Industry Track) – A conversation about modern day exploration with National Geographic’s award-winning scientist, technologist and adventurer Albert Lin, and award-winning correspondent, investigative journalist, and National Geographic’s Mariana van Zeller.

  • The Next Big Bets: Optimists’ Take on the Media Landscape (Media & Journalism): Hear from three leaders who are navigating a fast-changing industry with partnerships, creativity, community building — and making big bets. A conversation with Vox Media co-founder and CEO Jim Bankoff; renowned journalist turned podcast host and founder of Katie Couric Media, Katie Couric; NYU Marketing professor, founder of section4, bestselling author, and co-host of the Pivot podcast, Scott Galloway; and moderated by Hollywood Reporter Editor Natalie Jarvey

  • Oxygen’s Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project (Climate & Social Action Track): In June 2018, Kim Kardashian West used her global fame to publicly campaign for criminal justice reform by convincing the White House to grant Alice Marie Johnson clemency. Inspired by her work with Johnson, Kardashian has made it her personal mission to lobby for systematic change and advocate for the men and women who she and her legal experts believe have been unfairly sentenced. Now, as she pursues her own career in law, Kardashian is dedicating both personal resources and her public platform to the cause. Her upcoming documentary for Oxygen, Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project captures Kim as she lends a hand to right injustices and advocate for change. Ahead the documentary’s debut in April, Kim Kardashian West sits down for a discussion on criminal justice reform with NBC News’ Today, co-host of The 3rd Hour of Today and anchor of MSNBC Live Craig Melvin, #cut50 Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Jessica Jackson along with Momolu Stewart, who is featured in the documentary, and was recently released after serving 22 years in prison.

  • The Privacy Project at SXSW (Government & Politics Track): Privacy’s boundaries are in dispute. Its future is in doubt. Join New York Times Opinion writers Charlie Warzel as he takes you inside The Privacy Project, a year-long initiative exploring the key questions facing us all: Does privacy matter? What do they know, and how do they know it? What should be done about it? And what can I do? Then, contributing writer Kara Swisher will sit down with entrepreneur, founder of Venture 4 America, and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang to discuss the promise and peril of big tech, and the tradeoffs of government regulation.

  • QuickTake by Bloomberg: Disrupting Global News in a Streaming World (Media & Journalism Track): In this conversation with Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin B. Smith and QuickTake by Bloomberg General Manager Jean Ellen Cowgill, hear how social media has transformed the pace and delivery of global news, and get the first look at the new streaming global news channel and over-the-top (OTT) programming from QuickTake by Bloomberg. Hear how QuickTake is taking the fight to the traditional networks and reinventing premium news video for the next generation.

  • SBIR Means Billions of Dollars for Startups (Government & Politics Track): Government innovation is often as much about acquisition (how to buy things) as it is about technology. Former Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon will lead a discussion with Commanding General, Army Futures Command General John “Mike” Murray, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Dr. Will Roper, and Microsoft president Brad Smith about how the Air Force, Army and Navy are working together on a joint initiative to award startups billions of dollars in funding through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.

  • Sparking Female Stories: Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere (Making Film & Episodics Track) – Join the powerhouse production team behind Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere, for a conversation around the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry today. Showrunner and executive producer Liz Tigelaar, directors Lynn Shelton, Nzingha Stewart, Michael Weaver, and executive producers Lauren Neustadter of Hello Sunshine and Pilar Savone of Simpson Street will discuss the importance of using storytelling as a means of charting a new path forward for women and how they are working with stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, who are leading the charge in female-driven productions, to transform gender and ethnic representation in film and television.

  • A Starting Point (Government & Politics): A conversation about a new civics engagement project aimed at helping to demystify politics while bringing our elected leaders closer to the communities they represent. Hosted by the organization’s co-founders actor/director Chris Evans; Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated filmmaker/actor Mark Kassen; media and technology entrepreneur Joe Kiani; and executive producer and host of the Tamron Hall Show, Tamron Hall.

  • Technology + Storytelling = Magic (Experiential Storytelling Track): Today’s technological revolution is changing the game when it comes to experiential storytelling, and Disney is staying ahead of the curve by leveraging emerging tech to revolutionize the Guest Experience. In this conversation, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, will be joined by Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios, and Chief Creative Officer, Marvel, and Disney Imagineers to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at some of the incredible innovations Disney uses to bring stories to life at destinations around the world.

  • Tools and Weapons: The Promise and Peril of the Digital Age (Tech Industry & Enterprise Track): A provocative, compelling conversation with Microsoft President Brad Smith that addresses some of the thorniest issues faced by industry and society today. How can the hope technology offers be protected against the very real threats it also presents?

  • What A Time To Be Alive (Creating & Monetizing Music Track): Did you ever wonder how a song comes into being? How much of it is inspiration vs. perspiration? Musician Beabadoobee will join Britt Daniel, Matthew Caws and Mac McCaughan as they attempt to deconstruct the mystery of the songwriting process, while also performing some of your favorites.

  • Wondery Presents: The Success of Blood Ties and the Future of Scripted Drama (Making Film & Episodics): Wondery’s CEO and Founder Hernan Lopez and Chief Content Officer Marshall Lewy, and star of Blood Ties Gillian Jacobs in conversation with Hollywood Reporter Editor Natalie Jarvey

View Featured Sessions Schedule

All speakers subject to change.

Welcome to the Future | SXSW 2020

Join creatives, innovators, and thought leaders from around the world and turn your ideas into reality this March.

Experience 10 days of unparalleled discovery, learning, and networking across tech, film, and music industries at the 2020 SXSW Conference & Festivals from March 13-22, 2020 in Austin, Texas.

Brandi Carlile Interviews Elisabeth Moss at SXSW 2019

Grammy winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile interviews Emmy Award-winning actress Elisabeth Moss about her intense transformation to play punk rocker Becky Something in the acclaimed film Her Smell.

Watch Now
Featured Session: Elisabeth Moss with Brandi Carlile - Photo by Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW

Featured Session: Elisabeth Moss with Brandi Carlile - Photo by Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW

Trevor Noah and The Daily Show News Team on Changing Media at SXSW 2019

CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper sat down with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah and correspondents Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan, Roy Wood Jr., and Jaboukie Young-White to panel harder than anyone has ever paneled before at SXSW 2019.

Watch Now
Trevor Noah and Jake Tapper at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Featured Session – Photo by Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW

Trevor Noah and Jake Tapper at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Featured Session – Photo by Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW

Stacey Abrams: Making Change Out of Defeat at SXSW 2019

Sit down with Stacey Abrams for a conversation covering how to stay mad but stay busy and ultimately drive lasting and meaningful change.

Watch Now
2019 Featured Speaker, Stacey Abrams - Photo by Danny Matson/Getty Images for SXSW

2019 Featured Speaker, Stacey Abrams - Photo by Danny Matson/Getty Images for SXSW

Neil Gaiman on Taking Good Omens from Book to Screen

Prepare thyself, something wickedly good this way comes. Best-selling author Neil Gaiman took to the SXSW stage for a conversation with writer and actress Kirsten Vangsness about his mini-series adaptation of Good Omens.

Watch Now
2019 SXSW Featured Speaker, Neil Gaiman – Photo by Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

2019 SXSW Featured Speaker, Neil Gaiman – Photo by Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Government and Courage at SXSW 2019

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat down with The Intercept‘s Senior Politics Editor Brihna Gray for a conversation at SXSW 2019 about identity, the race/class divide, and how these factors are likely to play out in the years ahead.

Watch Now
2019 SXSW Featured Speaker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – By Merrick Ales

2019 SXSW Featured Speaker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – By Merrick Ales

Tinker Hatfield on Design with Scott Dadich at SXSW 2019

Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s VP of Creative Concepts and legend among sneaker-heads, breaks down the creative process, exploring how different disciplines of design influence, inform, and inspire each other along with Abstract co-creator Scott Dadich.

Watch Now
2019 Featured Session, Tinker Hatfield with Scott Dadich - Photo by Christopher Bouie

2019 Featured Session, Tinker Hatfield with Scott Dadich - Photo by Christopher Bouie

Learn More

Explore SXSW Conference Tracks

Featuring 22 tracks of programming, the SXSW Conference invites attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of film, culture, music, and technology.

Learn More

Attend SXSW 2020

Join the world’s brightest creators March 13-22 at the 2020 SXSW Conference & Festivals. Register to attend and book your hotel to begin your SX adventure!

Register Now

Explore the SXSW Conference

Conference Sponsors

White Claw logo
American Express logo
Audible logo
Kia logo
Austin Chronicle logo

Stay Tuned

Sign up to receive the latest announcements, tips, networking invitations and more.