Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers are innovators and creatives at the top of their industries sharing ideas, processes, and expertise in the hopes of inspiring a better world.

Featured Session: Beyond the Podium: How Athleta and Allyson Felix Reinvented the Brand/Athlete Partnershiphe Brand-Athlete Partnership - Photo by JD Lewis

Featured Session: Beyond the Podium: How Athleta and Allyson Felix Reinvented the Brand/Athlete Partnershiphe Brand-Athlete Partnership - Photo by JD Lewis

About Featured Speakers


Spanning the many tracks and themes of the SXSW Conference, Featured Speakers offer attendees the knowledge, leadership and inspiration to shape their professional careers and personal lives in our ever-evolving path forward.

Explore Featured Speakers and Featured Sessions from 2023 and stay tuned for more announcements for SXSW 2024.

Dive into the SXSW Schedule for all confirmed programming including Keynotes & Featured Speakers and Sessions.

See You in 2024

Get ready to experience more opportunities for discovery, networking, learning, and career-enhancing connections than ever before at SXSW 2024 from March 8-16. Stay tuned for announcements coming later this summer.

Subscribe to Event Updates and the Conference Community Newsletter to stay in the SX know.

Featured Speakers 2023

  • Founder and Chief Creative Officer of CALLEN Craig Allen

  • Chair and CEO of General Motors Mary Barra with CEO, CTO, President, and co-founder of Cruise and co-founder of Twitch Kyle Vogt

  • CEO and Chief Futurist at Signal And Cipher Ian Beacraft

  • Actress, philanthropist, entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and co-founder of Hello Bello Kristen Bell, CEO of Hello Bello Erica Buxton, and actor, comedian, filmmaker, host of the podcast Armchair Expert, and co-founder of Hello Bello Dax Shepard

  • Chief Diversity Officer of TBWA\North America Aliah Berman with activist, advocate, author, and founder of the #MeToo Movement Tarana Burke

  • Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation JoeBen Bevirt with Chief Sustainability Officer at Delta Air Lines Pam Fletcher

  • Wall Street Journal bestselling author of upcoming book The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive In The Next Decade and founder of the Non-Obvious Company and Ideapress Publishing Rohit Bhargava in conversation with co-author of The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive In The Next Decade Henry Coutinho-Mason

  • Chemist, science entertainer, and professor at The University of Texas Kate Biberdorf

  • CEO of Royal, world-renowned musician and producer known as 3LAU Justin Blau

  • Chief Digital and Commercial Officer at Unilever Conny Braams , President, Worldwide Advertising at Netflix Jeremi Gorman, founder and CEO of MediaLink Michael Kassan, and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Delta Air Lines Tim Mapes

  • Senior Media Analyst at Variety Intelligence Platform Gavin Bridge in conversation with Media Analyst and Correspondent for Variety Intelligence Platform Heidi Chung and President and Chief Media Analyst of Variety Intelligence Platform Andrew Wallenstein

  • Co-founder and President of OpenAI Greg Brockman with founder and CEO of Dot Dot Dot Media Laurie Segall

  • Marketing Manager at Athletes First Bryan Burney

  • Founder and Host of the Voices of VR podcast Kent Bye

  • Founder of Momofuku and Majordomo Media David Chang

  • Award-winning professor at the New York University Stern School of Business where she teaches MBA courses in leadership and management Dolly Chugh

  • An expert in spatial computing and digital worlds, Co-Founder and CEO of VNTANA Ashley Crowder

  • Founder of Sextech School and host of the Future of Sex podcast Bryony Cole in conversation with the Executive Creative Director at Josephmark Alex Naghavi

  • Actors Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes, stars of the hit ABC series Scandal discuss their new Shondaland Audio and iHeartPodcasts rewatch podcast Unpacking the Toolbox. The co-hosts will share behind the scenes stories and fun facts about the series’ most memorable moments.

  • Filmmaker and second female director in the history of Cannes Film Festival to receive the Palme Julia Ducournau

  • Founder and President of Saysh and the most decorated Track & Field Olympian in history Allyson Felix in conversation with host of the No One Is Coming to Save Us podcast Gloria Riviera

  • Founder and managing partner of Genius Guild, founder of The Doonie Fund, founder and former CEO of digitalundivided, and Yale-trained epidemiologist Kathryn Finney

  • Creator and host of the podcast Crime Junkie and founder and CEO of audiochuck Ashley Flowers in conversation with President of audiochuck Kevin Mills

  • Author of the upcoming book Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People), Contributing Editor at the Harvard Business Review, and co-host of the Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work podcast Amy Gallo

  • United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm

  • General Partner at Benchmark Bill Gurley with investor, New York Times best-selling author and host of the podcast The Tim Ferriss Show Tim Ferriss

  • Comedian, television host, six-time New York Times best-selling author, and Dear Chelsea podcast host Chelsea Handler with MSNBC host and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

  • Founder of the award-winning agency Friends With Holograms and content creator Cortney Harding

  • Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris in conversation with President and CEO of PayPal Dan Schulman

  • Writer and co-Executive Producer of the The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon Tara Hernandez in conversation with Primetime Emmy Award-winning creator, writer, Executive Producer and Showrunner of Lost and Watchmen Damon Lindelof about their careers and collaborating on their upcoming Peacock series, Mrs. Davis.

  • Environmentalist, scientist, entrepreneur, and the CEO and co-founder of Meati Foods Tyler Huggins

  • CEO of Indeed Chris Hyams

  • Co-founder and managing partner of Get Lifted Film Co., Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning film, theater, and television producer Mike Jackson

  • Renowned DJ, music producer, owner of acclaimed production company A Touch of Jazz, a DMC Championship, The PLAYLIST Retreat, and multiple GRAMMY Awards, American Music Awards, and NAACP Image Awards DJ Jazzy Jeff

  • Co-Founder & Chief Concept Officer of Sweetgreen Nicolas Jammet

  • Chief Executive Officer of Luminate Rob Jonas

  • Grammy-nominated recording artist and author of Maps for the Modern World Valerie June

  • Entrepreneur, activist and globally recognized expert in data protection, technology and legislative reform Brittany Kaiser

  • New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and co-founder and Senior Maverick at Wired Kevin Kelly

  • Founder and CEO of KORA Organic and internationally celebrated model Miranda Kerr

  • Co-founder and CEO of Colossal Ben Lamm

  • Chief Content Officer of WWE and developer of performance center/global localization strategy Paul “Triple H” Levesque

  • Emmy-nominated director, producer, actress, entrepreneur and activist Eva Longoria

  • Founder of Starts With Us and KIND Snacks Daniel Lubetzky

  • Activist, technologist, network security expert, author, and DJ Chelsea Manning

  • Actor, director, writer, musician, art collector and humanitarian Cheech Marin

  • Author of New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together and designer of solutions to inequality in America Heather McGhee

  • Grammy-award winning rapper, businessman and activist Killer Mike

  • Co-Chair and CEO of Warner Chappell Music Guy Moot

  • Chemist, documentarian, science journalist and director of the series Hamilton's Pharmacopeia Hamilton Morris

  • Professor of pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA Charles Nichols

  • Founded the Heffter Research Institute (HRI) and Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina David E. Nichols

  • Seven Seven Six Founder and former Executive Chair of Reddit Alexis Ohanian in conversation with Program Director for the 776 Foundation and Fellowship Program Lissie Garvin, activist, eco-entrepreneur and founder of Upenndo! Productions Maya Penn, and co-founder and CTO of Hydrova Inc Rostam Reifschneider

  • Peabody field builder winner and program director of ASU’s center for Emerging Media and Narrative Nonny de la Peña

  • New York Times bestselling author of The State of Affairs and Mating in Captivity Esther Perel

  • Activist, filmmaker, and musician Boots Riley

  • Texas Longhorns running back and projected 1st-round draft pick for the NFL Bijan Robinson

  • DJ J.ROCC with DJ and founder of Stones Throw Records Peanut Butter Wolf

  • Former Chairman, President and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty

  • James Beard Award-winning chef, writer, and Emmy Award-nominated host of Counter Space Sophia Roe

  • Storyteller, journalist, and coach/mentor and currently the Head of Content at SutherlandGold, a PR agency, where she curates video stories for companies. Aditi Roy

  • Author, professor, and host of the Team Human podcast Douglas Rushkoff with a new release Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires

  • Record producer, director, screenwriter, rapper, and composer RZA

  • Co-Founder and partner at Palo Santo Tim Schlidt

  • Golden Globe Award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, recording artist, and New York Times best-selling author William Shatner

  • Author of the national bestseller The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life and Executive Director of the Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute Simran Jeet Singh

  • Inventor, entrepreneur and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Boyan Slat

  • Mycologist, psychonaut, entrepreneur, author and inventor Paul Stamets

  • Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California and author of Short Circuiting Policy Leah Stokes

  • Best-selling author Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail) talks about the adaptation of her bestselling book Tiny Beautiful Things with Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner Liz Tigelaar who is adapting the book for a Hulu Original Series, produced by ABC Signature.

  • Editor-at-large of New York Magazine, host of On with Kara Swisher and co-host of the Pivot podcast Kara Swisher

  • Global Director of Race Promotion for Formula 1 Chloe Targett-Adams

  • CEO of Kickstarter Everette Taylor

  • Co-Founder and CEO of Ready Player Me Timmu Tõke

  • Director of the School of Advertising & Public Relations, Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin Natalie Tindall, Ph.D., APR

  • Founder and CEO of Chobani Hamdi Ulukaya

  • Author, professor, and co-founder and CEO of Aldora.io Joost Van Druenen

  • Quantitative futurist, author, and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb

  • Software engineer, writer, and founder of the website Web3 is Going Just Great Molly White

  • Founder and CEO of Strangeworks, innovator in Residence for the Legatum Center at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, A Senior Member and Chairman of the Quantum Computing Standards Workgroup at the IEEE, and co-author of Quantum Computing For Babies whurley

  • A pioneer in the direct-to-consumer DNA testing space and powering an industry-first crowdsourcing approach to genetic research and drug development 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki

  • COO of Reddit Jen Wong

  • Director of Mental Health at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center and endowed Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Trauma Rachel Yehuda

Browse SXSW Schedule

Featured Sessions 2023


2050: Digital Identity is a Human Right
As we become more and more digital as a species, it’s critical that we don’t forget about our human rights. Something as simple as owning your identity becomes a complicated issue in the digital realm of the metaverse, web3, and web5. But in an interconnected digital world, how can we be sure that our Digital Identities won’t be data mined, duplicated, or stolen? In this session, join Senior Vice President at Unstoppable Domains Sandy Carter as she draws on her decades of experience being on the cutting edge to imagine a future where digital identity is seen as a human right.

The Art of Creating Influence 101
In this crash course, join female trailblazers such as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Young Money Records Karen Civil, rhythm and blues singer Savannah Ré, DJ, producer, and creative curator DJ Rosegold, on-camera host, music journalist, publicist, and founder of Remixd Magazine Tallie Spencer, and founder of Socially Loud Randa Quraan as they offer real and fresh viewpoints on how to navigate a career in entertainment, media, and marketing while building your own brand. Whether you're looking to work in these fields, or you're an artist wondering how to market yourself, this panel will discuss tips for getting noticed and marketing your skills in order to grow your brand, and most importantly your influence.

An Imminent Shift In The Plant Based Ecosystem Consumers are finding themselves at a long-awaited intersection: diets are shifting to prioritize nutrition and environmental impact at a time when food innovation is booming and new brands hoping to address consumer’s fluctuating priorities emerge daily on grocery shelves. However, when food culture drives buying decisions in a sea of indistinguishable plant-based options, how do emerging products bust the paradigm of what people can expect from alt-meat? Where will consumer behavior go and how will the industry keep up? In this session, join founder of Momofuku and Majordomo Media, James Beard Award-winning chef, host of The Dave Chang Show and Recipe Club podcasts, and New York Times bestselling author David Chang; co-founder and CEO of Meati Foods Tyler Huggins; co-founder, Chief Concept Officer of Sweetgreen Nicolas Jammet; and Head of Content at SutherlandGold and lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Aditi Roy as they discuss this shift and what the implications are for buyers and the food industry, ending with a hands-on activation where attendees will experience and taste mushroom root.

Autonomous Driving: More Time to Do What You Love The future of mobility will be electric, autonomous, entertaining and above all: exciting. There is a paradigm shift happening as the automotive industry transitions gradually to a safe autonomous driving future and a new sense of freedom is coming for both drivers and passengers sooner than you might think. In this session, join founder and CEO of ZYNC Rana June, founder and CEO of Luminar Austin Russell and Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and CTO Markus Schäfer as they discuss how the software-defined car, autonomous technology and embedded entertainment content aim to give you back your most valuable resource - TIME - and how this lets you experience your car like never before.

Bijan Mustardson & the Future of NIL Partnerships In 2022, creative agency CALLEN and Bijan Robinson launched the dijon mustard brand Bijan Mustardson, a partnership made possible by recent changes with NIL rules for college athletes. In this session, join founder and Chief Creative Officer of CALLEN Craig Allen, Marketing Manager at Athletes First Bryan Burney, running back for the Texas Longhorns Bijan Robinson, and Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations, Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin Natalie Tindall, Ph.D., APR as they discuss how creative agencies can invest in more than a campaign and build a true business partnership for long-term success, developing a product and growing a brand with a celebrity business partner, and how to adapt to and anticipate where the NIL market is headed.

The Blog Era: Hip-Hop's Wild Wild West
The Blog Era was the intersection where hip-hop really met the internet. Thanks to a handful of nobodies behind keyboards, the careers of Drake, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi and hundreds of cultural centerpieces were launched, entire industries were brought to their knees, and the course of pop culture was changed forever. In this session, ItsTheReal, together known as creators Eric Rosenthal and Jeff Rosenthal, will sit down in a live setting for the first time with artists and insiders of the time and run back the highs, the lows, and the lawsuits ahead of the April premiere of their new podcast series: The Blog Era.

Build the Damn Thing with Kathryn Finney Founder and Managing Partner of Genius Guild and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kathryn Finney’s book, Build the Damn Thing: How to Start a Successful Business if You're Not a Rich White Guy, is a hard-won, battle-tested guide for every entrepreneur who the establishment has left out. In this session, join Finney for a conversation where she will share her storied career as an entrepreneur, inclusion champion, and investor who funds Black founders and women entrepreneurs in pursuit of their entrepreneurial dreams.

Building an Open Metaverse As it stands today, a sole metaverse does not exist. What does exist are thousands of virtual worlds, many of which are connected through Ready Player Me’s network; an avatar system used by over 3,000 app and game developers. It is this interoperable network that has earned their reputation as a default avatar platform for the metaverse. In this session, join co-founder and CEO of Ready Player Me Timmu Tõke as he focuses on the importance of collaboration and building out partnerships in order to create an open metaverse and what brands need to do in order to make this happen.

Building a Sustainable Economy in the Metaverse
As the metaverse is being created, it is our responsibility to build a sustainable foundation. But, how sustainable is the journey to this virtual landscape? In this session, join co-founder and CEO of VNTANA Ashley Crowder, founder and CEO of Emblematic Group and Director of Arizona State University’s Narrative and Emerging Media program Nonny de la Peña, and founder of Friends With Holograms Cortney Harding, as they discuss what the metaverse is today and explore how to build an inclusive environment, drive a shared value for businesses and creators, empower consumers, and enable ways to measure impact to create digital sustainability.

Creating Happiness: The Art & Science of Disney Parks Storytelling For nearly 70 years, Disney Parks has created happiness for millions through experiences that bring Disney’s beloved stories to life. Across its theme parks, hotels, cruises and adventures, Disney Parks has curated magical places around the world where a simple moment can become a treasured lifelong memory. The ‘Art & Science’ of storytelling is the secret to how Disney amazes its Guests and delivers memorable experiences.  In this session, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro will share how Disney’s storytelling techniques will build on its legacy of creativity and innovation for a world that can always use just a little more happiness.

Crushing: The Burden of Diabetes on Patients
1 in 10 Americans live with diabetes, making millions of tiny decisions to keep themselves alive. For the most resourced patients in America, the burden of diabetes still looms large over their heads–so what does that mean for patients without access to the best of the best in tools and treatments? In this session, join Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod, singer, songwriter, actor and member of the Grammy Award-nominated band Jonas Brothers Nick Jonas, Executive Vice President and COO of Dexcom Jake Leach and the Pastor of the Pattison United Methodist Church in Pattison, TX, Rev. Mireya Martínez as they share their perspectives that span the diabetic ecosystem to answer the question: are we doing enough?

Daddy Issues in Film
Frank Rossi. Jonathan Kent. Jack Byrnes. Darth Vader. All of these characters add layers of complexity and emotion to their respective films as the stories unfold—and the connective tissue between them is their shared role as father. In this session, join Academy Award-winning actor Troy Kotsur and filmmaker, founder of the Emergent Order Foundation (EOF), and host of the Dad Saves America podcast John Papola as they explore fatherhood in film, the evolution of fathers as integral characters, and how family, in all of its varied forms, remains an important part of how we tell stories on the screen. Emergent Order Foundation will also screen an exclusive clip from their upcoming short documentary about Troy Kotsur's relationship with his dad.

Daisy Jones & the Six Cast and Creators Discuss Hit-Series
The Daisy Jones & The Six Cast and Creators Join Josh Horowitz to discuss the making of the iconic Prime Video series. Based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six is a limited musical-drama series detailing the rise and precipitous fall of a renowned rock band. In 1977, Daisy Jones & The Six were on top of the world. Fronted by two charismatic lead singers—Daisy Jones (Riley Keough) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin)—the band had risen from obscurity to fame. And then, after a sold-out show at Chicago's Soldier Field, they called it quits. Now, decades later, the band members finally agree to reveal the truth. This is the story of how an iconic band imploded at the height of its powers.

Data Privacy After Roe v. Wade
The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a watershed moment for the privacy of people seeking reproductive care. A person’s browser history, search history, location, and private messages can now be used by law enforcement or private citizens to pursue people who are suspected of having or aiding an abortion. When people’s most private digital information can be used against them, can tech companies change their practices to better protect their users’ privacy? Plus, as some states try to outlaw websites that tell people how to access abortion care, can advocates ensure that reliable health information remains online? In this session, join co-founder of Supermajority, New York Times bestselling author, and former President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology Alexandra Reeve Givens, and CEO of The Markup Nabiha Syed for a discussion on ways advocates are working to protect users’ privacy and access to information at this critical moment for reproductive rights.

Dateline 24/7: How the True Crime Powerhouse Became a Podcast Empire
In this session, join Executive Producer of Dateline NBC Elizabeth Cole, Senior Executive Producer of Dateline NBC David Corvo, Correspondent for Dateline NBC Josh Mankiewicz, Correspondent for Dateline NBC Keith Morrison, and actress, comedian, screenwriter, and producer June Diane Raphael for a conversation about how NBC’s longest running primetime program evolved into a true crime powerhouse with a mega podcast hub. With numerous #1 podcasts, including The Thing About Pam, Motive for Murder, Dateline: Missing in America & Mommy Doomsday, along with a Dateline 24/7 streaming channel on Peacock, the team will discuss how the true crime juggernaut is reaching a new generation of fans with its signature storytelling.

Design for a Better Future In this session, dare to imagine a future where we can hack our bodies, make energy available to every human, create schools for lifelong learning, feed astronauts on their way to Mars, and make disabilities a thing of the past. Through unexpected designs and storytelling, co-founder and Owner of Nonfiction Mardis Bagley and Partner and Creative Director at Nonfiction Phnam Bagley will walk you through the possibilities of unbound imagination, and what it really takes to turn science fiction into reality.

Don’t be a Drag, Just be a Queen 2022 saw a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the country, and we’ve already seen one Texas lawmaker announce that he will introduce a bill to ban youth from attending drag shows next year. The heated political discourse has led to threats against Pride celebrations and drag shows around the world. We know these debates are negatively impacting LGBTQ youth — and that access to affirming spaces and representation is crucial to mental health. In this session, join drag queen, makeup artist, author and trans rights activist Gottmik, drag queenJaida Essence Hall, attorney, activist, Adjunct Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law and Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project Preston Mitchum and drag queen and model Symone as they discuss drag’s historical roots and cultural significance today, why promoting self-expression is so important, and how we can all help create a more accepting world.

Driving Personal Health Forward: The Role of Apple Watch and iPhone
Since the release of the Health app in 2014 and Apple Watch in 2015, Apple has introduced a wide array of powerful and innovative features, across areas like heart health, mobility, sleep, mindfulness and menstrual health. In this session, Vice President of Health at Apple Dr. Sumbul Desai and Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Liz Plosser will discuss Apple’s approach to creating tools that empower people to lead healthier lives and examine how science-based technology can act as an intelligent guardian for health, moving people from being passengers on their own health journey into the driver’s seat.

Evil Dead Rise: Flesh-Possessing Demons Come Home Join writer/director Lee Cronin, series creator and horror icon Sam Raimi, cult legend and “Ash” himself Bruce Campbell, and stars Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland for a look at the new film that moves the action out of the woods and into the city…. The panel will discuss how the film not only pays homage to the beloved franchise, it also expands the Evil Dead universe, turning a crumbling apartment building into an urban “cabin in the woods” and putting the action squarely in the hands of two chainsaw-wielding women. Deadites will never be the same again… Evil Dead Rise tells the tale of two estranged sisters, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.

Have a Good Trip: Psychedelics in Film and TV
Psychedelics are easy to stigmatize and criminalize. Case Study: the last 50 years. Enter GOOD TRIP STUDIOS, the psychedelic company with a mission to destigmatize psychedelics through entertainment and pop culture. Their movie Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics was an official 2020 SXSW selection and launched as the #1 Netflix movie worldwide accumulating tens of millions of views in the first month. The documentary features A-list celebrities and artists discussing their personal psychedelic experiences and helped spark the current psychedelic renaissance. In this session, join comedian, actor and Creator and Host of The Eric Andre Show Eric André, Emmy Award-winning writer, producer and director Donick Cary (Have a Good Trip, The Simpsons), Global Impact Officer at MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Natalie Ginsberg and Executive Producer and Showrunner of The Eric Andre Show Mike Rosenstein as they discuss how psychedelics are portrayed in media and how they have inspired artists and pop culture. They will also share exclusive clips and stories from other planets!

How Music, Entrepreneurship & Independence Intersect How can artists build careers off their music, own their intellectual property, and transcend into new ventures to build a multi-faceted company? Just ask the team behind EVGLE, a company that brings all verticals in-house spanning records, publishing, media, fashion and ventures. In this session, hear from Billboard R&B / Hip-Hop Rookie of the Year and multi-platinum artist, producer and co-founder and CEO of EVGLE Blxst, co-founder and President of EVGLE Victor Burnett, co-founder and COO of EVGLE Karl Fowlkes and R&B/Hip Hop Reporter at Billboard Heran Mamo on how to take the necessary steps to build a successful entertainment company that transcends cultural boundaries.

An Inside Look at “Blindspotting” Season 2 with Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs
In this session, writer, director, actor, poet, musician, and Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner of Blindspotting Rafael Casal joins Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, rapper, co-Creator and Executive Producer of Blindspotting Daveed Diggs for a preview of the second season of the critically acclaimed-comedy series Blindspotting, coming to STARZ in April, and to celebrate its world premiere at SXSW.

The J Dilla Effect: Breaking Barriers Through Beats James Yancey, aka “J Dilla,” is one of the greatest all-time hip-hop producers, a musical genius and visionary that inspired artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Pharrell Williams, Erykah Badu, and many others. Dilla made ultimate sacrifices to build opportunities for young, diverse creators to continue breaking down societal and cultural barriers. Curated by Save The Music, this session will feature founder and Chairman of the James Dewitt Yancey Foundation and J Dilla’s mother Ma Dukes and Grammy Award-winning DJ and music producer DJ Jazzy Jeff as they share personal stories of Dilla’s life and how his work changed hip-hop culture, while exploring how to carry on his legacy by investing in culturally rich communities to provide equitable resources for young creators to achieve economic stability and success through music and technology.

The Future of Entertainment & Immersive Experiences Storytelling, immersive entertainment, and play have long influenced creativity, culture, and human connections. Go behind the scenes with real-world examples of how innovators are reimagining experiences through cutting-edge emerging technologies, and platforms to create new ways for people to build human connections. Join industry-leading pioneers Ted Schilowitz and Valerie Vacante in a discussion on how creators are designing new experiences across various platforms, media, and emerging technologies to shape the future of entertainment and immersive experiences.

The Kids Are (Not) Alright: Gun Violence Terrorizing Youth of America
Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for American kids. In 2021, there were 1,572 youths killed in gun violence with an 80% increase in Black youth and 46% in Hispanic youth. February 14th marks the 5th anniversary of the Parkland school shooting that took 17 lives and inspired a global youth movement. Last May, the Uvalde school shooting surpassed Parkland as the deadliest to date with 21 lives lost. In the same month, a manifesto by the shooter of 10 Black victims at a supermarket in Buffalo self identified as a known supporter of white supremacy, voicing support for the far-right "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory in the context of a "white genocide". For the first time, mass shootings have been described as acts of domestic terrorism. In this session, join co-Founder of Lives Robbed Jazmin Cazares, human rights activist and founder and CEO of Life Camp Erica Ford, first Gen-Z Member of Congress Representative Maxwell Frost, Parkland survivor/activist Samantha Fuentes, and Peabody Award-winning director and producer Kim A. Snyder as they address youth trauma, activism, and what justice looks like in a time of rising hate crimes involving firearms.

Leguizamo Does America: Next Stop – Austin
In this session, join Director Ben DeJesus, Emmy Award-winning Senior National Correspondent at NBC News Tom Llamas, Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and film producer John Leguizamo, and Executive Producer and Showrunner Carolina Saavedra as they preview the upcoming MSNBC Films and NBC News Studios series Leguizamo Does America. Llamas will moderate an in-depth discussion with Leguizamo, DeJesus and Saavedra on Leguizamo’s storied career and the groundbreaking new series that focuses on the unmistakable influence and contributions of U.S. Latinos.

More Than a Joke: The Road from Sitcom Success to iHeartPodcasts Powerhouse
Daytime Emmy Award-winning actor and New York Times best-selling author Brian Baumgartner and SAG & WGA Award-winning actor, writer, producer, and comedian Ed Helms are known as TV and film funny men, but they’ve branched out into podcasting with iHeartPodcasts – in surprising ways. Helms’s show SNAFU tackles the stories of history’s epic screw ups, and Baumgartner’s show Off the Beat gets guests to talk about their favorite jobs. In this session, join the moderator, co-Host of the podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class Holly Frey, as she finds out what led these comedians to seek out meaningful stories in the audio medium, and how they manage to still keep it humorous.

Online Crime: An American Crisis
Cybercriminals, con artists, digital spies. We call them many things, but they all have the same motive - to steal your data, information and ultimately, your money. Last year, Americans lost nearly $7 billion dollars to online crime. There’s no denying that tech has enabled incredible progress, but our increased connectivity comes with great risk. It’s time to take the best of technology and put it to work for protection vs. exploitation and battle back against the relentless onslaught from hackers. In this session, join Academy Award-nominated actor and producer Robert Downey Jr., New York Times best-selling author Maria Konnikova, former FBI counterintelligence operative, cybersecurity consultant, attorney and author Eric O’Neill, and founder and CEO of Aura Hari Ravichandran for a riveting discussion about the true scope of the crisis Americans are facing, a look inside the minds of cybercriminals and how they are able to manipulate our families and wallets, and thoughtful solutions on what can really be done to fight back.

Onyx Collective Presents “UnPrisoned” Inspired by Tracy McMillan’s Life, UnPrisoned is a half-hour comedy about a messy, but perfectionist relationship therapist and single mom whose life is turned right-side-up when her dad gets out of prison and moves in with her and her teenage son. In this session, join writer and Creator of UnPrisoned Tracy McMillan, actor Marque Richardson, actor Faly Rakotohavana, actress Jordyn McIntosh, and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actress and Executive Producer of UnPrisoned Kerry Washington for an intimate discussion on the new Hulu series produced by ABC Signature.

Open Minds: Innovations in Consciousness, Psychedelics & Mental Health
Psychedelic-based therapies continue to influence the evolving landscape of mental health. As humanity begins to understand the complexity of consciousness and its impact on mental health, these worlds will become increasingly intertwined. In this session, join founder of The Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global, Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and New York Times best-selling author Deepak Chopra and guests from the upcoming mini-series Open Minds CEO of Cybin Inc. Doug Drysdale, psychotherapist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Cristie Strongman MA, Ed.M., and actress, activist, and co-founder of the Never Alone Initiative Gabriella Wright as they explore the connection between consciousness, mental health, and psychedelic therapeutics and the need for humanity to focus on the internal work required to heal.

Own Your Data: Empowering Our Digital Future
In this session, co-founder of the Own Your Data Foundation and author Brittany Kaiser will explain how she decided to become a whistleblower to protect our human rights in the digital space and discuss the issues that Big Tech has presented us with (lack of transparency, uninformed consent, no tracking or traceability, monetization of our data without any value going to us, etc), as well as the solutions she believes are essential to making technology more ethical and congruent with rights protection.

Paul Giamatti’s CHINWAG with Stephen Asma
In this session, Academy Award-nominated actor, comedian and film producer Paul Giamatti and Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago Stephen Asma will record a special episode of their forthcoming weekly podcast CHINWAG. In front of a live studio audience, Giamatti and Asma will dive into one of their favorite topics of conversation — MONSTERS. They will explore the fears and fascinations we share about some of Western culture's worst nightmares in an unexpected, and maybe even hilarious chat.

Reigniting Fan Engagement at Live Events
The importance of community and human connection was more prevalent than ever when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) returned with its biggest event of the year, WrestleMania, in April 2021. This historic event featured the first Black female Superstars to main event WrestleMania, celebrity appearances, live music performances, and the unveiling of WWE’s new signature, “Then, Now, Together, Forever.” to recognize and celebrate WWE fans, their community and the message of inclusivity. As WWE prepares to host WrestleMania 39 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles this coming April, Chief Content Officer of WWE Paul “Triple H” Levesque will discuss in this session the road to WrestleMania, the importance of the WWE Universe and how this community has evolved.

Resilience Tech Report 2023: The Neuroscience of Self-Renewal
Modern neuroscience tells us how we store and process information depends upon our emotional state, which easily triggers the "flight or fight" response. Technologies that are designed to empower our understanding of events at hand, as well as to respond quickly, ultimately depend upon our personal fortitude. In this session, join Chief Technology Officer of Everbridge John Maeda as he discusses inevitable failures and how the likelihood of either overcoming a calamity or getting overcome by it correlates to our confidence in self-renewal.

Social Media Town Hall
In the early to mid 2000s, many of the pioneers of social media gathered at SXSW to brainstorm about the potentials and possibilities of these new platforms for communication. 15 years later, so much of the optimism of those early discussions has fallen by the wayside. So where do we go from here? Is it possible to build a new kind of social media that emphasizes our shared humanity as opposed to our divisions? In this interactive session featuring co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Media Center Steve Rosenbaum and Tech Culture Reporter for The Washington Post Nitasha Tiku, attendees are invited to come to the microphone and offer their one minute solution on what a more functional system of scalable networked communication looks like.

To Trip or Not to Trip
The psychedelic science torch is getting passed to the next generation, with fresh perspectives on both ancient and future medicines. In this session, join Writer and Director of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia, chemist, and science journalist Hamilton Morris, professor of Pharmacology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Charles Nichols, adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Professor Emeritus at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy David E. Nichols, co-founder and Partner at Palo Santo Tim Schlidt, and endowed professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Trauma and Director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of Mental Health at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center Rachel Yehuda as they explore the future of psychedelic science and answer questions such as, can we take the “trip” out of psychedelics, do we want to, and will “next gen” psychedelic compounds have an advantage over today’s medicines?

True Grit: 3 Stories of Overcoming Life's Challenges To Make It In The Music Business
In this session, join Executive Vice President, General Counsel at Fender Aarash Darroodi, singer-songwriter, producer, activist, writer, orator, model, visual artist, and actress Kam Franklin, Music Writer at the Austin American-Statesman Deborah Sengupta Stith, and co-founder and frontman for the band Delta Spirit Matthew Logan Vasquez as they take a deep dive into the unique life stories of three individuals with very divergent paths, but who share a common theme of overcoming challenges and obstacles in life to ultimately achieve success in the music business.

Understanding the Role of AI in Reshaping the Film & Television Industry
In this thought-provoking session, join Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley Angjoo Kanazawa, actor, producer, and co-founder and President of Wonder Dynamics Tye Sheridan, filmmaker, VFX supervisor, entrepreneur, and co-founder and CEO of Wonder Dynamics Nikola Todorovic, and Delta Electronics Professor and Head of the AI+D faculty at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Antonio Torralba as they examine the latest AI-powered innovations in the film and television industry and explore how it will change the way we create and consume media.

Voting is a Civil Rights Issue
American elections and democracy continue to be attacked in a ploy to justify rolling back civil liberties and voting rights when we should be expanding those rights and making it easier for everyone to participate in the democratic process. In this session, join Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, President of the Drum Major Institute Arndrea Waters King, Chairman of the Board of the Drum Major Institute Martin Luther King III, civil rights leader Ralph G. Neas and founder and CEO of Tusk Philanthropies and the Mobile Voting Project Bradley Tusk as they share their insight into how we can expand access to voting for marginalized groups.

Why is America Afraid of Its (Black) History?
William Faulker wrote, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” But if the past is still with us, why has learning the true history of the United States become a battleground in our national culture wars? And are we doomed to repeat it? In this session, writer, producer, and founder and CEO of The Who We Are Project Jeffery Robinson, Community Organizer for the Texas Freedom Network Corisha Rogers, and founder, owner, and Principal Guide of Black Austin Tours Javier Wallace, Ph.D., will use Robinson’s documentary short How to Rig an Election: The Racist History of the 1876 Presidential Contest (SXSW 2023) as a springboard for a conversation highlighting the efforts of Black truth tellers to shine a light on our country's past and change the direction of our collective future.

Browse SXSW Schedule

Bijan Mustardson & the Future of NIL Partnerships

15 Non-Obvious Trends Shaping Our Future Normal with Rohit Bhargava

Voting is a Civil Rights Issue featuring Martin Luther King III

Auntie Deb

SXSW 2022

"We will only change our future when we recognize what needs to be changed and when we say the words out loud."

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Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland speaks at 'Auntie Deb's Guide to Equity & Inclusion' – SXSW 2022 – Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW

Amy Webb

SXSW Online 2021

"Our goal is not predicting — it is preparing for what comes next."

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Amy Webb - SXSW 2019 Featured Speaker - Photo by Mike Jordan

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

SXSW 2019

"I don’t think that our government is irredeemable. If I did, I wouldn’t have run for office."

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - 2019 - Photo by Adam Kissick

J.J. Abrams

SXSW 2016

"We want to see stories that are unique, that have points of view that might not be expected."

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J.J. Abrams at SXSW 2016 – Photo by Judy Won

Stacey Abrams

SXSW 2019

"We have to stop allowing identity to be weaponized against us."

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Stacey Abrams - Photo by Danny Matson

Anthony Bourdain

SXSW 2016

"Making TV should be fun. It should be a creative expression...Everybody should be pushing it and having a good day at work."

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Anthony Bourdain - Photo by David Tait

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