Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers are massively-creative innovators who leverage the SXSW platform to present mind-expanding ideas that are re-shaping today’s world and tomorrow’s universe.

Featured Session: Michael Pollan and Tim Ferris – SXSW 2019 – Photo by Katie Marriner

Featured Session: Michael Pollan and Tim Ferris – SXSW 2019 – Photo by Katie Marriner

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 our first Keynote and Featured Speaker announcement for SXSW 2022 including Keynote Alexis McGill Johnson and Featured Speakers Sarah Bond, Jack Conte, Roman Coppola, Ebro Darden, Rana el Kaliouby, Stephanie McMahon, Erika Nardini, Kelly Wearstler, and many more.

Explore the full list of Featured Speakers and Sessions below and stay tuned for more programing announcements throughout the season.

For more high-profile speakers at SXSW, browse the Keynotes page.

Featured Speakers

  • Check My Ads activists and co-founders Claire Atkin and Nandini Jammi in conversation

  • CEO of fuseproject & Co-Founder of August Home, FORME Life and Canopy Space Yves Béhar

  • Corporate Vice President, Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem at Microsoft Sarah Bond

  • Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning filmmaker and co-founder of The Decentralized Pictures Foundation Roman Coppola in conversation with Decentralized Pictures co-founder Leo Matchett moderated by freelance journalist and media attorney Barbara Bruni

  • SVP Chief Customer Experience Officer at Everbridge John Maeda

  • WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon in conversation with Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini

  • Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov

  • Host of IHeartRadio’s There Are No Girls on the Internet podcast Bridget Todd

  • Designer, author and CEO of Kelly Wearstler Interior Design Kelly Wearstler

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

Featured Sessions

  • 50 Non-Obvious Trends Changing the Future Normal
    A presentation with Non-Obvious Company founder Rohit Bhargava.

  • Breaking the Rules to Make Your Experience Matter
    Accenture Interactive CEO, David Droga, will talk with industry disruptor Dara Treseder, SVP, head of global marketing and communications at Peloton, on how to break through the barriers holding brands back from creating the experiences people didn’t even know they needed.

  • Creative Catalysts: Pioneering the Future
    A conversation with VP of Immersive Content Innovation ILMxLAB at Lucasfilm Vicki Dobbs Beck, and LiveArea Director of Strategy Val Vacante about what it takes to innovate, the impact of the ever-evolving emerging technology landscape and how next generation connected experiences will be powered through choice and participation.

  • Elevating Communities that Created Pop Music
    A discussion with Apple Music Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden and Save The Music Foundation CEO Henry Donahue on the necessity of ensuring that today’s youth have direct access in their classrooms to the rich musical and cultural legacies in their communities.

  • Machine or Human? The Ethics Behind Smarter AI
    A conversation with Smart Eye deputy CEO Rana el Kaliouby and MIT Technology Review CEO and Publisher Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau on what a human-centric AI world can look like, how we can build emotional intelligence into our machines, and the massive potential this has to improve our lives — as well as the possible risks.

  • Next Gen Tech & The Live Entertainment Revolution
    Unity SVP of Sports & Live Entertainment Peter Moore will provide a sneak peek into the new fusion of the physical and virtual worlds in live entertainment offering consumers an elevated, personalized, and gamified experience.

  • The Second Renaissance of Creativity
    A presentation from Patreon co-founder Jack Conte on the ways in which the creator economy is thriving, moving past the “struggling artist” stereotype, and where the creator economy will go from here.

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

A$AP Rocky

SXSW 2019

“I wouldn’t step into anything just for the sake of conquering it. Most of the time it starts with a vision, and it’s all about execution for me.”

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A$AP Rocky – SXSW 2019 – Photo by Diego Donamaria

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

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

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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