March 13-21, 2020

Keynotes present diverse, visionary speakers who deliver the most powerful new ideas in the ever-evolving worlds of film, culture, music and technology. These speakers are the center of the SXSW Conference and exemplify the spirit, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial drive that SXSW cultivates.

2020 Keynotes

2019 Keynote, Bozoma Saint John - Photo by Katie Marriner

2019 Keynote, Bozoma Saint John - Photo by Katie Marriner

About Keynotes


The fulcrum of each day’s SXSW Conference programming, each hour-long Keynote is a presentation of a compelling, timely topic by one of the world’s most inspired thinkers.

2020 Keynotes feature speakers from Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence Tracks.

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.

For more big-name speakers at SXSW, also browse the Featured Speakers page.

2020 Keynotes


Gabo Arora

2020 SXSW Keynote, Gabo Arora - Photo by Pablo Mahava Fernández
Gabo Arora (Convergence Keynote) – Gabo Arora is a world renowned award winning immersive artist, professor and former UN diplomat who works with the most cutting-edge emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, to tell some of the most important stories of our time. His work has made measurable social impact as part of campaigns for the United Nations, USC Shoah foundation and the Nobel Peace Prize committee, amongst many others, and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has had the honor of being the UN’s first-ever creative director; a Davos World Economic Forum Arts and culture leader; a member of the Council of Foreign Relations; and is the Founding Director of a new academic department and lab dedicated to Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technologies ( ISET ) at Johns Hopkins University.

Erin Lee Carr

2020 SXSW Keynote, Erin Lee Carr – Photo courtesy of the speaker

Erin Lee Carr (Film Keynote) – Named one of the “30 Under 30” most influential people in media by Forbes, Erin Lee Carr is a director, producer, and writer. Carr’s projects include the USA gymnastics scandal documentary At the Heart of Gold, and SXSW Film Festival premiere I Love You: Now Die, on the Michelle Carter murder-by-texting trial, both made for HBO. Carr is also the author of the memoir All That You Leave Behind.


2020 SXSW Keynote, Diplo
Diplo (Music Keynote) – Diplo, born Thomas Wesley Pentz, is one of the most dynamic forces in music today. A celebrated recording artist, producer, and DJ the world over, he has just this past year launched a new house-music focused label, Higher Ground, and a country music project, Thomas Wesley Presents, featuring collaborations with stars Morgan Wallen, Jonas Brothers and Cam. In addition, he is a founding member of the global trio Major Lazer, whose latest release is “Que Calor” featuring J Balvin & El Alfa; LSD with Sia and Labrinth, whose 2019 album has been streamed more than 1 billion times; and Silk City, his Grammy-winning duo with Mark Ronson. As the world’s most in-demand producer, Diplo has worked with artists including Beyoncé, Madonna, Justin Bieber, M.I.A. and many more.

Reggie Fils-Aimé

2020 SXSW Keynote, Reggie Fils-Aimé

Reggie Fils-Aimé (Convergence Keynote) – As an award-winning innovator and disrupter, Reggie Fils-Aimé has helped bring Nintendo’s greatest successes to the global marketplace over the past 15 years. He retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America Inc. in April 2019 with world-wide acclaim as an executive who loved leading his business and interacting with its employees, business associates and consumers. Before Nintendo, Fils-Aimé had a successful career spanning the consumer-packaged goods, restaurant, beverage, and media/entertainment industries. Since retiring, he has focused his energy to grow the next generation of business leaders. In August 2019, he was named Cornell University’s Dyson Undergraduate Business School Leader in Residence. Fils-Aimé also founded Brentwood Growth Partners to help emerging companies scale and enable leaders to create world-class cultures.

Kim Gordon

2020 SXSW Keynote, Kim Gordon – Photo by Natalia Mantini

Kim Gordon (Music Keynote) – With a career spanning nearly four decades, Kim Gordon is one of the most prolific and elusive artists working today. A Co-Founder of the legendary Sonic Youth, Gordon has performed all over the world, collaborating with many of music’s most exciting figures including Tony Conrad, Ikue Mori, Julie Cafritz and Stephen Malkmus. Most recently, Gordon has been hitting the road with Body/Head, her spellbinding partnership with artist and musician Bill Nace and debuted her solo exhibition “She Bites Her Tender Mind” at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) in Dublin and “Lo-Fi Glamour” at Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. Despite her expansive and diverse résumé, the most consistent aspect of Gordon’s body of work may be its resistance to formula. Works discover themselves as they unspool, each one performing a test of the medium’s possibilities and limits. Her command is astonishing, but Gordon’s artistic curiosity remains the guiding force behind her music. Gordon continues this pursuit on No Home Record, her first-ever solo release, produced by Justin Raisen (Charli XCX, Ariel Pink, Sky Ferreira) at Sphere Ranch in Los Angeles, along with contributions from Shawn Everett (Jim James, The Voidz, The War on Drugs) and composer/filmmaker Jake Meginsky (L’appel Du Vide).

Laurene Powell Jobs

2020 SXSW Keynote, Laurene Powell Jobs
Laurene Powell Jobs (Convergence Keynote) – Laurene Powell Jobs is founder and president of Emerson Collective. Based in Palo Alto with a strong presence in Oakland, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., Emerson Collective uses philanthropy, impact investing, and promoting policy solutions to reimagine some of society’s most calcified systems and create new possibilities for individuals, families, and communities. Emerson’s mission centers on advancing immigration policies, preserving the environment, re-envisioning the future of high school, and ending gun violence in Chicago.

Powell Jobs serves as board chair of The XQ Institute and College Track, a college completion program she founded in 1997 to combat the alarming achievement gap among students of color. She also serves on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and the boards of Chicago CRED, Conservation International, and The Council on Foreign Relations. She is co-owner of The Atlantic, Anonymous Content and Concordia Studio, and an investor in Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

Powell Jobs earned her bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Roger Waters

2020 SXSW Keynote, Roger Waters – Photo courtesy of the speaker

Roger Waters (Music Keynote) – A founding member and the creative force behind Pink Floyd, Roger Waters composed their multi-platinum albums including The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. He has toured extensively, and with The Wall became the most successful touring solo artist ever. Waters produced, co-directed, and co-wrote Roger Waters: The Wall, an intensely personal road trip that deals with the loss that he has felt throughout his life due to war. In Amsterdam, June 2018, Waters filmed his US + THEM live show. US + THEM is a story of human rights, liberty, and love.

At SXSW, Roger Waters will be interviewed about his distinguished career in the music industry and his upcoming tour. The journalist set to conduct the interview will be announced later in the season – stay tuned.

Whitney Wolfe Herd & Jon Korngold with Gayle King

2020 Keynotes, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Jon Korngold, and Gayle King – Photo courtesy of the speakers

Whitney Wolfe Herd & Jon Korngold in conversation with Gayle King (Interactive Keynote) – Founder and CEO of Bumble Whitney Wolfe Herd and Blackstone’s Global Head of Growth Equity Jon Korngold in conversation with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.

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Photo by Tico Mendoza

Photo by Tico Mendoza

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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.

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Session Formats

Learn more about the session formats for programming tracks at the SXSW Conference.

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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.

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