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.
2019 Keynote, Bozoma Saint John - Photo by Katie Marriner
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 SXSW Keynotes feature speakers from the Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence Tracks.
“The American people, clearly, are changing their mind on [cannabis]. As they do, this industry is going to grow exponentially.” John Boehner was elected to the US House of Representatives to represent Ohio’s 8th Congressional District in 1990. Boehner served as House Republican Conference Chairman, 1995-1998; Chairman, House Committee on Education & the Workforce, 2001-2006; House Majority Leader, 2006; House Minority Leader, 2007-2010; Speaker, 2011-2015. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Acreage Holdings. With headquarters in New York City, Acreage is the United States’ largest vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator. Boehner will be in conversation with Kevin Murphy, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Acreage Holdings.
Jessica Brillhart – 2019 Convergence Keynote
“Accessibility tends to be an afterthought and something that is tacked on at the end. But, if we actually build our experiences in from the get go with this in mind, from the very start, we can create more amazing experiences better than we thought we could, and we owe that to each other and ourselves to do.” Jessica Brillhart is an immersive director, writer, and theorist. She’s the founder of the independent studio, Vrai Pictures. Previously, Brillhart was the Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google where she worked with engineers to develop Google Jump, a virtual reality live-action capture ecosystem. Since then, Brillhart has made a range of highly acclaimed VR experiences, working with such entities as NASA, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence program, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Weather Channel. In 2017, Brillhart was heralded by MIT Technology Review as an innovator and pioneer in the field of virtual reality filmmaking and immersive entertainment.
“I will stay with the artists. Artists contain the accumulated knowledge of generations. Artists create conscience. The artists are our only hope.” Multiple Grammy and Oscar winner Joseph Henry “T Bone” Burnett is a producer, musician, and songwriter. Known recently for composing and producing music for the critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective, his film work includes the five-time Grammy winning soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, Cold Mountain, The Hunger Games, Crazy Heart, and Walk The Line. He has collaborated with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, and won “Album of the Year” and “Record of the Year” Grammy Awards for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand. His most recent solo album, The Invisible Light, will be released on April 12 on Electro Magnetic/Verve Forecast/Universal Music Group.
T Bone Burnett - Photo by Adrianne Schroeder
Kathy Griffin with Kara Swisher – 2019 Convergence Keynotes
“At 58, I just thought, if you’re not going to take a stand now, what the f*ck are you waiting for?” –Kathy Griffin Kara Swisher is the co-founder and editor-at-large of Recode, the business and technology brand from Vox Media. She is the producer and host of the Recode Decode and Pivot podcasts, co-executive producer of Recode’s Code Conferences series, New York Times contributing opinion writer, host of the Revolution series on MSNBC, and a CNBC contributor. In 2017, Swisher was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame. Swisher will be joined by a special guest. Two-time Emmy and Grammy award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin is a towering figure on television, on tour and in publishing. She breaks through the entertainment clutter with her universally recognized brand of pull-no-punches comedy. Following the premiere of Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story, she’ll sit down for a discussion about free speech, fake news, and the comedian’s precarious role in today’s cultural divide.
Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond – 2019 Music Keynotes
“Our band isn't just three people in a band, it’s NYC, it’s...everything.” –Adam Horovitz A Keynote Conversation with Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond of Beastie Boys with Amazon Music’s Nathan Brackett – Beastie Boys is a trio consisting of Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch (1964–2012), formed in 1981 as part of New York’s hardcore punk underground. The group’s first full-length album, Licensed to Ill, was the first rap album to reach #1. With seven multi-platinum albums from 1986 to 2011, including Licensed to Ill, Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty, To the 5 Boroughs, and Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Beastie Boys are one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, received the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 1998, and have won three Grammy Awards. Beastie Boys Book, written by Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond, was released in October and debuted at #1 on The New York Times Bestsellers List. They will be interviewed by Amazon Music head of editorial Nathan Brackett.
Beastie Boys – Photo by Mike Jordan/Getty Images for SXSW
Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom – 2019 Interactive Keynotes
“Different social networks allow you to be a different person and express that different facet of your personality. You on Twitter is probably very different than you on Snapchat, than Instagram, than Facebook, and that’s part of the beauty of having all these different choices.” – Kevin Systrom Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom are the Co-Founders of Instagram, a social networking platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram has grown into a global community of over one billion and a family of apps including Instagram, IGTV, Direct, Boomerang, Layout, and more. The company’s mission is to bring you closer to the people and things you love. Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom will be in conversation with Josh Constine, Editor-At-Large for TechCrunch, whose scope of coverage includes social networks, streaming music, and early-stage companies.
Joseph Lubin – 2019 Interactive Keynote
“Once you see this technology, it’s so powerful that you can’t unsee the technology; you start thinking differently. If we don’t bring in the rest of the world, then we’ve failed.” Joseph Lubin is the Founder of ConsenSys, a blockchain production studio that develops applications and utilities for the next generation decentralized web: Ethereum. Joseph graduated cum laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, where he worked as research staff in the Robotics Lab and then at Vision Applications, Inc., a private research firm, in the fields of autonomous mobile robotics, machine vision and artificial neural networks. Later, Joseph moved to Kingston, Jamaica to work on a set of projects in the music industry. Two years into the music project, Joseph co-founded the Ethereum Project, and has been working on Ethereum — and more recently ConsenSys — since January 2014. Lubin will be joined by a special guest during his SXSW Keynote.
Shirley Manson and Lauren Mayberry – 2019 Music Keynotes
“I want to be someone who passes the mic to these women, I want to be the one who stands up and fights with them…I want to make things better for the women who are coming up behind me. Things were difficult for me. I consider my generation – we’ve made things easier for Lauren’s generation, and Lauren in turn will make it easier for those who come behind.” – Shirley Manson Shirley Manson is lead vocalist of critically-acclaimed, alternative rock band Garbage. She has been an active song writer and recording artist for over 30 years. During the course of their award-winning career, Garbage have sold over 12 million records and now run their own independent record label, Stun Volume. Last year they released an autobiographical coffee-table book titled This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake and earlier this year Manson won the coveted NME Icon Award in recognition of her long musical career and her general outspokenness. Garbage are currently on tour in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their multi-Grammy nominated record, Version 2.0. They will be spending the first half of 2019 in the studio working on their yet untitled 7th record. Lauren Mayberry is a singer-songwriter and front-woman of the Scottish electronic pop band Chvrches. The band has released three critically-acclaimed and commercially successful albums, and have toured the world numerous times. As an artist, Mayberry has continuously challenged stereotypes and been unafraid to speak out on the role and treatment of female artists in the music industry.
Roger McNamee – 2019 Interactive Keynote
“You’re in a trust business. The thing you can’t do is hide behind a law that says you’re a platform, not a media company. In a trust business, once people lose trust, you’re screwed.” Roger McNamee has been a Silicon Valley investor for 35 years. He co-founded successful funds in venture, crossover and private equity. His most recent fund, Elevation, included U2’s Bono as a co-founder. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. McNamee plays bass and guitar in the bands Moonalice and Doobie Decibel System and is the author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, as well as The New Normal and The Moonalice Legend: Posters and Words, Volumes 1-9. He has served as a technical advisor for seasons two through five of HBO’s Silicon Valley series and was also responsible for raising the money that created the Wikimedia Foundation. Nicholas Thompson is the editor-in-chief of WIRED. Thompson is also a contributor for CBS News and regularly appears on CBS This Morning and CBSN. He is a co-founder of The Atavist and the former editor of the NewYorker.com.
Jeffrey Katzenberg & Meg Whitman – 2019 Convergence Keynotes
“We are trying to bring together the best of Silicon Valley and the best of Hollywood.” – Meg Whitman Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman explore the market trends that have opened the gates to a new form of storytelling delivered through a technology platform optimized for easy, on-the-go mobile viewing. They will discuss how they are bringing together the best of Hollywood and Silicon Valley to create the future of entertainment.
Marti Noxon – 2019 Film Keynote
“Your job is to know the thing your making and hold on to that truth and keep it.” With hundreds of hours of television under her belt, Marti Noxon is one of the most prolific writer-producers in television today. Noxon’s most recent projects include the high-profile prestige series Dietland for AMC and Sharp Objects for HBO, both of which she serves as creator and showrunner for. Also among her recent television offerings are Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, Code Black for CBS, and the Peabody Award winning UnREAL at Lifetime. Over the course of her impressive career Noxon has worked on some of the most beloved and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, and Glee. Additionally, Noxon made her feature directorial debut in 2017 with the powerful film To The Bone, which she also penned the screenplay for. Loosely based on her own personal experience with eating disorders, the film premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews and quickly sold to Netflix for $8 million, making it one of the highest sales to come out of this year’s festival. Noxon’s previous screenwriting credits include, I Am Number Four and Fright Night.
2019 Keynote, Marti Noxon (Photo by Patrick Harbron, AMC)
Dawn Ostroff, Matt Lieber, and Michael Mignano – 2019 Convergence Keynotes
“Podcasting is not one thing, in the same way that radio and video are not one thing.” – Matt Lieber Did you know people spend about the same amount of time on video as they do on audio? Yet the video market is worth approximately one trillion dollars, while music and radio together is currently valued at roughly one tenth of this. Spotify’s Chief Content Officer Dawn Ostroff, Gimlet’s President Matthew Lieber, and Anchor’s CEO Michael Mignano believe our ears are worth just as much as our eyes. The conversation will range from content creation and episodic production to how creator tools will evolve from a product standpoint. Join Ostroff, Lieber, and Mignano for their first collective interview since Spotify acquired podcasting companies Gimlet and Anchor. Together they’ll discuss the enormous opportunity in audio and why they believe the next phase of growth starts with podcasting.
PJ Raval - 2019 Film Keynote
“I’m making films because they’re personal to me.”
Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100”, PJ’s documentary film credits include Trinidad (Showtime, LOGO) and Before You Know It (PBS). Raval’s recent film Call Her Ganda is an intimate investigation into Jennifer Laude, a trans woman in the Philippines who was murdered by a US Marine. Theatrically released fall of 2018, Call Her Ganda is slated for US broadcast summer of 2019 and is currently nominated for a 2019 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. Raval is also the filmmaker behind the provocative and unapologetic Christeene music video series, hailed by the Hollywood Reporter as something you “desperately wish you could unsee.” He is also part of the producing team behind Travis Mathew’s psychological thriller Discreet and Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s documentary Pahokee. Also an accomplished cinematographer, Raval shot the Academy Award‐nominated Best Documentary Trouble the Water and is 2015 Guggenheim Fellow.
Bozoma Saint John – 2019 Convergence Keynote
“It’s so interesting, we’re always trying to predict what’s going to happen when we need to be paying attention to what’s happening right now.” – Bozoma Saint John Bozoma Saint John is Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor, a global leader in entertainment, sports, and fashion operating in more than 30 countries with a portfolio of companies including WME, IMG, and UFC. In her role, Saint John focuses on driving marketing efforts across Endeavor’s growing portfolio, including on behalf of Endeavor Global Marketing clients and premium brands. Collectively, the Endeavor network specializes in talent representation and management; brand marketing, sponsorship and licensing; media development, sales and distribution; event operation and management; and sports training and league development.
Olivia Wilde – 2019 Film Keynote
“I realized if I wanted things to change, if I wanted to make my voice heard, I was going to have to shift the paradigm from within and that is really hard. Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman with a resume ranging from director, to actress, producer, and activist. Her directorial film debut Booksmart will release wide on May 24th of this year. Wilde has starred in a range of award-winning and critically acclaimed films including Meadowland, Her, Rush, and Drinking Buddies and has worked with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood including Martin Scorsese, Spike Jonze, and Reed Morano. Additionally, she has directed music videos for The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Earlier this year, she was named one of the “Ten Directors To Watch” by Variety.
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The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, learn, and network. Each track allows attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of entertainment, culture, and technology.