Keynotes

March 8-16, 2019



Keynote speakers embody the spirit, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial drive that SXSW cultivates. These powerful presentations by diverse visionaries from the ever-evolving worlds of Interactive, Film, and Music are the center of the SXSW Conference.


2019 Keynotes


SXSW 2018 Keynote, Sadiq Khan – Photo by Randy & Jackie Smith

SXSW 2018 Keynote, Sadiq Khan – Photo by Randy & Jackie Smith

About Keynotes

 

At the crux of each day’s SXSW Conference programming, join us for hour-long Keynotes. These presentations by some of the creative and tech industries’ most inspired thinkers cover a wide range of compelling topics.

2019 SXSW Keynotes will take place from Friday, March 8 to Saturday, March 16 and feature speakers from the Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence Tracks. The SXSW Conference will include 13 total Keynote speakers announced throughout the season.

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

Stay tuned to SXSW News for more 2019 announcements throughout the season.

2019 Keynotes

 

2019 SXSW Keynote, John Boehner

John Boehner – Convergence

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.

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Jessica Brillhart – Film Keynote

2019 SXSW Keynote, Jessica Brillhart

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.

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2019 SXSW Keynote,

T Bone Burnett – Music

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.

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2019 SXSW Keynote,

Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond – Music

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.

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Dawn Ostroff, Matt Lieber, and Michael Mignano – Convergence Keynote

SXSW 2019 Convergence Keynote Speakers Dawn Ostroff, Matt Lieber, and Michael Mignano

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.

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Bozoma Saint John – Convergence Keynote

2019 SXSW Keynote, Jessica Brillhart

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.

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Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom – Interactive Keynote

2019 SXSW Keynote – 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.

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Joseph Lubin – Interactive Keynote

2019 SXSW Keynote, Joseph Lubin - Photo courtesy ConsenSys

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.

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Shirley Manson and Lauren Mayberry – Music Keynote

2019 SXSW Keynotes, Lauren Mayberry and Shirley Manson

Join vocalist Shirley Manson and singer-songwriter Lauren Mayberry for a Keynote Conversation in association with PRS Foundation’s Keychange program.

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 have 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.

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2019 SXSW Keynote,

Roger McNamee – Interactive

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.

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SXSW 2019 Convergence Keynote Speakers Jeffrey Katzenberg, Meg Whitman, and Dylan Byers

The Next Form of Storytelling: The Future of Technology-Enabled Entertainment – Convergence Keynote

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 – Film Keynote

2019 Keynote, Marti Noxon (Photo by Patrick Harbron, AMC)

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.

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2019 SXSW Keynote,

Kathy Griffin with Kara Swisher – Convergence

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.

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Olivia Wilde – Film Keynote

2019 SXSW Keynote – Kevin Systrom

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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Stay tuned for more Keynote announcements throughout the 2019 SXSW season.

All speakers subject to change

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Darren Aronofsky – 2018 Film Keynote

"Stories were this universal language that we all share on the planet. The most modern tool for stories is filmmaking."

Brooklyn born and raised, Academy Award®-nominated director Darren Aronofsky is the founder of Protozoa Pictures. He is the writer and director of mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Last year, Aronofsky produced Jackie. He directed, co-wrote, and produced Noah (2014). Before that he directed the indie box office phenomenon, Black Swan (2010). It starred Natalie Portman who won an Academy Award® for her performance. Aronofsky directed and produced The Wrestler (2008). His earlier credits include directing and writing the acclaimed films: The Fountain (2006); Requiem for a Dream (2000); and Pi (1998).

Ta-Nehisi Coates – 2018 Convergence Keynote

"When you’re called to write, even though you have your opinions, there has to be a basic fairness. Which does not mean objectivity or lack of opinion, but you have to have a loyalty to facts.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. His book Between The World And Me won the National Book Award in 2015. He is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Coates' latest book is We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.

Lyor Cohen – 2018 Music Keynote

“I am open for change, I’m psyched for change. And more importantly, I love music.”

Lyor Cohen is an American music industry executive, currently serving as Global Head of Music at YouTube and Google where he oversees domestic and international music partnerships as well as artist and label relations. He is also founder of 300, a music content company that leverages innovative tech to discover, cultivate and promote rising artists with a boutique focus. Prior to 300, Cohen was the Chairman and CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group. Cohen was intimately involved in the careers of The Killers, fun., Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, The Black Keys, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and many more.

Nonny de la Peña – 2018 Convergence Keynote

“You don’t experience your world as flat, you experience it with volume.”

Nonny de la Peña is one of the most influential pioneers in virtual and augmented reality. She is founder and CEO of the award-winning Emblematic Group, renowned for using cutting-edge technologies to tell immersive stories that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. She was named one of CNET’s 20 Most Influential Latinos In Tech, Wired Magazine’s #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change and has been called the "Godmother of VR" by Forbes, Engadget, and The Guardian. Widely credited with inventing the field of immersive journalism by premiering the first-ever VR experience at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, Hunger In Los Angeles, she is now on the verge of announcing another breakthrough: Emblematic Group’s new REACH web platform, which allows anyone to tell their story in room-scale VR.

Melinda Gates – 2018 Interactive Keynote

"Even though the American workforce has evolved dramatically over the course of my lifetime, the American workplace has not caught up to that."

Philanthropist Melinda Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. Core to her work is empowering women and girls to help them realize their full potential. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is guided by the belief that every life has equal value, Gates shapes and approves strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the world’s largest private foundation. Gates recently launched an executive office, Pivotal Ventures, which enables her to bring together the different strands of her advocacy and philanthropic work and create meaningful change.

Barry Jenkins – 2018 Film Keynote

"My first film Medicine For Melancholy premiered at this festival, world premiered at this festival. I’d like to say that SXSW is kind of like the birth of Barry Jenkins filmmaker in a sort of way."

Academy Award® winner Barry Jenkins feature film debut, Medicine for Melancholy (which had its world premiere at SXSW in 2008) was hailed as one of the best films of 2009 by The New York Times. Jenkins received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his second feature Moonlight, which won Best Picture at both the Oscars and the Golden Globes (Drama). His upcoming projects include adaptations of If Beale Street Could Talk and The Underground Railroad.

Sadiq Khan – 2018 Convergence Keynote

"In some cases, these new [social media] platforms have been used to exacerbate, fuel, and deepen the divisions within our communities. The impact is and continues to be profound and should worry democracies around the world.”

Sadiq Khan is the Mayor of London, having been elected in May 2016 with the largest personal mandate in the history of British politics. Khan began his career practicing law with a focus on human rights, then served as a Member of Parliament representing a constituency in south London for ten years.

Esther Perel – 2018 Interactive Keynote

"I live with one perennial truth: the quality of your relationships is what determines the quality of your life.”

Psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she helms a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED Talks have garnered nearly 20 million views and her international bestseller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity (HarperCollins). Perel is also an executive producer and host of the popular Audible original podcast Where Should We Begin?

Linda Perry & Kerry Brown – 2018 Music Keynote

"Rock and roll right now is on a grid. It doesn’t belong on a grid. It belongs on a pulse." – Linda Perry

Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Linda Perry is best known for her work as the lead singer and chief songwriter of 4 Non Blondes as well as her production and songwriting credits for artists such as Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Pink, and many more. Artist manager and multi-platinum producer Kerry Brown is known for his recording credits for The Smashing Pumpkins, Miley Cyrus, Ziggy Marley, and more, as well as his film and TV credits for Blow, P.S. I Love You, Scream, and more. Perry and Brown co-founded We Are Hear as a combination record label, publishing house, and management company to provide the services of a major label while nurturing artistic freedom.

whurley – 2018 Convergence Keynote

"I believe that quantum computing is another paradigm shift in computing and I think it can change what we think of as computing more in the next 10 to 15 years than computing has evolved in the last 100 years."

whurley is founder and CEO of Strangeworks, a quantum computing startup based in Austin, Texas. He is the Chair of the Quantum Standards Working Group at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and blogs about quantum computing on superposition.com. His latest book Endless Impossibilities brings the realities of a quantum future into the present, helping readers understand and prepare for the coming age of quantum computing.

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