Announcing more out of this world programming for SXSW 2023, quite literally in fact, with a Keynote Session with NASA and the third round of Featured Speakers for the 37th edition of the annual Conference.
At Unfold The Universe: NASA’s Webb Space Telescope, hear from galactic experts Laura Betz, Dr. Knicole Colón, Dr. Stefanie Milam, and Dr. Amber Straughn. This Keynote Session will feature an exclusive, never-before-seen image from the James Webb Space Telescope.
“We are honored to host a Keynote Session featuring members of the James Webb Space Telescope team,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer and Co-President. “They join an impressive group of Featured Speakers who have consistently strived for progress and discovery across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, technology, transportation, food, and the arts.”
The 2023 SXSW Conference will kick off with remarks from Opening Speaker Simran Jeet Singh, who is 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.
Featured Speakers announced today include Eric André, Blxst, Josh D'Amaro, Tommy Dorfman, Ashley Flowers, Gottmik, Nick Jonas, Martin Luther King III, Damon Lindelof, Eva Longoria, Alexis Ohanian, Maya Penn, Austin Russell, RZA, Dan Schulman, Cheryl Strayed, Jen Wong, and more.
Only at SXSW can you explore what's next for the worlds of technology, film, television, music, and beyond all under one roof with a taco in hand. Register early to experience this stellar programming and more from March 10-19 in Austin, TX. Secure your SXSW Badge by February 2 to save.
Dive into newly-announced Featured Speakers and Featured Sessions across our 25 tracks of programming below. Add sessions of interest to your own personalized SXSW Schedule today and stay tuned for more SX updates all season long.
Unfold The Universe: NASA’s Webb Space Telescope
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), released its first full-color images and spectroscopic data on July 12, 2022. As the largest and most complex observatory ever launched into space, Webb went through a six-month period of preparation before it began science operations with 50 major deployments, careful alignment of the mirrors, and calibrating the instruments.
In this session, join NASA Goddard Communications Team Lead for the James Webb Space Telescope Laura Betz, Astrophysicist and James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Project Scientist for Exoplanet Science Dr. Knicole Colón, Planetary Scientist and James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Project Scientist for Planetary Science Dr. Stefanie Milam and Astrophysicist and Deputy Project Scientist for James Webb Space Telescope Science Communications Dr. Amber Straughn as they review Webb’s latest scientific discoveries, discuss how this observatory will continue to explore the uncharted territories of our cosmos, and share a never-before-seen image from the James Webb Space Telescope.
This session joins previously-announced speaker Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert as part of the 2023 Keynote lineup. Stay tuned for even more Keynote announcements coming this season.
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
Founder and Host of the Voices of VR podcast Kent Bye
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.
Actress, writer, director, producer and founder and Creative Director of CURRAN Tommy Dorfman
Creator and host of the podcast Crime Junkie and founder and CEO of audiochuck Ashley Flowers in conversation with President of audiochuck Kevin Mills
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.
New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and co-founder and Senior Maverick at Wired Kevin Kelly
Emmy-nominated director, producer, actress, entrepreneur and activist Eva Longoria
Grammy-award winning rapper, businessman and activist Killer Mike
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
Activist, filmmaker, and musician Boots Riley
Record producer, director, screenwriter, rapper, and composer RZA
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
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.
CEO of Kickstarter Everette Taylor
Founder and CEO of Chobani Hamdi Ulukaya
COO of Reddit Jen Wong
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.
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?
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 queen Jaida 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.
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.
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.
2023 Featured Speakers & Sessions
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2023 Speakers (l-r) Eva Longoria, Martin Luther King III, Nick Jonas – Photo by Dennis Leupold, and Eric André