SXSW keynote speakers revealed

Posted on Monday, February 19, 2024 by BRITTANY HAINZINGER, Social Editor

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals has announced the addition of new Keynotes and a fifth round of Featured Speakers for the 38th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, television, and music. SXSW takes place March 8-16, 2024 in Austin, Texas. The Keynotes announced include five-time Olympic gold medalist, four-time FIBA Basketball World Cup gold medalist, four-time WNBA champion, two-time NCAA champion,13-time WNBA All-Star, co-founder of A Touch More, and co-founder of TOGETHXR Sue Bird, co-founder and Chief Content Officer of TOGETHXR Jessica Robertson, and author of national bestseller Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What is Human in a World of Machines and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League Dr. Joy Buolamwini.

SXSW announces new keynotes and fifth round of featured speakers

The Featured Speakers announced include New York Times bestselling author, creator and Host of the podcast On Purpose, Chief Purpose Officer at Calm Jay Shetty, two-time Emmy Award-winning actress and founding Board Member of Baby2Baby Julie Bowen, English actress, and producer Daisy Ridley, Justice's Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay, Grammy Award-nominated producer, and co-founder of Sonu TOKiMONSTA, award-winning actor, filmmaker, and producer Mark Duplass, CEO of Deezer Jeronimo Folgueira, actor and producer Sonequa Martin-Green, President and CEO for the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northup, and Apple’s Senior Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives Sarah Herrlinger.

"SXSW always strives to curate a diverse lineup of speakers from wide-ranging industries, creating countless opportunities for discovery, inspiration, and collaboration. In March, you’ll hear insights from basketball legend Sue Bird in conversation with founder Jessica Robertson, plus award-winning AI researcher Dr. Joy Buolamwini, and Host of On Purpose Jay Shetty, as well as our full lineup of extraordinary speakers. This is what makes SXSW a premier destination for global professionals," said Hugh Forrest, Co-President and Chief Programming Officer.

SXSW’s previously announced Keynote Speakers include President, CEO, and Chair of AMD Lisa Su in conversation with futurist, TV news commentator, Board Director and Senior Fellow at the Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and Host of The Moment with Ryan Patel, Academy Award-winning writers and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of the six-time Grammy Award-winning band The Black Keys.

The SXSW Conference is organized into 24 programming tracks presented in a variety of session formats. Tracks for 2024 include 2050, Advertising & Brand Experience, Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change, Creating Film & TV, Creator Economy, Culture, Design, Energy, Fashion & Beauty, Film & TV Industry, Food, Game Industry, Government and Civic Engagement, Health & MedTech, Music & Tech, Music Careers, Psychedelics, Sports, Startups, Tech Industry, Transportation, Workplace, and XR. More information about SXSW programming tracks and formats can be on the SXSW website.


Newly-announced SXSW 2024 keynotes:

  • Sue Bird & Jessica Robertson in Conversation About the Investment and Growth of Women’s Sports: In their Keynote Session, five-time Olympic gold medalist, four-time FIBA Basketball World Cup gold medalist, four-time WNBA champion, two-time NCAA champion,13-time WNBA All-Star, co-founder of A Touch More, and co-founder of TOGETHXR Sue Bird and co-founder and Chief Content Officer of TOGETHXR Jessica Robertson will go in-depth on the cultural rise in popularity of women’s sports, touching on how female athletes (at every age) have been vastly underrepresented. They will also discuss what TOGETHXR has been doing (and continues to do) to elevate female athletes and women’s sports, and the pivotal roles that big brands can play in driving positive change in women’s sports.
  • Author of national bestseller Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What is Human in a World of Machines and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League Dr. Joy Buolamwini

Newly-announced featured speakers include:

  • Humanitarian, culinary innovator, author, Emmy Award-winning television personality, founder of World Central Kitchen, and chef/owner of Jose Andres Group Jose Andres, joins the CEO of Delta Air Lines Ed Bastian in the previously-announced session People First, Always: How to Put Values at the Heart of Your Business.
     

Newly-announced featured sessions include:

  • 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2024: Each year, MIT Technology Review reporters and editors assemble a list of the top breakthrough technologies that will change the world. In this session, the CEO and Publisher of MIT Technology Review Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau will share the publication’s list of ten breakthrough technologies with the SXSW audience, explaining each one and how it will impact how we live and work.
  • Amazon on the Future of Artificial General Intelligence: Amazon believes AI is the most transformational technology of our time, capable of tackling some of humanity’s most challenging problems. That is why the company is investing in generative AI to responsibly develop and deploy large language models (LLMs) across all of its businesses. These advancements are part of Amazon’s long-term pursuit of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). In this session, Global Technology Correspondent at Axios Ryan Heath and Vice President of  AGI at Amazon Vishal Sharma will discuss what today’s AI may imply for the future, the progress of LLMs towards the quest for AGI, and its potential to benefit society at large.
  • Artist Centric: A New Era For Music Streaming Payments: The world’s first artist-centric payment system for music streaming was launched on Deezer in October 2023. It is designed to reward all artists who attract a consistent and engaged fan base - through boosting mechanisms, fraud detection, restrictions on noise content, and a "user-centric" cap. What are the learnings from the first 6 months? What does the future hold? Join President and CEO of the American Association of Independent Music Richard James Burgess, Executive Vice President of Digital Business Development and Strategy at Universal Music Group Jonathan Dworkin, CEO of Deezer Jeronimo Folgueira, and CEO of Sacem Cecile Rap-Veber for a deep dive discussion on what the new model means to labels, distributors, artists, rights holders, and the industry as a whole.
  • Celebrating 25 Years of "Office Space," with Mike Judge, Cast, and The Hollywood Reporter: This session will be a live Office Space reunion event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of actor, animator, writer, producer, and director Mike Judge's cult-comedy classic. Judge, who wrote and directed the 1999 movie (which was filmed in Austin), will appear alongside actor Gary Cole, actor David Herman, Golden Globe Award-nominated actor Ron Livingston, actor Ajay Naidu, and actor Stephen Root for a lively, fan-driven conversation with Hollywood Reporter Contributing Editor Stacey Wilson Hunt.
  • A Conversation with Daisy Ridley:  English actress and producer Daisy Ridley continues to make her mark on Hollywood as one of the most dynamic actresses of our time. She is best known for her breakthrough role as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and the final film of the Skywalker Saga Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. In this session, Ridley will reflect on her career thus far, which has also included roles in Murder on the Orient Express, Chaos Walking, and most recently Sometimes I Think About Dying, and discuss upcoming projects, which include the noir thriller Magpie and Young Woman and the Sea. Magpie will have its world premiere at the SXSW Film & TV Festival.
  • A Conversation with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Kirk Watson, Mayor of Austin: In this session, join the CEO of Uber Dara Khosrowshahi, and the Mayor of Austin, Texas Kirk Watson for a candid conversation on how industry and government can use technology to address the climate crisis and what the future of mobility and delivery, including transit and rideshare, look like in Austin and around the world.
  • Creating an Equitable Future for Artists in Streaming: While streaming has helped democratize access to music, it hasn’t evenly shared the profits with the artists. When the largest streaming platform only returns 70% of the money it generates from music back to the industry, we know there’s a problem. Per the RIAA, 1,500 streams are the equivalent of one album. And that's just for tracking purposes; with the average stream netting just a fraction of a penny, most artists need even more streams than that to make up the revenue from a single album sale. In this session, join Grammy Award-nominated producer and co-founder of Sonu TOKiMONSTA for a candid conversation about the future of streaming - one where artists capture more of the value they generate with their work.
  • The Death of Peak TV - And What It Means for Hollywood: 2024 represents the dawn of an uncertain new era for the TV business, and the evidence for that is clear in one of its most closely followed metrics: the so-called Peak TV trend, which tracks the volume of original series produced across streaming and linear platforms each year. After many cycles of seemingly limitless growth, an unmistakable decline has begun, and where it goes from here is anybody’s guess. While Hollywood’s 2023 labor strikes are a major factor, a more complex web of dynamics is also at play. In this session, Media Analyst at Variety Intelligence Platform Tyler Aquilina will analyze how this seismic shift is impacting the many facets of the TV business, transforming the industry in the process, and giving the global marketplace glimpses of what the medium will become in the future.
  • F The Swipe-Up: Reimagining Celeb Partnerships with Activism: In this session, join Chief Brand Officer at Bobbie Kim Chappell and journalist, television host, and New York Times bestselling author Elaine Welteroth as they discuss how being a parent inherently makes you an activist and the ways Bobbie has used this as the foundation of their social-first celebrity partnerships since inception. They will also share how ‘The MotherBoard’ – the brand’s yearly cohort of parent activists – joins in the company’s mission to change parenting culture by advocating for issues from Paid Leave for All to the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis. Hear about how pushing for nationwide policy impact alongside radically candid storytelling via social media has proven to be a more than successful formula for creating a beloved brand with unprecedented growth.
  • The Future of Indie TV with Duplass Brothers Productions: Synonymous with independently-produced cinema for nearly two decades, SXSW 2024 marks the official launch of Duplass Brothers Productions' new model for indie episodic television. Four new independently financed and produced shows from Duplass Brothers will be featured at the 2024 SXSW Film & TV Festival: Penelope, The Broadcast, Ryley Walker & Friends, and The Long Long Night. In this session, join award-winning actor, filmmaker, and producer Mark Duplass, award-winning film and television producer, writer, director, and President of Duplass Brothers Productions Mel Eslyn, actor and director Barret O’Brien, and absurdist physical comedians Natalie Palamides and Courtney Pauroso to learn more about the secret sauce of this pioneering new way of making episodic television, from development to production to distribution.
  • Health Care Crisis in Post-Roe America: Finding Your Voice: Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, 14 states have enforced criminal abortion bans. Among the many harms of these laws, patients with serious pregnancy complications are being denied medically necessary care, putting their lives, health, and fertility on the line. In this session, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northup joins reproductive rights activists and plaintiffs in the Zurawski v. TX lawsuit Amanda Zurawski and Samantha Casiano as they discuss having sued and spoken out on the need to have patients and their doctors – not politicians – make healthcare decisions. They’re also joined by Bumble Inc. Interim General Counsel Elizabeth Monteleone to share how Bumble has spoken out. In hearing how they found their voices on this issue, we can learn how to raise our own in post-Roe America.
  • I Miss You When You’re Next to Me: A Conversation With Jay Shetty: We've been told that time together is important, but often, even when we're physically next to someone, we end up distracted—scrolling through our phones or lost in our thoughts. In those moments, the physical presence doesn't translate into meaningful interaction or conversation, ultimately resulting in wasting time. In this presentation, New York Times bestselling author, creator and Host of the podcast On Purpose, and Chief Purpose Officer at Calm Jay Shetty will share how we can make the most of our time together, to deepen our relationships and intimacy.
  • Julie Bowen & Baby2Baby On Leveraging Celebrities For Impact: Businesses are trying to master the art of celebrity, influencer, and strategic partnerships, and Baby2Baby has the playbook, having successfully leveraged support from 75+ celebrity ambassadors. In this session, two-time Emmy Award-winning actress and founding Board Member of Baby2Baby Julie Bowen will talk with Co-CEOs of Baby2Baby Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein about how they’ve revolutionized the sponsorship model to deliver essential items to over one million children in the US annually and respond to natural disasters nationwide.
  • Justice: In Conversation: Since the release of their debut album Cross in 2007, the legendary two-time Grammy Award-winning French electronic duo Justice has left their mark on the world with their innovative approach to creating music. In a rare public conversation, Justice's Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay will discuss with Senior Music Correspondent at Billboard Katie Bain their forthcoming album, Hyperdrama, and speak to the legacy and future of the renowned and boundary-pushing project.
  • Mental Health in Film & TV: Safe Sets, Heroic Stories: The role of film and TV is to explore the human condition, but what if we could change lives with our stories? We are living in a mental health epidemic: suicide rates have never been so high, and therapeutic interventions, from rehabs to social media content, are at the forefront of the zeitgeist. Stories about mental health can have a positive, substantive impact on the world. We can’t solve the world’s mental health problems on screen while creating mental health problems on set.  In this session, 21 Grams founder and filmmaker Jorey Worb, mental health expert Dane Ensley, and EUPHORIA intimacy coordinator Mam Smith will explore how compelling, honest narratives about trauma, neurodiversity, and recovery can do more than just entertain; they can heal.
  • Paramount+'s Star Trek Discovery: The Trailblazing Journey to the Fifth and Final Season: The hit Paramount+ Original Series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY prepares to embark on its fifth and final season this April 2024. Since its debut in 2017, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY has earned widespread acclaim for its dedication to diversity and for redefining the Star Trek franchise for a new generation. The show's unique strength lies not only in its captivating narrative and award-winning world-building but also in the groundbreaking representation it brings to the forefront. In this session, join cast members Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Mary Wiseman, Wilson Cruz, David Ajala, and Blu del Barrio and co-showrunners and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise as they discuss the final season, which will see the beloved crew embarking on a new adventure, and celebrate the show’s bold storytelling over its past four seasons as it continues to honor Star Trek’s legacy of "infinite diversity in infinite combinations."
  • Ready Player One Creator & Readyverse Studios Co-founders Bring IP/Brands to the Open Metaverse: Visionary futurist, #1 New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter, Co-Founder of Readyverse Studios, and creator of the groundbreaking franchise Ready Player One, Ernest Cline envisioned a future forever changed by technology in his best-selling novel and the Academy Award-nominated blockbuster film adaptation that followed, amassing a global fan base and inspiring the transition from science fiction to reality. Now, that future is upon us. Cline and Ready Player One producer Dan Farah have partnered with Shara Senderoff and Aaron McDonald, who Co-Founded Futureverse, a leading AI and metaverse technology and content company, to form Readyverse Studios. The new company is building a definitive destination for fans to explore their favorite IP in the open metaverse, leveraging web3, metaverse games and experiences, augmented reality, and VR technologies that will shift the course of entertainment and technology. In their first public appearance, the Readyverse Studios founders will discuss the importance of interoperability in the metaverse, the technology required, and their insights on the significance of IP and brands to the open metaverse, which they view as the next phase in the exciting evolution of the internet.
  • Robotic Renaissance: The Dawn of Humanoid Innovation: In the grand narrative of human ingenuity, from mastering the wheel to advancing microchip technology, stands our next monumental leap: the Humanoid Robot. The most sophisticated tool that humans ever made isn’t just about gears and circuits; it’s about dreams, aspirations, and the endless possibilities of our collective imagination. Envision a world where time doesn’t limit our creativity and aspirations and Humanoid robots handle life’s routines, liberating us to pursue what truly matters to us. Will we channel our newfound energy into creative pursuits, or drift into ease and indulgence? In this session, join multi-disciplinary creator and founder of Moonshot Platform Yemi A.D. and co-founder and CEO of Apptronik Jeff Cardenas as they discuss Apollo, Apptronik’s cutting-edge humanoid robot, and take you on a journey through time, weaving together the stark realities of our past with a hopeful outlook on a future enhanced by humanoid robotics. It’s an invitation to witness where the realms of technology and creative artistry converge, painting a vivid picture of what lies ahead.
  • Sarah Herrlinger on Accessibility at Apple: At Apple, accessibility is a human right and a core value, which has led to breakthroughs across products and services as well as the representation of people with disabilities. In this session, join Apple’s Senior Director of Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives Sarah Herrlinger as she shares the company’s latest innovations in vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive, and speech accessibility and how these features advance the company's mission of creating technology that works for everyone.
  • Turning Podcast IP into TV: Podcasts remain hot Hollywood commodities as studios continue mining them for television series and feature films. In this session, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group’s Executive Vice President of Television Alix Jaffe, Treefort Media’s Head of Content Lisa Ammerman, and Candice DeLong, retired FBI criminal profiler and host of the hit podcast Killer Psyche discuss how the two companies created original IP with plans to launch a new true crime podcast. The series entitled Natural Selection: Scott vs Wild Bill, is the untold tale of an unsuspecting American retiree framed by a serial killer for multiple murders committed in a tropical Panamanian hideaway. After its launch in March 2024, the podcast will be followed by documentary and scripted TV adaptations.
  • What Does an AI Utopia Look Like?: In this session, entrepreneur, investor, and founder of Khosla Ventures Vinod Khosla will start with a 30,000-foot view of this critical point in history, and how it differs from previous technological phase changes. With his 40-year history sponsoring technological disruption, he will discuss the origins of change and innovation, lay out his predictions for how AI will upend every sector of GDP, and reveal how these predictions can create a utopian society if executed correctly. No corner of the world will be untouched.
  • Your Story, My Film with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Nicolas Jack Davies: Grammy Award-winning composer, filmmaker, photographer, guitarist, producer, and member of The Mars Volta Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has always documented his life and the careers of his bands on film. Handing over decades worth of intimate and personal footage to film director Nicholas Jack Davies to tell the story of Omar and The Mars Volta bandmate Cedric Bixler-Zavala in Omar and Cedric: If This Ever Gets Weird took an immense amount of trust, creative understanding, and faith. This session will focus on the themes of Trust and Creativity in creating art, as discussed by Davies and Rodriguez-Lopez, each with their unique perspective on the subject material. Omar and Cedric: If This Ever Gets Weird will have its North American Premiere at the SXSW Film & TV Festival.
     

Additional keynote speakers and featured sessions will be announced in the coming weeks

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conferences and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film and television, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music, and comedy showcases, film and television screenings, exhibitions, professional development, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2024 will take place March 8–16 in Austin. To register for the event or learn more, please visit the SXSW website.

SXSW 2024 is sponsored by Porsche, C4 Energy, Delta, Itau, Army, and The Austin Chronicle.

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