SXSW Announces New Keynotes and Featured Speakers for 2020 Conference

Laurene Powell Jobs, Diplo and Gabo Arora Added to the Keynote Lineup

Featured Speakers Announced Include Stephen Colbert, Jack Dorsey, Samantha Bee, Bob Chapek, Jonathan Van Ness, Tarana Burke, Dr. Brené Brown, Dr. Werner Vogels, Lynn Shelton, Jen Wong and More



Austin, Texas — January 13, 2020 — South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 13-22, 2020) has announced the next wave of Keynotes and Featured Speakers for the 34th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, and music industries.

The Keynotes announced today include award-winning immersive artist Gabo Arora; Grammy-winning musician, DJ, producer, and cultural figure Diplo; and Emerson Collective founder and president Laurene Powell Jobs.

"From amplifying social change to remake our lives and communities better to imagining new ways to leverage technology in storytelling, we're truly excited about the programming that we've announced today," said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. "The creative and bold innovative talent speaking at SXSW this year continues to provide a compelling destination for people across industries to gather and engage with strong vision for our future."

Previously announced Keynote Speakers include Erin Lee Carr (Film), Reggie Fils-Aimé (Convergence), Kim Gordon (Music), Roger Waters (Music), and Whitney Wolfe Herd and Jon Korngold with Gayle King (Interactive).

The SXSW Conference is organized into 22 programming tracks, covering Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence topics and presented in a variety of session formats.

Newly-announced SXSW 2020 Keynotes include:

Award-winning immersive artist, professor and former UN diplomat Gabo Arora (Convergence)

Grammy-winning musician, DJ, producer, and cultural figure Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo (Music)

Emerson Collective founder and president Laurene Powell Jobs (Convergence)

Newly-announced Featured Sessions Include:

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee host, comedian, writer, producer, and actress Samantha Bee (Media & Journalism)

Researcher and #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Brené Brown as part of the launch of her new weekly podcast, Unlocking Us, in conversation with activist and #metoo founder Tarana Burke, on the topic of empathy (Climate & Social Action)

Veteran industry executive and River House Artists founder Lynn Oliver-Cline (Creating & Monetizing Music)

Award-winning executive producer, writer and host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, best-selling author, actor, producer and comedian Stephen Colbert (Film & TV Industry)

Patreon co-founder, musician, and filmmaker Jack Conte (Future of Music)

Co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey in conversation with Axios business editor Dan Primack (Tech Industry & Enterprise)

Investor and bestselling author Tim Ferriss in conversation with neuroscientist, philosopher, and bestselling author Sam Harris in a live version of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, where they will discuss dangerous ideas, meditation, psychedelics, and more (Connection & Culture)

Center for Humane Technology co-founder and design ethicist Tristan Harris (Design)

Thirty Five Ventures co-founder and partner, and Kevin Durant’s manager Rich Kleiman in conversation with ESPN Host, former basketball player, and entrepreneur Jay Williams in a discussion about The Boardroom: the innovative content platform that showcases the new way athletes & executives engage off the court and at the intersection of sports, business, tech, entertainment and culture (Sports)

Global adventurer, TV host, motivational speaker, and best-selling author Leon Logothetis (Connection & Culture)

Founder of music management company Monotone, Inc. and co-founder of the media and production group LBI Entertainment Ian Montone (Creating & Monetizing Music)

Researcher and #1 New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Brené Brown as part of the launch of her new weekly podcast, Unlocking Us, in conversation with Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, on the topic of vulnerability (Connection & Culture)

Professional speaker and storyteller Dan Nevins, Yoga instructor Gioconda Parker and Wanderlust Yoga Austin founder Ashley Spence in conversation about Rising Voices, a training platform that provides healing and authentic connection through storytelling (Climate & Social Action)

NSA Director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger with WIRED editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson (Tech Industry & Enterprise)

Mycologist and author Paul Stamets (Health & MedTech)

Writer, journalist, editor and science fiction novelist Bruce Sterling (Fantastic Future) Chief Technology Officer Dr. Werner Vogels (Tech Industry & Enterprise)

Reddit Chief Operating Officer Jen Wong (Advertising & Brand Experience)

Newly-announced Featured Sessions Include:

Less Trust, More Truth: The Web 3.0 Thesis (Tech Industry & Enterprise): A presentation on trust, truth and the new internet with Ethereum co-founder and CTO Dr. Gavin Wood with a Q&A by Austin Blockchain Collective Executive Director Pete Harris

Sparking Female Stories: Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere (Making Film & Episodics): Join the powerhouse production team behind Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere, for a conversation around the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry today. Showrunner and executive producer Liz Tigelaar, directors Lynn Shelton, Nzingha Stewart, Michael Weaver, and executive producers Lauren Neustadter of Hello Sunshine and Pilar Savone of Simpson Street will discuss the importance of using storytelling as a means of charting a new path forward for women and how they are working with stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, who are leading the charge in female-driven productions, to transform gender and ethnic representation in film and television.

Supernatural: 15 Years of Fandom (Making Film & Episodics): From the series launch in 2005 on the former WB Network to the current 15th and final broadcast season on The CW, Supernatural is a case study in how a little “series-that-could” beat the odds to become the longest-running American sci-fi series in television history. Produced by Warner Bros. Television, series stars Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins will join a panel of Supernatural experts, including Samantha Highfill from Entertainment Weekly and Alice Jester from The Winchester Family Business, to discuss how a series with more than 300 episodes continues to trend on social media, sell out magazine covers and merchandise, pack fan conventions around the world, and be a force for social good — all while trying to make a positive and lasting impact.

Technology + Storytelling = Magic (Experiential Storytelling): Today’s technological revolution is changing the game when it comes to experiential storytelling, and Disney is staying ahead of the curve by leveraging emerging tech to revolutionize the Guest Experience. In this conversation, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, will be joined by Disney Imagineers to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at some of the incredible innovations Disney uses to bring stories to life at destinations around the world

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, the event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2020 will take place March 13 - 22, 2020. For more information, please visit To register for the event, please visit

SXSW 2020 is sponsored by White Claw and The Austin Chronicle.

Source SXSW

January 13, 2020 9:30pm ET by SXSW  

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