SXSW Announces Initial Featured Speakers for 2024 Conference

Featured Speakers Announced include Alex Cooper, Rosario Dawson, Peter Deng, Tim Ferris, Grimes, Brooke Hopper, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Amy Webb, and more

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Austin, Texas — August 29, 2023 — South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals has announced its initial Featured Speakers for the 38th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, television, and music.

“Whether it’s how AI will change the way we create, or how storytelling can further amplify voices that fully represent our communities, at SXSW we’re constantly discussing how the future will impact our world,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer and Co-President. “Ranging from Peter Deng to Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, to Amy Webb, our first group of Featured Speakers includes world-renowned experts who can provide answers to the many questions posed by these fast-developing industries.”

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 found here.

Newly-announced Featured Speakers and Sessions include:

·        AI and Humanity’s Co-evolution with OpenAI’s Head of ChatGPT: AI is changing us from creators and answerers into curators and askers. In this provocative talk with Venture Partner at SignalFire Josh Constine and OpenAI’s VP of Consumer Product and Head of ChatGPT Peter Deng, they’ll explore the role of humans in the age of AI. What are AI’s practical and philosophical implications? How will it change our perception of ourselves? And are we all destined to become prompt engineers or happily unemployed artists?

·        AI and the Independent Artist: From AI-powered composition and artwork creation to voiceprints and curated playlists, AI is changing the way artists create and market their music and engage with their fans. With these new tools comes a new set of challenges and responsibilities for the music industry. Artists can harness the power of AI, but it is the responsibility of companies across the industry to ensure that human artistry is supported, not replaced. In this session, join CEO of TuneCore Andreea Gleeson, award-winning multidisciplinary artist Grimes, and CEO of CreateSafe Daouda Leonard as they present principles for companies to consider as artists engage with AI opportunities, as well as results & lessons learned from early AI pilot programs.

·        Amy Webb Launches 2024 Emerging Tech Trend Report: In this mind-bending session, CEO of the Future Today Institute and professor at NYU Stern School of Business Amy Webb will provide a data-driven analysis for the emerging tech trends that need to be on your radar this year — and she’ll show you scenarios that will change your perspective on the futures. In addition, attendees of this session will be in for an extra-special treat this year as they will receive a special SXSW-edition of the Tech Trend Report, which is downloaded 1 million times every year.

·        Building the Next Era of the Internet: The internet of today is a far cry from its early promise of a decentralized, democratic network of creativity and innovation; it has fallen under the control of a small group of powerful companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. But a new era is emerging. In this session, join author, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and founder and Managing Partner at a16z crypto Chris Dixon as he reflects on the history of the internet and how it’s brought us to this critical moment: the start of the “read-write-own era,” in which blockchain networks democratize ownership and grant power and economic benefits to communities of users, not just corporations. It’s a vision for a better internet and a clarion call for anyone looking to build or navigate the future.

·        A Conversation with Alex Cooper and Matt Kaplan: In this session, join creator, Host, and Executive Producer of the podcast Call Her DaddAlex Cooper and founder and CEO of ACE Entertainment Matt Kaplan for a discussion about their latest Gen Z media venture and production company – Trending – which will be committed to elevating today’s voices and crafting tomorrow’s stories for an independent, resourceful, and inclusive generation.

·        Dichotomies: Visions of Technology’s Role in Divergent Futures: A biometrics-enabled classroom could lead to acing standardized tests or isolated students. A generative AI program created for a VR headset could help a child adjust to life in a new country, or misinformation and political turmoil. An AI-driven healthcare app could prevent a serious allergic reaction, or miss an obvious indicator of cancer. With the advent of life-changing technology like AI and biometrics comes both allure and concern. It can be hard to see the possibilities these technologies will create from one vantage point, and easy to focus on just one potential outcome. In this session, Deloitte Consulting’s Chief Futurist Mike Bechtel will take the audience on a journey with two paths, each with stories about how next-gen tech can both help and hinder our progress towards a more digitally connected society. Listeners will be able to picture how their lives may change in the coming years and better prepare for the ethical considerations as both designers and consumers of a technologically-driven life.

·        Keep It Weird: AI is a Tool For Creativity: Generative AI can produce some pretty odd results as machines don’t seem to understand human anatomy or the laws of gravity. In this session, join Principal Designer for Emerging Design, AI/ML at Adobe Brooke Hopper and author, Host of the Webby Award-winning podcast Design Matters and co-owner and Editorial Director of Debbie Millman as they discuss how AI — even with some of the weird results it produces — can accelerate creativity and design without replacing it and how designers can evolve in their roles and use AI to help (not replace) their creativity.

·        Masterclass: Storytelling for Social Impact: If you want to know how to turn a story into a movement, this session is for you. Five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author and Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Publisher and General Manager of The Emancipator Amber Payne have mastered the craft of storytelling to confront racial injustice in America. They have the template for how to take a single, powerful idea and reimagine it to reach entirely new audiences. Join them to learn practical insights on how you can unleash the power of storytelling to create transformative change.

·        The Science & Craft of Storytelling: How to Make People Care: How can brands move people deeply, instill fierce loyalty and inspire people to take positive action? In this session, filmmaker and founder and CEO of Creative Breed Cheryl Miller Houser will offer a 3-step storytelling method grounded in the science and craft of storytelling to ignite powerful neurochemicals that make people fall in love, grab and hold their attention and mobilize them to take action. Interweaving illustrative clips and anecdotes, Cheryl will provide tactics that participants from all sectors can use in brand building, marketing, inspiring innovation, engaging employees, spurring social movements, creating community, and more.

·        Tim Ferris and Kevin Rose: The Random Show!: In this session, join investor and five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferriss and serial entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder and CEO of PROOF Kevin Rose for a live recording of The Random Show for Tim’s podcast! The Random Show guarantees business and life insights you won’t find anywhere else, loads of hilarity between two great friends, and, of course, plenty of randomness.

·        Women Who Embody Revolution Through Storytelling: In the midst of climate crisis, fast-paced news, social media, and increasing disconnection, hope is found in community-driven stories. In this session, join actress, producer, activist, and founder of The Rio Dawn Foundation Rosario Dawson, tribal attorney and founder of the Giniw Collective Tara Houska, musician and filmmaker Gingger Shankar, and co-founder and Executive Director of One Earth Justin Winters as they discuss their new storytelling collective Little Indian Girl, as well as the future of storytelling and the power of narrative sovereignty with women, Indigenous and two-spirit artists, and Earth guardians who embody revolution through art. When knowledge and culture is preserved, we create tangible solutions for the next generations. When power and resources are given to communities to tell our own stories, we have the power to shift narratives to change the world.

·        Author, co-founder of THINX, and co-founder, CEO, and Chief Community Architect of Daybreaker Radha Agrawal

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 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. Learn more at To register for the event, please visit

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

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