SXSW Announces New Featured Speakers For 2022 Event

Article Contributed by South by Southwest | Published on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals has announced the third round of Featured Speakers for the 36th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of the technology, film, and music industries.

Additionally, SXSW has also announced the finalists for the 14th annual SXSW Pitch® event, happening March 12 - 13 at the Hilton Austin Downtown. SXSW Pitch showcases innovative new technology from 45 companies within 9 distinct categories to a panel of industry experts, high-profile media professionals, venture capital investors and angel investors.

SXSW continues to plan for a hybrid event (in-person with online viewing and participation options). Recognizing that the Covid-19 landscape is changing rapidly, SXSW has updated its Covid-19 guidelines and will continue to coordinate with both the City of Austin and Austin Public Health on further guidance. More details on SXSW’s Covid protocols are available on the SXSW website.

"We're excited to announce an incredible group of experts and innovators across the technology, healthcare, and entertainment industries, who are actively shaping the world we live in," said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. "Entrepreneurial luminaries such as Michael Dell, and industry disruptors like Margrethe Vestager only add to our already robust lineup of creative visionaries working to build a better future."

The SXSW Conference is organized into 15 programming tracks presented in a variety of session formats. New for 2022 is the addition of Summits, which take a deep dive into specific topics relevant to the SXSW audience. More information about SXSW programming Summits, formats and themes can be found here.

Newly-announced Featured Speakers include:

    Co-founder and CEO of ICON Jason Ballard
    Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Dr. Albert Bourla
    CEO of Breyer Capital Jim Breyer and founder, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies Michael Dell
    Co-founder of LTK Amber Venz Box
    Artist, urbanist, director, and brand consultant Dario Calmese
    Psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin Kathryn Paige Harden
    Grammy Award-Winning singer/songwriter Jason Isbell; founder of CLEAN Cause Wes Hurt; and Huntington, WV Director of the Mayor's Council on Public Health and Drug Control Policy, Jan Rader
    Colossal Biosciences founder and CEO Ben Lamm with Colossal Biosciences head of biological sciences Eriona Hysolli
    Producer, Songwriter, and Philanthropist Linda Perry, Warner Records SVP of A&R / TheBasement Series CEO Ericka J. Coulter; VANS Director of Global Music Marketing Tierney Stout; and Record Store Day co-founder Carrie Coliliton
    Co-founder and CEO of Robinhood Markets Vlad Tenev
    European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager

Newly-announced Featured Sessions include:

Chasing Moonshots & Bringing the Future to Today: In this session, join co-host of the Business Casual podcast Nora Ali as she interviews founder, chairman, and CEO of Wonder and the co-owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx Marc Lore about how vision, capital, and people come together to make even the wildest ideas come true, from flying cars to the future of sports to Lore’s biggest moonshot, a new city he’s building from scratch to test a new economic model for society.

Design Leadership: Creativity Driving Business: In a post-covid world, General Manager of Design at IBM Katrina Alcorn, co-founder and CEO of Tech Talk | Studio Christie Dames and Lab Director of D-Ford Sandy Fershee share evolutionary leadership insights from the front lines of organizational transformation and creativity to unleash action, unlock personal talent and potential, and solve wicked business challenges in a “brave new world” that moves beyond the pandemic.

The Future of The Data Economy: Putting People First: With the world at a crucial turning point that will shape the next 50 years of the data economy, founder of Big Technology Alex Kantrowitz and co-founder of Block (formerly Square) Jim McKelvey discuss how an economy that is people-first by design will give more transparency and efficiency to both businesses and people.

Guerrilla Tactics & Asymmetric Political Activism: In this session, co-founder and CFO of the Gravel Institute Henry Magowan, journalist, activist and documentary filmmaker Skye Wallin, bestselling author, political activist, and former Democratic candidate for president of the United States Marianne Williamson, and Co-Executive Director of The Gravel Institute Henry Williams will discuss lessons learned from the 2020 asymmetrical campaigns of Williamson, Senator Mike Gravel, and Andrew Yang, which campaigns used social media, film, and provocative progressive language to shift the Overton Window of what is acceptable discussion in democratic politics, and their evolving guerrilla efforts needed to solve the climate crisis, fight the war machine, win elections, and save our democracy.

Reimagining Exploration with Jill Tiefenthaler: CEO of the National Geographic Society Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler shares how the organization is building on its legacy of dauntless exploration by creatively leveraging cutting-edge science and immersive storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

Web3, NFT, Metaverse! 3 Easy Steps To Get Started: In the far corners of the internet, a new story is being written not by big tech, but by authors such as you and me. In this session, join Senior Vice President and Channel Chief at Unstoppable Domains Sandy Carter as she explains learnings centered around Web3, NFT, the Metaverse, and how you can play your part in reclaiming the internet so that it serves everyone.

What’s Your Life's Soundtrack?: Music is one of a few things that can transport you back to a moment in time, a special memory, and a song would not be whole without the songwriter. In this session, founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Song Management, Merck Mercuriadis and GRAMMY-winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist Nile Rodgers talk about where the songwriter currently sits in the economic equation and their mission to change the dynamics as to how songwriters are compensated in the future.

What's in A Metaverse?: CEO of Epyllion Matthew Ball, Head of Brands & Advertisers Solutions for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine Raffaella Camera, tech columnist and author Charlie Fink, and co-founder and CEO of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale answer questions such as how shall we define a metaverse, who else is building - or has built - a metaverse, what technology does a metaverse require, and on which platforms will these virtual, social spaces manifest, when, and how?

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, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music and comedy showcases, film 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 2022 will take place March 11 - 20, 2022. For more information, please visit To register for the event, please visit

SXSW 2022 is sponsored by White Claw, Audible, Blockchain Creative Labs and The Austin Chronicle.