Jill Soloway, Magic Johnson Headline SXSW Speakers Lineup

Next year’s festival will give interactive, film and music passholders more access to programs outside their area

“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, basketball great Magic Johnson, Openwater founder Mary Lou Jepsen, author Dan Lyons, Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova and Pinterest head of diversity Candice Morgan will be among the featured speakers at the 2017 South by Southwest Conference and Festivals, SXSW organizers announced on Monday.

The first group of announced speakers, many of whom deal in areas that incorporate several different disciplines, is indicative of a SXSW that promises greater blending between its once-separate Interactive, Film and Music festivals.

“When SXSW Music added Film and Interactive, it was relatively easy to understand and differentiate between the three components of music, film and technology,” said SXSW co-founder Roland Swenson in a press release announcing the speakers.

“Today, these elements are very much intertwined and the lines that once separated them have become blurred. The popularity of our convergence programming, and the increasingly cross-industry nature of our SXSW speakers and registrants make this a natural progression as we look to the future.”

At next year’s SXSW, which will run from Mar. 10-19 in Austin, Texas, badgeholders for the interactive, film and music festivals will have increased access to programming from other areas that in the past would have been restricted to badgeholders from those specific areas.

The speakers, from the SXSW press release:


Jennifer Doudna (Interactive) – Geneticist and pioneer co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9, a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes.

Jill Soloway (Film) – Creator of “Transparent,” which has won two Golden Globes and five Emmys, including one for her directing. Jill’s first feature, Afternoon Delight, won the 2013 Directing Award at Sundance.

Featured Speakers

Mary Lou Jepsen – Founder and Chairman of Openwater, whose goal is MRI resolution imaging in a wearable, previously held executive roles at Facebook, Oculus, Intel and Google [x].

Dan Lyons – Author of the New York Times best-seller, “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble,” and a former writer on HBO’s Silicon Valley, which had its world premiere at SXSW.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson – NBA legend, professional sports team owner, entrepreneur, philanthropist, motivational speaker and Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.

Candice Morgan – Head of Diversity at Pinterest, leading strategy and programs to enhance diversity and inclusion.

Adam Savage – Internationally renowned television producer, host (formerly “MythBusters” and “Unchained Reaction”), maker and public speaker.

Nadya Tolokonnikova – Russian conceptual artist, political activist and member of punk rock group Pussy Riot.

Ingrid Vanderveldt – Self-made businesswoman, investor and media personality, founder & CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020.

Gary Vaynerchuk – Entrepreneur, four-time New York Times best-selling author and CEO of VaynerMedia. Gary is also a prolific angel investor and co-founded VaynerRSE, a $25M investment fund.

Amber Venz Box – Co-Founder and President of rewardStyle and the cross-channel consumer shopping service LiketoKNOW.it.

The SXSW Film Festival is accepting film, short film and music video submissions until Oct. 20. The SXSW Music Festival is accepting artist applications via Sonicbids through Oct. 21. The SXSW Interactive Festival is accepting entries for digital creative work, video game projects and inventive startups until Dec. 2.