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Leigh’s SXSW Picks – 2020 Featured Speakers

Leigh’s SXSW Picks – 2020 Featured Speakers

As always there will be an interesting and well-rounded list of SXSW featured speakers and sessions to inspire and educate audiences. I want to take a minute to shout out a few of my picks for the upcoming festivals and conferences. Here we go!


Jack Conte, CEO of Patreon, Making Art Your Business

(Creating & Monetizing Music Track)

In this session, Jack Conte will discuss ways to build a business and audience around your medium. The Patreon founder created a platform that makes it easy for artists, podcasters, musicians, and more.  His main focus is to develop a relationship with fans and generate revenue. A musician himself, Conte, will speak first hand on getting through challenging times as an artist and making it all come together.


Sophia Bush, actress & activist and Ara Katz, CEO of Seed Health, The Future of Influence is #accountable

(Advertising & Brand Experience Track)

It seems as if we live in a world of misinformation and “fake news”, where more clicks beat truth. Sophia Bush and Ara Katz speak about what happens if all of us are #accountable. The pair will delve into the fact that we are ALL influencers. It doesn’t matter the number of followers. However, the larger the platform, the more power we harness to impact opinion and action. But, with money in the equation, is influencer accountability and truth possible?


Kwame Onwuachi, chef & author and Liz Bacelar, journalist & mentor, Notes from a Young Black Chef

(Connection & Culture Track)

Kwame Onwuachi and his long-time mentor, Liz Bacelar have an organic conversation around Onwuachi’s career.  This includes his come up, from failure into James Beard Award-winning chef and entrepreneur. The New York born chef struggled through racism.  He is a highly competitive and fast-paced culinary world. In this session, he will talk about his memoir being developed into an upcoming Hollywood adaptation.


Bryony Cole, Future of Sex Podcast & leading authority on sextech, The Future of Sex

(Connection & Culture Track)

To me, this is an exceptionally interesting topic. Bryony Cole will walk us through the sextech industry and how it encompasses sex education, medicine, intimacy, gender identity, and even sex crime reporting. In addition, Cole will share insight on world-wide tech-led responses to the future of sex. For instance, he will be including start-ups and mobile applications, and its power to enhance or disrupt our lives. 


Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of Affectiva & author, Girl Decoded: A Scientist’s Quest to Bring EQ into AI

(Fantastic Future Track)

Lastly, check out this Fantastic Future session, where Dr. Rana el Kaliouby will introduce the audience to the idea of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) being incorporated into Artificial Intelligence (AI). Imagine if, technology had the ability to understand us as humans. Furthermore, this expert scientist will highlight her experience and journey as a Muslim, Egyptian-American scientist. In addition, she will also share her knowledge of Emotion AI’s ability to expand our relationship with technology and each other.

In short, As SXSW inches closer, we will be updating you with festival and conference news, staff picks, and useful tips. Please check the blog for updates and if you haven’t subscribed to the newsletter, we’ll also provide SXSW information there as well. Please click here to sign up.


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