Planned Parenthood CEO to Headline SXSW 2022 Conference
Lucasfilm, Patreon, WWE all sending speakers for 2022
By Richard Whittaker,
11:00AM, Tue. Oct. 19, 2021
SXSW has just announced that Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson will be this year's first keynote, headlining a list of speakers and panels the conference is hosting for its 2022 in-person return (March 11-20).
Having already dropped its first 160 sessions, as selected by attendees via PanelPicker, today's speaker list draws from the worlds of entertainment, tech, futurism, and politics. SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest said, "At the 2022 SXSW Conference we will focus on building a future that is equitable and sustainable across society, culture, technology and policy," adding that Johnson "embodies these values as our communities continue to fight for reproductive freedom and civil rights for all people."
Johnson is the first keynote to be confirmed, but today's list also sees a series of speakers, including the first for the film festival side of the conference: Roman Coppola (yes, of those Coppolas). Oscar-nominated for his script with Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom, and president of American Zoetrope, he'll appear with Leo Matchett, with whom he cofounded the Decentralized Pictures Foundation arts nonprofit, in a conversation moderated by freelance journalist and media attorney Barbara Bruni.
The conference also announced that WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon will be in conversation with Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini. A sports entertainment leviathan, the WWE has dominated televised wrestling for the last two decades. However, it has been shown to have feet of clay recently, as rival promotion All Elite Wrestling has gone from a minor new player to a hot property, going toe-to-toe with the WWE in the key 18-49 demographic. Expect the new wrestling war to be a hot topic of conversation.
Elsewhere on the speaker list, SXSW added a selection of voices drawing heavily on tech and branding:
• Check My Ads activists and co-founders Claire Atkin and Nandini Jammi in conversation
• Founder and Chief Designer of industrial design and brand development studio fuseproject Yves Béhar
• Corporate Vice President, Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem at Microsoft Sarah Bond
• SVP Chief Customer Experience Officer at Everbridge John Maeda
• Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of blockchain company Chainlink
• Host of IHeartRadio’s There Are No Girls on the Internet podcast Bridget Todd
• Designer, author and CEO of Kelly Wearstler Interior Design Kelly Wearstler
• Quantitative futurist, author and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb
SXSW also released a series of featured sessions, covering topics from access to music education (Apple Music Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden and Save The Music Foundation CEO Henry Donahue discuss Elevating Communities that Created Pop Music) to the possibilities and perils of artificial intelligence (Machine or Human? The Ethics Behind Smarter AI with Smart Eye deputy CEO Rana el Kaliouby and MIT Technology Review CEO and Publisher Elizabeth Bramson-Boudrea). Also announced:
• 50 Non-Obvious Trends Changing the Future Normal: a presentation with Non-Obvious Company founder Rohit Bhargava.
• Breaking the Rules to Make Your Experience Matter with Accenture Interactive CEO David Droga with Dara Treseder (SVP, head of global marketing and communications at Peloton), and Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo (Global Chief Marketing Officer at Amazon Prime Video & Amazon Studios).
• Creative Catalysts: Pioneering the Future with VP of Immersive Content Innovation ILMxLAB at Lucasfilm Vicki Dobbs Beck, and LiveArea Director of Strategy Val Vacante.
• Next Gen Tech & The Live Entertainment Revolution with Unity SVP of Sports & Live Entertainment Peter Moore.
• The Second Renaissance of Creativity with Patreon co-founder Jack Conte.
SXSW 2022, March 11-20. Badges and info at sxsw.com.
And keep up with all our SXSW news, reviews, announcements and interviews (plus our unbelievably extensive archive) at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.