SXSW Announces Keynotes, First Speakers

Geneticist, Transparent creator head up first round

Transparent creator Jill Soloway, one of the first round of keynotes for SXSW 2017

So SXSW has just made its major announcement about huge changes for badgeholders, and what exactly those badges will get them into. Now they've put out the first roundup of speakers, with massive names from science, politics, technology, TV, music, and sports.

Opening up the keynote list for Interactive will be Jennifer Doudna, who co-invented CRISPR-Cas9, a radical (and controversial) development in editing genes. On the Film side, she'll be joined by Jill Soloway, director of Afternoon Delight, author of Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants, and, most recently and famously, creator of Amazon's breakout success Transparent.

The lineup also sees the return of two former keynote speakers, Vayner/RSE co-founder and author Gary Vaynerchuk, and science education advocate, former MythBusters host and The Revenant cosplayer Adam Savage. They're part of a series of many, many (did we say many?) more featured speakers to come, with the first round including:

• Former Facebook and Google X exec Mary Lou Jepsen, who has co-founded wearable MRI viewer developer Openwater,

• Tech bubble survivor and former Silicon Valley writer Dan Lyons,

• A big day for sports fans with a genuine legand: NBA hall of famer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur (as well as noted AIDS awareness advocate) Earvin “Magic” Johnson,

• Pinterest's head of diversity Candice Morgan,

Nadya Tolokonnikova, one of the core members of art collective/punk group/activist protesters Pussy Riot,

• Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 CEO Ingrid Vanderveldt, and

• RewardStyle co-founder Amber Venz Box.

SXSW runs March 10-19, 2017. For more info, visit, and follow all our coverage at

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