The Austin Chronicle

Ta-Nehisi Coates for SXSW 2018

By Richard Whittaker, August 30, 2017, 10:00am, SXSW

Revolutionaries of news, technology, and music rub shoulders with institutions in the latest additions to the lineup for SXSW 2018, with modern media heavy hitters like Ta-Nehisi Coates, the team from The Daily Show, and Teen Vogue's editor joining the roster alongside greats like Charlie Rose.

Start lining up now for Coates' keynote address. As a national correspondent for The Atlantic, as well as the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction winner for his book Between the World and Me, and writer of Marvel's Black Panther comic, he has become a powerful voice in America's swirling debate about race and power. SXSW chief programming officer Hugh Forrest said that he "continues to explore America's complex history of inequality with a voice that is both powerful and passionate. His unique perspective highlights an important aspect of SXSW – sharing new ideas to common challenges in order to drive change.”

However, he is not the only media disruptor confirmed, as The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj will be part of a panel discussing the program's evolving multimedia presence. Also expect a packed room for Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth, who has overturned the magazine's frothy newsstand reputation in favor of social activism.

On the music front, it's still a while before we start seeing performing bands confirmed, but the new list includes a BMI- and ASCAP-winning, Golden Globe- and Grammy-nominated name you may not recognize. However, you may know the work of Austin native Savan Kotecha, whose songs have been performed by Britney Spears, One Direction, The Weeknd, Usher, Ariana Grande, and dozens more.

The new names join a first round roster that already confirms the long-awaited return of Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, artist Cleo Wade, and Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard J. Tyson. Here is the full list of today's announcement, and the track in which they will participate:

News and Journalism

• Elaine Welteroth, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue
60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, in conversation with Charlie Rose
The Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj, alongside senior coordinating producer Jocelyn Conn, digital expansion team member Matt Negrin, supervising producer Ramin Hedayati, and Comedy Central vice president of multiplatform content strategy Akash Goyal

Startup & Tech

• Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman who will be interviewed by Inc. senior writer Christine Lagorio-Chafkin
• Polymath investor, philanthropist, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of tech manual publishers O'Reilly Media
• Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute executive director Dean Kamen

Intelligent Future

Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist at Google Cloud and director of the Stanford AI Lab , who will be interviewed by Foundation Capital partner Joanne Chen.
• Cryptocurrency expert Joseph Lubin, who will be interviewed by Forbes senior editor Laura Shin
• Experimental psychologist Steven Pinker, author of the upcoming Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.

Health & Wellness

• Bulletproof Coffee founder and Bulletproof Radio podcast host Dave Asprey
• Holistic health counselor and fem tech pioneer Alisa Vitti

Music Industry

• Songwriter Savan Kotecha

Social Impact

Audrey Gelman, co-founder and CEO of women's co-working and community space firm The Wing

Brands & Marketing

Kristina Halvorson, CEO and founder of content strategy consultancy Brain Traffic and founder of Confab Events conferences


ABC's Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris, author of meditation diary 10% Happier and host of the 10% Happier podcast.

SXSW 2018 runs Friday, March 9 to Sunday, March 18, 2018. For badges and info, visit

Keep checking back for more announcements over the next few months, and here is a reminder of a few other important dates coming up:

Oct. 20: Final date for Film Festival submissions for features, shorts, episodics, music video, and virtual cinema. Also final date for artist direct applications of the Music Festival.

Dec. 15: Final date for Film Festival submissions for Texas High School shorts and title sequences.

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