SXSW Adds Melinda Gates
Philanthropist joins keynote speaker list, plus more names
By Richard Whittaker,
10:33AM, Mon. Jan. 8, 2018
SXSW has already loaded up with heavy-hitter keynotes for 2018, and today sees another big name: Melinda Gates, often seen as the real philanthropic force behind the globe-spanning Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will speak at this year's conference.
Announcing her addition, SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest said, "As one of the world's most successful philanthropists, Melinda Gates brings a focus on empowering women and girls to realize their full potential that is particularly relevant in 2018. Her participation in SXSW highlights the message that creative industry professionals have a duty to give back to the global community."
Aside from the new headliner, SXSW also added a long list of featured speakers appearing at the event (running March 9-18):
Making Film & Episodics
• Director Olivier Assayas (Demonlover, Personal Shopper) and Austin's own Oscar-winner director Richard Linklater
• Documentarians Joe Berlinger, Ryan White, and news anchor Tamron Hall
• Dell Technologies CEO and philanthropist Michael Dell and inaugural Dell Medical School Dean Clay Johnston
Music Culture & Stories• Elvis Presley: The Searcher Featured Session: Executive producer Priscilla Presley and director Thom Zimny sit down with music writer and producer David Porter and producer Jon Landau to discuss HBO's upcoming three-hour, two-film documentary on Presley. Sony Music senior vice president of A&R John Jackson moderates.
• Techfugees CEO Joséphine Goube
Film & TV Industry
• Filmmakers Kim Jackson and Alex Winter in conversation with journalist Logan Hill on the future of blockchain
• Futurist Ray Kurzweil
• Former US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith
Startup & Tech Sectors
• Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd
• Westworld Featured Session with showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, plus cast members
• Editor and entrepreneur Rachel Zoe and Clique chief ideation officer Hillary Kerr