It’s only been a few months since Austin was taken over by giant ferris wheels and a presidential motorcade, but it’s already time to start thinking about and preparing for SXSW 2017 to descend upon Austin. The numbers for 2016’s nine-day festival still aren’t in, but they’re likely going to be higher than the 80,000 people who participated and the nearly $317 million dollars that were added to the local economy in 2015 according to KVUE. Which means that 2017 will probably see even bigger numbers than that. If you’re looking for a reason to get in on the SX badge train early, here are just a few…
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Jennifer Doudna (Interactive): Geneticist and pioneer co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9, a groundbreaking new technology for editing genes.
Jill Soloway (Film): Creator of “Transparent,” which has won two Golden Globes and five Emmys, including one for her directing. Jill’s first feature, Afternoon Delight, won the 2013 Directing Award at Sundance.
Dan Lyons: Author of the New York Times best-seller, Disrupted: My Misadventures in the Start-Up Bubble, and a former writer on HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” which had its world premiere at SXSW.
Mary Lou Jepsen: Founder and Chairman of Openwater, whose goal is MRI resolution imaging in a wearable, previously held executive roles at Facebook, Oculus, Intel, and Google.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson: NBA legend, professional sports team owner, entrepreneur, philanthropist, motivational speaker and Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.
Candice Morgan: Head of Diversity at Pinterest, leading strategy and programs to enhance diversity and inclusion.
Adam Savage: Internationally renowned television producer, host (formerly “MythBusters” and “Unchained Reaction”), maker and public speaker.
Nadya Tolokonnikova: Russian conceptual artist, political activist and member of punk rock group Pussy Riot
Ingrid Vanderveldt: Self-made businesswoman, investor and media personality, Founder & CEO of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020
Gary Vaynerchuk: Entrepreneur, four-time New York Times best-selling author and CEO of VaynerMedia. Gary is also a prolific angel investor and co-founded VaynerRSE, a $25M investment fund.
Amber Venz Box: Co-Founder and President of rewardStyle and the cross-channel consumer shopping service LiketoKNOW.it.
Even bigger than this great list of speakers is news that festival badges are opening up even more doors to conference attendees. From the SXSW press release:
New for 2017, the Interactive, Film and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference & Festivals experience. Attendees will still receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge-type, but can now enjoy secondary access to most other SXSW events.
“When SXSW Music added Film, and Interactive, it was relatively easy to understand and differentiate between the three components of music, film, and technology,” said Roland Swenson, SXSW Co-founder. “Today, these elements are very much intertwined and the lines that once separated them have become blurred. The popularity of our convergence programming, and the increasingly cross-industry nature of our SXSW speakers and registrants make this a natural progression as we look to the future.”
Featured photo from Flickr user Kris Krüg