South by Southwest on Monday announced that philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, will be a keynote speaker in March.
Gates nearly two and a half years ago established an outside organization called Pivotal Ventures. Though little was known about its goals initially, it appears to be focusing on gender issues such as getting more girls interested in technology fields and addressing problems such as pay gaps. According to the SXSW announcement, Pivotal Ventures “enables her to bring together the different strands of her advocacy and philanthropic work and create meaningful change.” Gates joins previously announced speakers including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, filmmakers Darren Aronofsky and Barry Jenkins, London mayor Sadiq Khan, music executive Lyor Cohen, Austin entrepreneur Whurley and psychologist Esther Perel as a keynote.
SXSW also announced a new set of featured speakers including Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell, who’ll be in conversation Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School.
Austin’s founder and CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd will also be a featured speaker.
And Austin “Boyhood’ director Richard Linklater will be on a panel with French author and filmmaker Olivier Assays.
Here are the other new featured speakers announced on Monday:
Joe Berlinger, Tamron Hall, and Ryan White (Making Film & Episodics): Three documentary filmmakers discuss what drew them to these emotional stories and highlight some of the unique challenges they face when crafting deeply personal narratives about life and death, innocence or guilt.
Elvis Presley: The Searcher Featured Session (Music Culture & Stories): Priscilla Presley (Executive Producer), David Porter (Memphis music writer and producer) Thom Zimny (Director), Jon Landau (Producer), and moderator John Jackson (SVP A&R, Sony Music) will discuss the three-hour, two-film presentation of Elvis Presley as the musical artist which will premiere on HBO on April 14, 2018.
Joséphine Goube (Social Impact): Joséphine is a hacktivist for migrants and refugees' social inclusion. As CEO of Techfugees, a non-profit coordinating the tech community to respond to the refugee & migrant challenge in 25 countries over the world, Goube promotes the use of mobile & new digital technologies to empower the displaced and provide them access to information, healthcare, and education. Goube will be the opening speaker of SXSW 2018.
Kim Jackson and Alex Winter with Logan Hill (Film & TV Industry): Blockchain is a buzzword across industries as diverse as finance, insurance, and green energy, but what is it really, and how will it impact our world? Join journalist Logan Hill in a conversation with filmmaker Alex Winter and producer Kim Jackson, the team behind anupcoming blockchain documentary from SingularDTV and Futurism Studios, as they explore what blockchain and decentralization actually is, who are the innovators building real world applications for this technology, and how it will affect our everyday lives in the years to come.
Ray Kurzweil (Intelligent Future): Called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, he was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine which described him as the ”rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” PBS has selected him as one of the “sixteen revolutionaries who made America.”
Megan Smith (Intelligent Future):Megan Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. As the third U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Smith helped the President and federal teams harness the power of technology, data, and innovation to advance the future of our nation and the world. Smith has recently co-founded a company, shift7, focusing on tech-forward networked innovation for impact and economic inclusion. Smith joins the session Democratizing AI for Individuals & Organizations with Dr. Fei-Fei Li and Joanne Chen.
“Westworld” Featured Session (Entertainment Influencers): The HBO drama about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin gets a panel featuring showrunners and creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy along with cast for an inside look at the award-winning show, which will return for its second season this spring.
Rachel Zoe and Hillary Kerr (Style): Rachel Zoe is a designer, editor, author, and entrepreneur, renowned for her effortless take on glamour. As a designer, Zoe makes her exceptional taste and expertise accessible to the fashion-savvy as Creative Director of the Rachel Zoe Collection. Hillary Kerr is the co-founder and Chief Ideation Officer of Clique a media, marketing, and consumer brands company recently named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2017.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.