SXSW 2017 speakers to include 'Magic' Johnson, Dan Lyons, Jennifer Doudna, Jill Soloway

Posted July 26th, 2016

Just a day after closing its PanelPicker, South by Southwest has announced its first round of speakers for the March 2017 festival


In keeping with the conference's ongoing convergence of Interactive, Film and Music (not to mention sports, style and everything else), the first round of keynote and features speakers covers a wide swath, from science to streaming TV to sports, art, music and business.


Geneticist Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of a new technology for editing genes, is the first keynote speaker announced for SXSW Interactive. She joins the creator of Amazon's award-winning show "Transparent,"  Jill Soloway,  who will keynote SXSW Film.


Featured speakers for SXSW 2017 include NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, author and former "Silicon Valley" writer Dan Lyons (also once known as "Fake Steve Jobs") and former Dell Inc. enterpreneur-in-residence Ingrid Vanderveldt.


Other featured speakers include:

  •  Mary Lou Jepsen , founder and Chair of wearables company Openwater. 
  •   Candice Morgan, head of diversity at Pinterest. 
  •   Adam Savage, former "MythBusters" host and 2014 Interactive keynote speaker.  
  •   Nadya Tolokonnikova , Russian conceptual artist and musician. 
  •  Entrepreneur and frequent SXSW speaker Gary Vaynerchuk. 
  •   Amber Venz Box, co-founder and president of rewardStyle and the shopping service 

In its announcement, SXSW said: "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."


In a release, SXSW co-founder Roland Swenson said: “When SXSW Music added Film, and Interactive, it was relatively easy to understand and differentiate between the three components of music, film, and technology. Today, these elements are very much intertwined and the lines that once separated them have become blurred."


Last year's SXSW speakers included President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The Interactive portion of the 2016 conference  had about 37,660 attendees, an 11 percent increase from SXSW 2015.