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    mystery talks at SXSW

the future. in a pool. in a park.

In this brand-new talk format, SXSW® speakers teamed up on our Pool Stage at Palm Park in Austin to discuss the unexpected. The hook? The speakers remained unknown up until the session.

friday, march 9|panning for gold: the art + tech of curation

We live in a time of almost infinite choice -- from a deep pool of music & video streaming options, to online fashion and the expansion of digital art and culture. When the opportunities are endless, it can be impossible to know which to select. This situation can lead to choice paralysis, where we are simply overwhelmed. So how do we filter the content coming into our lives without getting overwhelmed? How do we represent ourselves accurately and authentically in the information we send out? And what tech is out there to help us master the art of curation?


Carla Buzasi, Global Chief Content Officer, WGSN
Jeff Hancock, Social Scientist, Stanford University
Josh Rubin, Founder, Cool Hunting
Brianna Wettlaufer, CEO & Co-Founder, Stocksy
Julie Yost, Programmer & Content Curator, SXSW

saturday, march 10|the attention dilemma: making UX truly human-centered

Being constantly connected has helped us in so many ways, but it is a hindrance too. We sacrifice the present moment for the sake of convenience. It doesn't have to be this way, but tech is designed to be addictive. Why not design interfaces that demand less attention but still give us what we need? How can we re-configure business models to encourage such a paradigm shift


Pamela Pavliscak, Founder, Change Sciences
Leah Hunter, CEO & Co-Founder, The Village Couture
Adam Cheyer, Co-Founder, Viv Labs
Nell Watson, AI & Robotics Faculty Member, Singularity University

sunday, march 11|open data and authenticity - self-expression in the digital age

Social media is often thought of as antithetical to authenticity - a highly curated version of our lives that bears only a passing resemblance to reality. Yet technology - the vast amounts of data we generate in our online lives and the multiple channels for interaction - can actually bring new, meaningful and valid perspectives. At the same time, the internet as a democratizing force can help on us a path to equality. Knowing how to present information and master new media is an art in itself - one that can be used to our advantage in the ongoing quest for self-expression and social justice.


Kimberly Drew, Art Curator & Social Media Manager, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Christina Mallon, Head of Digital Marketing, Open Style Lab
Samantha Barry, Editor-in-Chief, Condé Nast/Glamour
Mama Cax, Disability Advocate

monday, march 12|doctor data: how tech is helping healthcare get better

From facilitating diagnosis, hospital workflows and the provision of care, to making predictions about treatment options, technology is giving healthcare a boost. So what does the big picture look like right now, and how can tech help us to live healthier and longer, while making healthcare more efficient for both providers and patients? What are the barriers and challenges? And what about the philosophical questions of putting your life in the hands of Dr. Data?


Alisa Vitti, Founder & CEO, Flo Living
Beau Woods, Cyber Safety Innovation Fellow Atlantic Council
Shawna Butler, Nurse Economist Singularity University
Linda Avey, Co-Founder, 23andMe / Precise.ly

tuesday, march 13|sensory, sensual, sensational: new perspectives on relationships + wellbeing

As more and more of life moves online, we are using our senses in different ways. Far from diminishing our human capacity for perception and interaction, this shift presents a set of unique opportunities for new experiences and perspectives relationships, from love and sex to friendship to more professional interactions. This panel explores how authenticity can be shaped and enhanced both now and in the future, and how this can in turn lead to a deeper sense of wellbeing.


Kevin Cornish, CEO & Co-Founder, Moth + Flame
Poppy Crum, Chief Scientist, Dolby Laboratories
Maryellis Bunn, Founder, Museum of Ice Cream

wednesday, march 14|healthy and hyperdigital: learning to relax & make the most of leisure time

Economists once speculated that with the growth of technology, humans would have more time on our hands, and with it we’d expand into leisure activities. In fact, the opposite has happened: we’re working now more than ever. It’s hardly surprising: work gives us activities, meaning, purpose and community. But what if there’s more to life? Many feel the urge to take a step back, but it’s easier said than done. So how can we slow down while keeping up? This discussion draws insight from neuroscience, mindfulness and more to offer some answers.


Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer
Rachel Hughes, Founder & Director, New World Native
Tricia Katz, Senior Software Engineer, Outdoor Voices
Lisa Pike, VP of Environmental Activism, Patagonia

thursday, march 15|stories of song, art & tech

Artificial intelligence is ever advancing, edging into creative fields such as visual art and music composition. Far from replacing human musicians however, the technology can be seen as another tool that can help us produce interesting and engaging music. This talk brings together artists, experts and developers to discuss the role of AI in music today, the opportunities it brings, and what we can expect for the future.


Cheri Hu, Music Tech Writer, Forbes
Rama Allen, Executive Creative Director, The Mill
Karen Wong, Deputy Dir, The New Museum
Alexander Reben, Artist, Stochastic Labs/ANTEPOSSIBLE LLC
Ethan James Appleby, Host & Founder, Vango
Harry Jeff “Reeps One”, Artist & Beatboxer

Disclaimer: Any content from and appearance of speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW and Mercedes-Benz.