The 25 must-attend sessions at SXSW 2015

Taking a 'less is more' approach to the world's biggest interactive festival.

With just one week to go before SXSW 2015, now is the time to start locking down those schedules.

I already know the trends I’m going to be looking out for, as outlined in my post last week. But what about the specific sessions? 

There are a few ‘must see’ speakers, largely the keynotes listed below (if you can get in) – but there are some others that take a little more digging to find.

I’m taking a ‘less is more’ approach. Here are my 25 ‘can’t wait to see/hear’ sessions and meetups (for the full schedule with times and locations, click here).

I doubt I’ll get to them all, but more importantly, am hoping hear about other fantastic speakers by chatting to people attending and get sidetracked. That’s often the best way to learn about the lesser-known stuff that’s going on… 



1. Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator at MOMA on how designers grow the future

2. Princess Reema’s Mission to Empower Saudi Women

3. AI, Immortality and the Future of Selves; Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics speaks with New York magazine’s Lisa Miller about the ideas behind 'a career and a life of radical innovation'

4. Logan Green from Lyft on the future of transportation (and THAT flying car)

5. Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at Google(x) on the innovation process


Content & creativity

6. Storytelling for Dummies; with John Kilcullen (creator of the ‘For Dummies’ series of books), Johnny Brackett from Square and the fantastic Lauren Sherman from Shyp (who I met when she was back at TaskRabbit)

7. Where's Waldo's Voice? - H+K’s session on Social Media for Mascots

8. Infinity and Beyond: Pixar and 20 Years Since Toy Story. The most exciting line up of Pixar talent, from President of Pixar & Walt Disney, Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation Studios, Jim Morris, producer Galyn Susman and Director & VP Creative, Pete Docter.

9. Exploring Game of Thrones’ immersive experience, 19Reinos, which brought Westeros to life across Spain using social storytelling, gaming and live experiences

10. Biz Stone on Creativity and Redefining Success

11. What Would WuTang Do? Build a Creative Collective...




12. F1 Data Analysis Shifts Gears to Healthcare, with Dan Rutstein, Dir UK Trade & Investment at the BCG, McLaren’s Geoff McGrath and Julian Jenkins, VP R&D at GSK

13. Connectivity; The NextGen Healthcare Doctrine, from Jeroen Tas, CEO of Philips 


Famous faces

14. The Future Role of Tech in Dining and Food, featuring of my absolute food heroes David Chang – owner/founder of the Momofuko group

15. Inc presents; The Honest Company - a conversation between Jessica Alba and Inc’s Features Editor Lindsay Blakely on the growth of Alba’s family-oriented business, which was just valued at $1bn after just four years

16. The Cast of Community on Moving to Digital



Measurement & insights

17. Do You Know the ROI of WOM? Do You Want To? - WOMMA presents the findings from its latest Return on WOM study

18. HeyHuman on ‘neuroplasticity’ and the way hyperstimulation is changing attention spans

19. 10 Inventions That Will Revolutionise Retail; by WPP's The Store and Y&R LabStore


Lounges and social 

20. SXSW’s opening party with Dyn

21. Decoded’s Fashion Kickoff Mixer; connecting decision-makers in Fashion, Beauty and Retail with emerging and established technology companies

22. SXSW Film + Interactive Fusion Party, presented by Syfy & Philips

23. Mashable’s MashBash

24. The annual Tumblr party, this year sponsored by Entourage

25. IPA’s Pop-Up Bar


Vikki Chowney

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search