From technology ethics to a future in the Metaverse, here are our most anticipated prospective SXSW panels. Community voting for these and other panels is open until August 26th.
If you’re not a SXSW regular, you may not be familiar with the PanelPicker process to decide the coveted festival lineup, which draws approximately 280,000 attendees to Austin each year.
Thousands of submissions pour in from around the world, and the public has an opportunity to vote on what they want to see.
We had some time on our hands, so we dedicated an afternoon to wading through the 2443 submissions for this year’s festival. Here are the conversations we’re most excited about.
FROM TIKTOKS TO TACTICS: MARKETING TO GEN Z
When it comes to the modern customer, it takes one to know one. Today, 50M+ active global creators reach audiences across platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch. How is this new breed of entrepreneurs revolutionizing the way consumers absorb content? Dive into how the consumer economy is changing the way brands are engaging with their audiences—especially the financially independent Gen Z—and how brands can effectively represent younger generations.
Hawke Media and TikTok stars Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson, who collectively have 50M followers across platforms, will discuss strategies to engage with Gen Z consumers growing into the market. Learn how this shift in consumable content will drastically influence buying decisions now and in the decades to come.
HUMANIX – CAN TECHNOLOGY SAVE HUMANITY FROM ITSELF
Organized by Alan Smithson, the founder of MetaVRse, this exciting panel explores the technologies poised to fortify our future, and the futurist thinking that’s necessary to prevent unintended consequences of innovation. Featuring panelists from Mastercard, Nike and YPO in addition to MetaVRse, the conversation among industry leaders is salient and necessary at a time when we are increasingly living our lives in digital worlds.
THE NEED FOR HUMAN CONTACT IN THE METAVERSE
Another panel that grapples with the ethics of bleeding edge technologies, this conversation focuses on life in the metaverse and how to foster and strengthen connection to brands and to each other. Asking poignant questions to forecast life in extended reality, this will be a must-see for brands that want to lead experiential activations while positively impacting society. The dialogue features speakers from Byte, Epic Games and Dept.
UNIFY CONSCIOUSNESS: HOW DO YOU KNOW, YOU ARE YOU?
A theme in many of our favorite SXSW panel proposals is a connection to the human experience in an increasingly digital environment. This panel follows the trend, exploring the future of consciousness and meaning. At the intersection of technology and psychology lies a new cosmological consciousness. Leading the dialogue are panelists from Uniphi Studios, Algorithmic Creations, and Trans Tech Lab.
DIVE INTO THE METAVERSE | ETHICS IN EXPERIENCES
Aleissia Laidacker, the Global Director of Creative Technology at The Mill, will take us on a journey through the metaverse, including its origin and implications for brands and culture. She’ll answer questions about the ethical ramifications of adopting virtual environments, and how to fortify the thinking of AR and VR innovators to ensure the technology serves humanity.
INVENTING HUMANS IN THE METAVERSE
What can we learn from the brands actually engineering human experiences in extended reality? This panel features speakers from Scatter, Unreal Engine/Epic Games, AltspaceVR at Microsoft, and 5G LA Lab at Verizon. What can we expect from avatars, and how might digital interactions impact our relationships?
XR DEBATE: FAD OR FUNCTION FOR MODERN BRANDS?
This panel unpacks the barrier to entry for extended reality (XR), and aims to uncover where virtual and augmented reality technology serves versus hinders brands. Featuring influential speakers from IAB, Unity, Digitas, and LoopMe, the dialogue will explore meaningful XR case studies and their takeaways.
THE NEXT FRONTIER OF STORYTELLING
As a brand, staying on the leading edge of content development is proving increasingly crucial to maintaining relationships with consumers. Building virtual worlds in which audiences can uniquely engage may be the next frontier of storytelling, as the panel’s title suggests. Speakers from Psyop, Annapurna Interactive and Astrid Environment will guide the conversation around virtual storytelling and how to bring physical elements to life.