These SXSW PanelPicker Proposals Have Our Vote

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on August 25, 2021

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.

Vote Up

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.

Vote Up

​​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. 

Vote Up

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.

Vote Up

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. 

Vote Up

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? 

Vote Up

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.

Vote Up

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. 

Vote Up

Remember to vote for your favorites by August 26th and join us in Austin! Grit Daily House Live will return from Friday, March 11, to Sunday, March 20th.

By Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Jordan French is the Founder and Executive Editor of Grit Daily. The champion of live journalism, Grit Daily's team hails from ABC, CBS, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fox, PopSugar, SF Chronicle, VentureBeat, Verge, Vice, and Vox. An award-winning journalist, he is on the editorial staff at TheStreet.com and a Fast 50 and Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur with one sale. Formerly an engineer and intellectual-property attorney, his third company, BeeHex, rose to fame for its "3D printed pizza for astronauts" and is now a military contractor. A prolific investor, he's invested in 40+ early stage startups through 2021.

Read more

More articles by Jordan French


Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on September 14, 2021

How EverAfter is Reimagining Customer Onboarding and Retention

Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on August 30, 2021

Caffelli and Intel are Bringing Social Good to Gaming with GiveFTW

Nancy Almodovar
Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on August 12, 2021

Houston Real Estate is Hot and Nancy Almodovar Is Leading the Charge

IRA 401K Crypto
Jordan French Jordan French has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on July 20, 2021

As IRA and 401K Plans Open to Crypto, Investors Are Paying Attention

More GD News