With only a few months to go until SXSW Sydney kicks off for the very first time, we’re very excited to reveal the second round of speakers that will be heading to the Harbour city in October.
They come from all corners of the globe and their expertise ranges from subjects like environmental biology and edu-tech to artificial intelligence and the collision of society and technology. We’re also welcoming advertising gurus, multi-award-winning technologists and entrepreneurs that are changing the hospitality industry for the better. Sound interesting? We sure think it does.
More than 600 speakers are set to appear at SXSW Sydney from October 15 to 22, sharing their knowledge and experience across our key industries of Tech & Innovation, Games, Music, Screen and Culture.
There’ll be plenty more announcements to come over the next few months – but first, it’s time to get to know our newest speakers. Take a deep breath, and let’s dive in.
Christian Juhl | Global CEO of GroupM | Convergence
No industry moves faster or innovates as rapidly as advertising and leaders like Christian Juhl are paving the way forward. As CEO of media investment company GroupM and one of the world’s leading figures in the industry, Juhl has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands to bring their stories and ideas to life – from Ford and Google to LVMH and L’Oréal.
Harnessing new tech and data, Juhl and GroupM’s goal is a simple one: to make advertising work better for everyone. Hear how Juhl plans to make that happen at SXSW Sydney.
Genevieve Bell | Distinguished Professor Australian National University | Tech & Innovation
Genevieve Bell is one of the world’s most influential academics and thought leaders working today, and has dedicated her career to exploring the challenging intersection of technology and humanity. Bell spent nearly two decades in Silicon Valley guiding Intel’s product development and social science, and in 2017 she returned to Australia to work at the prestigious Australian National University, where she now works as Director of the School of Cybernetics.
Her aim? To build a new branch of engineering that would transform our relationship with artificial intelligence and confront the challenges of our future.
Jamila Gordon | CEO & Founder of Lumachain | Tech & innovation
In 2021, Jamila Gordon was named by the BBC as part of the 100 Women list, which puts the spotlight on people that are changing the world. It’s very easy to see why. Gordon – who grew up in a small village in Somalia before making her way to Australia after the civil war – has a CV that would be the envy of many, having risen to the top of the corporate ladder at companies like IBM, Deloitte, and Qantas, where she took the reins as the Group Chief Information Officer and revolutionised its practices. Her constant drive for progress led her to found Lumachain, a company that is aiming to reshape how our food is produced. Gordon’s SXSW Sydney session is not one to miss.
Mikaela Jade | Indigital Edutech | Tech & innovation
“Right now, the world needs those who can imagine the future to help others see the potential and possibilities,” says Mikaela Jade, CEO and founder of Indigital.
Jade just happens to be one of those people. A Cabrogal woman of the Dharug nation in Sydney, Jade began her career as a park ranger and environmental biologist, and while working in the Northern Territory she started a company that would break new ground. Indigital, Australia’s first-ever edu-tech company, uses augmented reality, AI, geospatial tech, and more to translate the knowledge and culture of First Nations communities. She’s been awarded many times over for her work – including as the ACT Australian of the Year – and she’ll discuss the convergence of an ancient past with a digital future when she arrives at SXSW Sydney.
“SXSW is one of the best collections and gatherings of global minds doing so, with thought leaders coming together to share ideas and visions for shaping the future,” says Jade. “I look forward to joining this collective and contributing to this innovative space.”
Noelle Russell | Global AI Solutions Lead | Tech & Innovation
Artificial intelligence is one of the most pressing issues for society today. There are so many uncertainties and challenges that lie ahead, and we’re lucky to have visionaries like Noelle Russell to help us through it all.
Russell is the Global AI Solutions Lead of tech company Accenture, and she works closely with companies to navigate the uncharted waters of AI, the cloud, and Web 3.0. An award-winning technologist and ethicist, Russell will unravel the future for us at SXSW Sydney.
Ronald Akili | Co-Founder & CEO of PTT Family | Convergence
Ronald Akili’s famous motto of “Good Times, Do Good” has informed every step of his exceptional career. From reshaping and expanding Indonesia’s renowned Potato Head beach club into one of Bali’s most unique and captivating destinations to launching his sustainable footwear Wasted Collective label, Akili has focused on harnessing creativity and community to push the boundaries of what’s known as regenerative hospitality and tourism.
“By actively learning, challenging and dreaming with one another, there is so much we can do for the future,” Akili says. “This is what SXSW is about: building a community, sharing discoveries, and learning from the innovations of others. Our global future that is sustainable relies on us working together.”
Roxy Young | Reddit | Convergence
Reddit has been the front page of the internet for many of us for nearly 20 years. Its community is one of the most devoted and passionate on earth, and it remains a colossal force in the online space. Roxy Young is the Chief Marketing Office at Reddit, responsible for some of the company’s most successful campaigns – including the voter initiative during the 2020 US election. Young – who was the first Latinx woman appointed to Reddit’s executive leadership – also has more than 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s biggest brands, and she’ll share her invaluable knowledge at SXSW Sydney in October.
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