It’s that time of year again — when politicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs, artists and many a celeb make the pilgrimage to Austin for South by Southwest. The festival becomes the focal point of the city for a few weeks as panels, seminars and events both big and small take over the city. It can be overwhelming whether you’re a newbie (like us) or a SXSW veteran — especially because there are so many incredible speakers and networking events.

To help with this mission upon a mission, we’ve gathered a diverse array of some of our favorite panelists to help your decision-making process become that much easier.


London’s first Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan

Elected into office in May of 2016, Khan has made headlines multiple times this year by taking a stand against our president, making it clear that if Trump crossed the pond, he would not receive a warm welcome from Londoners. His socially democratic stance has left him popular with London’s youth, advocating for migrants, workers and students. March 12th, 2-3pm, at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D.


Josephine Goub, Director of Techfugees

Techfugees is the non-profit that propelled the tech community’s involvement with the refugee crisis. Techfugees hosts events throughout the year that bring together companies and individuals in tech with NGOs to address the challenges of the refugee migration crisis. March 9th, 11-12pm, at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D.

Anya Kamenetz, Author and NPR Contributor

Kamenetz’s latest book, The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life shares data-backed wisdom behind the relationship of children and screen time. Instead of blindly feeding into the hysteria of the digital age, learn some real facts here! March 10th, 12:30-1:30pm, at the Austin Convention Center, Room 9C.


Ta Nehisi Coates, Author

When we heard that Ta Nehisi Coates was going to be SXSW’s Keynote Speaker, we have to admit, we freaked out a bit (okay, a lot). Ta Nehisi is a correspondent with The Atlantic who came into our lives when he wrote the book, Between the World and Me. (We’ve been woke ever since.) Most recently, he co-wrote Black Panthers, the only Fullest-approved Marvel comic there ever was (or ever will be). Speaking in conjunction with The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, this will be a must-see event. March 10th, 2-3pm, at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D.


Michael Tubbs, Stockton’s youngest Mayor

Elected into office last year at just 26 years of age, Tubbs is entering politics in a time of pivotal change and transition. Under Trump’s presidency, he has maintained his city’s standing as a sanctuary city, even coming under direct fire from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who threatened to cut off major funding to the city. On a panel with Wendy McCully and James Weinberg, the trio will discuss initiatives that work to ensure opportunity and educational success. March 12th, 12:55-1:40pm, at the Four Seasons, Ballroom CD.

Hanif Faizal from the Center for Equity and Inclusion and Christa Stout from The Portland Trail Blazers

The duo will be discussing the role of diversity and inclusion in sports and will explore what it means to remain neutral given sport’s current climate. Trump’s tweeting rampages against Colin Kaepernick and Steph Curry may be over for now, but this conversation remains as relevant as ever. March 9th, 3:30-4:30pm, at the JW Marriott, Salon C.

Jazmin Hughes of The New York Times, Marianna Martinelli of The Wing and Liz Milch of Genius

These boss ladies will be exploring the value of communities online and IRL. Martinelli and Milch have both played key roles in the creation of member-based communities and will be discussing the steps it took to build their creations, as well as the obstacles they have faced along the way. March 13th, 9:30-10:30am, at the Fairmont, Manchester A.


Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent at CNN

A veteran journalist who has covered everything from war zones to drug cartels, Amanpour is now diving into a new realm — shifting her expertise to examine sex and love in different regions across the globe. Come to check out a preview of Amanpour’s new Anthony Bourdain produced show: Sex and Love around the World, where she will be sharing her thoughts on the current political climate and social affairs. March 10th, 12:30-1:30pm, at the Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D.

In Your Inbox