5 Must-See Speakers at SXSW 2022
Now that we have introduced SXSW in our previous post, you’re all clued-up on what it is and why we’re going. So, we thought we would list a couple of people scheduled to speak there, and why we’re excited to hear what they have to say, and the insights we’ll gain from their expertise! SXSW invites heavyweights in tech and design industries to the conference every year, and this year is no different. Thus, here we are going to highlight 5 people we are excited to see at SXSW. Read on to see who we’ve picked, and why!
First off, we have Khoi Vinh, Senior Director of Design at Adobe. He has been named one the “Most Creative People in Business” as well as one of “America’s 50 most Influential Designers” by Fast Company. These impressive titles stem from over two decades of experience within digital design, with the former one coming from his work of incorporating voice control to app development, so that designers can include this when designing apps and websites! Khoi is also the author behind Subtraction.com, a blog focused on design and technology, as well as the host of the ‘Wireframe’ podcast – an Adobe podcast focusing on user experience design, hence the fitting name of the podcast. An experienced speaker and well-known in the design community, he is passionate about ensuring that young people in design get the support and education they need, no matter their background, race, gender or other challenges. We can’t wait to see this great designer share some of his expertise, and for us to be inspired and grow as designers ourselves!
Next on our list is Reggie Fils-Aimé, the founder and managing partner of Brentwood Growth Partners, an organisation with the aim to help scale growing businesses. Although, he is more commonly known for being the former President and Chief Operating Officer at Nintendo of America (NOA). He was the first African-American to become a President of NOA, as well as a COO for Nintendo Co., Ltd. In 2019, he was admitted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame for his distinguished work at Nintendo. With his passion for gaming and technology, we can’t wait to hear what he will be talking about, as many of us here at UX Connections are keen gamers!
Thirdly, we have Featured Speaker Jason Ballard. Ballard is the co-founder and CEO of ICON, the construction technology company that has been tackling the global housing crisis by using construction-scale 3D printing. Back in 2018, they were the first company in America to secure a building permit for a 3D printed home, and the first to build it. Constructed in Austin, Texas (how fitting), it proved that they had the capabilities to completely innovate the construction industry. ICON has raised $266 million in funding to date, and was named as one of TIME Magazine’s ‘Best Inventions of 2018′, and one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ for 2019, 2020, and 2021 by Fast Company. Back in 2020, ICON received funding from NASA to begin research and development of an ‘off-world construction system’ designed to assist future exploration of space! All in all, it’s clear that ICON, and Ballard in particular, has shown just how innovative technology can really be, especially when mixed with other, more traditional, industries. Taking a company from concept through to what ICON has now become is no easy feat, so we can’t wait to hear his insights on business, tech and everything in between.
Coming up next on our list is Sarah Bond. Are you a fan of gaming, specifically Xbox? If you are, then you’d be as excited as we are to hear from Sarah. She is the Corporate Vice President for game creator experience and ecosystem at Microsoft Xbox, whose main responsibility is to ensure gamers are offered with nothing but the best experience, working to support game developers in terms of creating fascinating games that players would enjoy. In an interview with McKinsey, Sarah reveals her passion with gaming and why she is devoted to the gaming industry. According to her, playing is something natural, and fundamental that we do as humans, and the experience we have during games is unparalleled by anything else. She interprets that what she does is actually building connections between people. We’re hoping that Sarah will share how she is going to achieve her and Microsoft’s vision for the gaming industry – that everyone will be able to play whichever game they want, wherever they are. Fingers crossed!
Last, but certainly not least, we have Miro Shot. A London-based band born from a collection of coders, musicians, graphic designers, and filmmakers. Closer to performers rather than ‘speakers’, but incredibly interesting nonetheless! Unlike other music acts, they use virtual reality technology to develop a groundbreaking show, combining realities in an astoundingly innovative live music experience. In a typical show, the crowd sits in VR headsets, experiencing an audio-visual journey, with different stimuli appearing in front of their eyes, seemingly far away from the room they are actually seated in. Miro Shot frontman Roman Rappak said that technology is ‘changing the way that we experience live music’ in the same way that it has previously changed the way we make and listen to music. We can’t wait for SXSW, to see and hear more from this groundbreaking band, who are blending the worlds of music and technology in a way we have never seen before. In an interview with God Is In The TV Zine, they said ‘startups and tech companies have become more powerful than nations – they are shaping art, politics and even our sense of who we are’ – well, we couldn’t agree more!
We are more than excited to hear from the 5 technology maestros mentioned above. Their expertise and knowledge are invaluable. However, there are a multitude of speakers that are going to share their insights on the stage of SXSW, and we cannot wait to meet them all. If you have spotted a gem that you reckon we should not miss, be sure to leave a comment to let us, and everyone else who is attending SXSW, know. We are eager to know who your pick is!
Ariel Hsu, Elin Forsslund and Maisie Carroll, Writer
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