Cheer that lasts the whole year
SXSW 2024 - Conference Community Newsletter

Dear Community,

With January 1 just around the corner, we want to embrace the optimism that the next twelve months will be an upgrade from some of the challenges that we experienced in 2023. 

The seven SXSW 2024 sessions listed below reinforce the sense of optimism, joy, wonder, and possibility that we always feel at this time of the year.

Acts of Random Kindness Meet Up: ARK is based on the teaching that centering kindness in our lives changes the world, even if it starts with just a small act. This Meet Up provides a platform to share and hone the tools to practice routine kindness, help others and better ourselves — and to change the world at large.

DanceMedicine: A Doctor's Rx for Joy, Movement & Healing: Dance is the only form of exercise shown to prevent neurodegenerative disease! After childhood, many of us stop dancing as we are socialized to believe we are not "good" at it, or become self critical. This workshop encourages attendees to lose their adult inhibitions, as it covers the science behind why dance matters so much.

Experiential Pioneers: Lessons in Creating the Impossible: This panel brings together experiential pioneers from Mother, The Glue Society, and Biscuit Filmworks to focus on the creative inspiration for bold thinking, as well as how to get clients on board with doing something undefinable — and how to actually execute on a grand scale.

Explore Space & Poetry With NASA & Poet Laureate Ada Limón: With a long history of sending inspirational messages out to the depths of space, it's only fitting that NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft launching in October 2024 will continue this tradition by including an engraved poem by US Poet Laureate Ada Limón. Come to the SXSW 2024 Opening Session on Friday morning, March 8 to hear this incredible poem, as well as dive into the many ways science and art continue to unite.

Hiking Your Feelings: Blazing a Trail to Self-Love: Sydney Williams shares her healing journey from eating and drinking her feelings to hiking her feelings. After unexpectedly finding herself diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, while grappling with grief and unresolved trauma built up over a decade, Williams set out on a quest to turn her pain into power. Through hiking and backpacking, she learned to disconnect from distractions and reconnect with herself. Now, she’s encouraging others to get outside and blaze their own trail to self-love, turning buried traumas into healthy coping mechanisms.

The Power of Empathy: Personal Growth to Social Change: In this Book Reading, Michael Tennant shares heartfelt personal stories, techniques for mindfulness, and engaging journaling prompts. He will also break down the abstract concept of empathy with an actionable and intersectional framework.

Tech For All: Unlocking Creativity with Inclusive Innovation: Witness the inspirational story of Eli Crossley, who made headlines this year as the youngest ever performer at Glastonbury Music Festival. The 16-year-old Londoner has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive condition that causes his muscles to gradually weaken. But thanks to the technology in his revolutionary new SMART Suit, Eli has continued to make and perform his amazing music.

Need more year-end optimism? Find out who and what sparks creativity in some of the top speakers at SXSW 2024.

Find hope, inspiration, and education in these sessions and many more by registering to attend before rates increase in early January. Special discounts are always available for students and groups. After you purchase your badge, book your hotel through the Housing & Travel Team. Pro tip: Arrive in Austin on Thursday, March 7 to enjoy Crossover programming with SXSW EDU.

Peace is for everyone,

Hugh Forrest
Co-President / Chief Programming Officer