+ More 2024 Keynotes and Featured Speakers announced
SXSW 2024 - Conference Community Newsletter

Dear Community,

Earlier this week, we announced another 30+ additions to the already-stellar Keynote & Featured Speaker lineup for SXSW 2024. Travel to Austin in March to learn and be inspired by these ultra-creative thinkers and standout industry leaders in so many important verticals.

Speaking of traveling, we asked a handful of 2024 speakers what destinations they want to explore in the coming months — and if climate change has altered the way they think about the places that they hope to visit. Read their fascinating answers below.

  • Andrew Mackinnon / TABOO by Design: In 2024, I will continue exploring Australia's wilderness. Climate change has reinforced the need to cherish our swimmable rivers, mountains and native bush. Just getting back to basics and cooking with fire, not with gas!
  • Beth Hartman / Investing in Our Oceans: Navigating Uncharted Waters: We are going to Tasmania, Australia in 2024 to visit family with our kids. We really want them to spend time with family there and see such a special part of the world. Yes, climate change has altered the way I think about leisure travel - I am trying to prioritize trips focused on close family and friends, not destinations, and picking carefully a smaller number of trips. Conversely, I also feel that leisure travel itself may soon be very challenging, so sometimes I wonder if we should just try and go to as many amazing places as possible in the next few years. It's a sad question but also very privileged to even consider.
  • Cal Thompson / Potty Talk: Service Design Post-Binary: Japan, because every time I go I experience deeper inspiration about what is possible in design, especially service design. Japanese designers and engineers are inspiring. Craft is high, and attention to the details that make for a good service is woven into the fabric of hospitality and transportation in Japan.
  • Curtis Matzke / Understanding Artist Residencies & Retreats for Filmmakers: I'll be traveling to Tuscany later this year for the Nostos Screenwriting Retreat. After traveling to Iceland in 2023 and seeing such amazing landscapes, it definitely made me think about the impacts of climate change on how I travel. I want to see these spaces before they disappear but we need to be careful about our impact and carbon footprint while traveling.
  • Dave A. Liu / Changing Faces: Media Representation and the Path to Positive Portrayals of Facial Differences: Antarctica, because who knows how much longer it will stay the same!
  • Elise McCave / Mentor: Climate change has altered the way I think about business travel more than leisure travel, since I do much more of it for business, and I'm being more aggressive in my evaluation of whether a business trip is mission-critical.
  • Joseph Jaffe / Mentor: I don't want to travel. I'm done with traveling. Except of course to SXSW in Austin.
  • Reggie Harris / Psychedelic Entrepreneurship and the Underground Economy: Africa — because I have been to all the European countries and have not spent a significant time in sub-Saharan Africa, as a Black man that is crazy.
  • Sue Sisley / Man vs. Nature: The Commercialization of Psilocybin Medicine: I’m going to Amsterdam to speak at the psychedelics conference and then traveling through Europe for most of June. That’s where I wanted to travel because I can tie into my work trip and visit some more elevated areas around Switzerland, etc. I live in the Arizona Desert, so I’m always looking for ways to escape the summer heat. 
  • Sydney Williams / Hiking Your Feelings: Blazing a Trail to Self-Love: Climate change has absolutely impacted the way I live my life, and informs the work I do every day. In 2024, I'm most excited about collaborating with Grand Staircase Escalante Partners to bring stewardship and self-care programming to Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah. By helping folks heal with the land, we scratch the urgent itch to take action for our planet, tap into the power of community care, and shape a new generation of conservation-minded adventurers.
  • Zsofia Kollar / What is the Value of Human Waste?: Visiting countries that may soon become inaccessible or inhospitable due to climate change is a top priority on my list. I want to see them before it becomes impossible.

Learn more about the impacts of (as well as forward-thinking solutions to) this global problem by browsing sessions in the Climate Change track, which runs March 12-15 at SXSW 2024.

For more from the speakers we’re all looking forward to in March, check out their New Year’s tech resolutions in this week’s Speaker Series blog post.

Register to attend SXSW now before rates increase in early February. Discounts are available for groups, as well as students and recent college graduates. After you purchase your badge, book your hotel via SXSW Housing & Travel.

I've breathed the mountain air,

Hugh Forrest
Co-President / Chief Programming Officer