SXSW Unveils Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aimé, Kim Gordon, Robert Rodriguez and More As Initial Lineup Of Keynote and Feature Speakers For 2020 Conference

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aimé, Kim Gordon and Robert Rodriguez set as speakers for SXSW 2020. Shutterstock

SXSW is ramping up for its 2020 conference and has announced their first wave of keynote and featured speakers. Former President and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé and artist and musician Kim Gordon have been set as keynote speakers while a huge roster of artists, musicians, tech leaders and storytellers have been added as featured speakers. The 34th edition of the South by Southwest Conference and Festival is slated for March 13-22, 2020.

The initial lineup of featured speakers includes a conversation between Sin City and Alita Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez and iconic actor and comedian Cheech Marin, Fixer Upper‘s Chip & Joanna Gaines, IMDb Founder and CEO Col Needham, writer Roxane Gay, legendary musician Nile Rogers and more.

“We’re kicking off the 2020 season with a captivating group of speakers. From Keynotes Reggie Fils-Aimé, who oversaw Nintendo of America during its most successful era, and Kim Gordon, a creative virtuoso whose passion and achievements have paved the way for others, to our diverse range of expert Featured Speakers, these talents prove that SXSW is the premier destination for innovation and creative discovery,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW. “We’ve also added new tracks and more programming to the second half of the week, as our event evolves to reflect the continued convergence of the industries who gather here.”

Read the initial lineup below.


  • Managing Partner at Brentwood Growth Partners and former President and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé (Convergence)
  • Musician, singer, songwriter, visual artist, and actress Kim Gordon (Music)

 Featured Speakers

  • Founder and Chief Trend Curator of the Non-Obvious Company Rohit Bhargava
  • Producer, songwriter, artist Benny Blanco
  • Cannabis rights activist Steve DeAngelo
  • Starburst Accelerator co-founder & Managing Partner Van Espahbodi
  • Graphika Chief Innovation Officer Camille François
  • Entrepreneurs and Magnolia founders Chip and Joanna Gaines
  • Entrepreneur and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in conversation with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine
  • Author and co-founder and CEO of Affectiva Dr. Rana el Kaliouby
  • Cirque du Soleil, One Drop Foundation and Lune Rouge founder Guy Laliberté
  • Designer, author and technologist John Maeda
  • Actor and comedian Cheech Marin in conversation with Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez
  • IMDb Founder and CEO Col Needham
  • James Beard Award-winning chef and author Kwame Onwuachi
  • Executive Director of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Cat Packer
  • C3 Presents concert and festival promoter Huston Powell 
  • Musician, producer and songwriter Nile Rodgers in conversation with music industry executive and entrepreneur Merck Mercuriadis 
  • Quantitative futurist, author and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb
  • Author and scholar Shoshana Zuboff

Featured Sessions

  • Activating Change with a Cello and a Shovel: an exploration of how to use culture to transform social problems that create division and uncertainty into moments that confirm community and activate change, featuring musician Yo-Yo Ma and artist Pedro Reyes. Moderated by NPR’s Peter Sagal.
  • Changing the Immersive Storytelling Wild West: a conversation about how to collaborate to create sustainable, transformative and inclusive work in immersive storytelling, between Royal Shakespeare Company Director of Digital Development Sarah Ellis; anthropologist, technologist, professor and Intel senior fellow Genevieve Bell; and Guild of Future Architects Executive Director Kamal Sinclair. Moderated by Watershed CEO Clare Reddington.
  • Hear to Slay: a live podcast recording offering compelling conversations and uncommonly incisive reads of the politics and pop culture that shape the world we live in, featuring writer, editor and podcaster Roxane Gay; award-winning professor and author Tressie McMillan Cottom; and Special Guest.


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