SXSW Sydney Reveals First Look at 2024 Speakers and Sessions!

May 6, 2024

Introducing the first wave of Featured Speakers and Sessions for the 2024 Conference, happening this October!

Names announced today include Rohit Bhargava, Sofia Hernandez, David Warner, Katherine Bennell-Pegg, Ryan Patel, Courtney Act, Nakkiah Lui, Simon McQuoid, Esther Nguyen, as well as speakers from Atlassian, IBM, The Iconic, The AI Leadership Institute, Balarinji, and many more.

A centrepiece for global thought leaders, emerging talent, and Hollywood luminaries, last year’s inaugural event saw a long list of heavy hitters descend on the harbour city for a week-long celebration of Tech & Innovation, Gaming, Screen, and Music, with notable standout sessions from Chance the Rapper (celebrating 50 years of Hip Hop), Nicole Kidman, Black Mirror creator Charlie Booker and futurist and AI expert Amy Webb.

This year's edition promises to be bigger and better than ever, diving deep into the what’s next across Tech & Innovation, Gaming, Screen, and Music. The Conference is organised into 23 program tracks, covering everything from 2050 and AI & Robotics, to Fashion, Lifestyle & Beauty and Food, to Marketing & Advertising and Startups. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, there's something for everyone.

Head of Conference, Fenella Kernebone said of SXSW Sydney’s first programming announcement: “After the success of the inaugural SXSW Sydney in 2023, we are thrilled to announce a first look at the Featured Speakers and Sessions for SXSW Sydney 2024. Spanning technology, entertainment, design, sports, education and beyond, this year’s event will once again be an unparalleled hub of thought-provoking ideas, discovery and community collaboration.

We’re excited to welcome back SXSW favourites like Rohit Bhargava, alongside new contributors such as TikTok’s Sofia Hernandez, Australia’s very own astronaut Katherine Bennell-Pegg, queer icon Courtney Act, and sports star David Warner, amongst so many others. 

For our Sessions component, we have been astounded by the quality of submissions and are happy to share a brilliant selection, the first of hundreds of future focused panels and presentations. A high bar has certainly been set, and by all indications the 2024 event is shaping up to be one of great substance. SXSW Sydney is the point where the community, the decision makers, and the brightest minds among us all come together for one week in October to discover what’s next, and we are so proud that we get to deliver an event of this calibre in the Asia-Pacific region.

Be sure to stay tuned for future speakers, session and networking announcements, this is just the beginning!”
Featured Speakers

An inspiring first round of speakers has just been announced for the SXSW Sydney Conference:

  • Australian astronaut at the Australian Space Agency, Katherine Bennell-Pegg
  • World-renowned futurist and authority on global business, politics and corporate governance, Ryan Patel 
  • Global Head of Business Marketing at TikTok, Sofia Hernandez
  • Trend curator and founder of Non-Obvious, Rohit Bhargava returning after his popular session in 2023
  • Australia’s eSafety Commissioner,  Julie Inman Grant
  • Award-winning Australian filmmaker and director of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 2, Simon McQuoid
  • Gamilaroi and Torres Strait Islander writer, actor, director and publisher, Nakkiah Lui
  • Australian entertainer and television personality, Courtney Act
  • Founder of POPS Worldwide, revolutionising Vietnam’s digital music landscape, Esther Nguyen
  • Vice President of Product - AI Platform at IBM, Armand Ruiz
  • Australian human rights lawyer and barrister, Jennifer Robinson
  • Tennis Australia CEO and Director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley
  • Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University, Professor Genevieve Bell
  • CEO and Founder of multi-million dollar production studio Spawnpoint Media, Jordan Barclay (AKA EYstreem)
  • Group CEO of leading Singapore-based creative agency, The Secret Little Agency, Eunice Tan
  • Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott AO
  • Co-Founder of and, Martin D. Adams
  • Founder and Chief AI Officer at the AI Leadership Institute, Noelle Russell
  • Filmmaker, 2019 Australian of the Year, and Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Dr Richard Harris SC OAM
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research at UTS and host of the podcast series Unf*cking the Future, Chris Turney 
  • Founder and CEO of Silicon Quantum Computing, Professor Michelle Simmons
  • Host of the hit podcast, The Psychology of your 20s, Jemma Sbeg
  • Associate Dean Indigenous, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Professor Christopher Lawrence
  • Co-Founder, Andromeda Robotics, Grace Brown
  • Resident architect-councillor, HY William Chan
  • Mathematician, comedian, raconteur, and conversationalist, Adam Spencer


Furthermore, the first round of Sessions to be announced provide a taste of the thought-provoking discussions to come:

  • 36 Months: Raising the Threshold for Social Media Citizenship (Hamish Blake, parenting specialist Maggie Dent, Michael "Wippa" Wipfli, Nova, and Felicity McVay, former Global Head of Entertainment at TikTok)
  • A New Playing Field: Opportunities to Monetise Athlete IP and Expand Sport Globally (Australian Cricketer David Warner, sports advisor David Gallop, Olympian Tilly Kearns, and Nicholas Saady, Pryor Cashman)
  • AI and You: What You Need to Know Next (Dr Sandra Peter and Professor Kai Riemer, University of Sydney)
  • Designing with Country: Cultural Design as Driver of Extraordinary Contemporary Places (Ros Moriarty, MD, Co-Founder and Creative Executive, and Ngunnawal man Johnny Bridges, Indigenous Creative Lead, Balarinji)
  • Beyond the Big Screen: Film Tech in the Real World (Aaron Corera of XM2, Filmmaker Gregory Read, Duncan Jones, CEO of Myriad Studios)
  • For News Media, Digital Transformation Isn’t a Process – It’s a State (Lucy Blakiston, founder of Shit You Should Care About; Duncan Greive, founder of The Spinoff; Gaven Morris, Bastion Transform, Lee Lowndes, CEO Daylight)
  • The Digital Fashion Experience: In Conversation with Jere Calmes, CEO, The Iconic (Jaana Quaintance-James, CEO of the Australian Fashion Council)
  • Meet: Nature – Your Actual CFO. How Nature Impacts Every Organisation and Will Dictate Your Future (Moderated by Atlassian’s work futurist Dom Price, with climate and ecological experts Chris Ewing of Taronga Conservation, Guy Williams of Pollination, Dr Rachel Marshall of Accounting for Nature, and Cr Bradley Widders, National Parks Wildlife Service)

Today’s unveiling of SXSW Sydney’s 2024 initial lineup is the first of many announcements within the program, keep your eyes peeled!

Buy Your Badge Now and Save! ⏳

Badges are on sale now at a special Early Bird rate with new inclusions for Platinum Badge holders. Hurry, prices rise May 16. Secure yours now to save up to $600.