Our picks for SXSW 2024

Our picks for SXSW 2024

Help us bring important conversations to SXSW Interactive and SXSW EDU.

Every March, a wide range of influencers — leaders and learners, entrepreneurs and educators, practitioners and visionaries — flock to Austin for SXSW, an annual celebration of creativity and innovation across technology, education, and the arts. This conference is always on our list of must-attend events.

We frequently receive questions about how we connect the dots between our focus areas, build networks across sectors and industries, and bring new initiatives to life. SXSW is a place where people and ideas intersect, and we want to take attendees behind the scenes with panel discussions at SXSW Interactive and SXSW EDU. Help send our team to Austin: Anyone can vote for these sessions during SXSW’s PanelPicker community voting period.

How to vote for SXSW panels

PanelPicker community voting is open now and closes on Sunday, August 20. You can cast votes for more than one session. If you’ve never voted for a SXSW panel before, you may need to create an account first. Registration takes less than a minute, and only requires your name, your email address, a password, and a one-click email verification. If you already have an account, it’s easy to log in or set a new password.


Learn more about our session proposals, and check out our curated lists of additional picks for both conferences.

SXSW 2024

How open innovation can solve 21st-century health problems

Healthcare is known for being hierarchical and expert-based. This is for good reason; lack of knowledge or experience can lead to human harm. But this structure makes it difficult to incorporate outsiders’ novel ideas. To meet the challenge of 21st-century health problems, Takeda, Northwell Health, and CareQuest Innovation Partners are investing in the power of external partnership. In this session, Luminary Labs CEO Sara Holoubek will join Takeda’s Julia Jackson, Northwell Health’s Ipsita Chatterjee, and CareQuest’s Mariya Filipova to highlight their best practices for making the case and getting the job done, and also share recently released benchmark data from a survey of 100+ organizations engaging in open innovation. Learn more about the open innovation session and cast your vote.

Catalyzing collaboration and community to prevent suicide

Suicide affects communities everywhere, but some populations, including Veterans, are particularly at risk. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognized that tackling this intractable problem, a White House priority, would require new ways of working. Luminary Labs Director Ben Alsdurf will join Dr. Amanda Lienau from Veterans Health Administration, Shruti Gurudanti from Televeda, and Sam Dorison from ReflexAI for a look at VA’s Mission Daybreak, a $20 million grand challenge calling on innovators to develop solutions to reduce Veteran suicides. Hear how this helped catalyze collaboration and community, resulting in new solutions tailored to at-risk Indigenous Veterans and AI/ML technology to support first-line responders. Learn more about the Mission Daybreak session and cast your vote.

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More SXSW picks from our extended network


Centering place and people in education infrastructure

Despite tremendous local variation and rapid societal changes in recent decades, the physical design of schools has largely remained standardized and static — not tailored to students’ preferences, communities’ unique needs and assets, or the opportunities afforded by advances in digital technologies. In this session, Luminary Labs Engagement Manager Logan Cummings will join Joshua Elder from the Siegel Family Endowment and Jamie Jutila from the Walton Family Foundation to explore the potential of schools to be the ultimate community infrastructure and the application of placemaking in public education. How might rethinking the learning environment (physical and digital) and centering students improve education outcomes and strengthen communities? Learn more about the education infrastructure session and cast your vote.

Space skills for careers on Earth

Space technology has the potential to help us address some of our biggest challenges on Earth — from climate change to organ transplants. To realize these bold innovations, we need a multidisciplinary workforce with a range of career and technical skills. Yet many young people are not aware of the broad range of space careers, nor how these roles can impact our life on Earth. During this session, Luminary Labs Engagement Manager Natalia Allen will join Dr. Lisa Martino from the University of Central Florida, Dr. Quincy Brown from the National Space Council, and Rob Lasalvia from NASA to share how NASA, the U.S. Department of Education, and other federal agencies are using career exposure and project-based learning to engage students in space careers. Learn more about the space careers session and cast your vote.

Reading between the lines: The case for adult education

The evidence is undeniable: Increasing adult literacy in America would help break cycles of intergenerational poverty, boost our GDP, and improve individual and community wellbeing. Yet more than 40 million Americans — nearly one in five adults — read below the equivalent of a third-grade level. And only a small portion of these adults have access to adult education programs. This is a pervasive, complex problem but it is solvable. In this session, Luminary Labs Director Eden Baker will join Andrew Roberts from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and Priyanka Sharma from World Ed to look at federal and philanthropic initiatives — from open innovation to collective impact — that are expanding access to education and training opportunities. Learn more about the adult education session and cast your vote.

More SXSW EDU picks from our extended network