Skip and go to main content

From our Depsters March 20, 2018

10 SXSW Talks That You Don’t Want to Miss


There’s just one week left until it’s time for SXSW, the biggest tech festival in the world. Anyone that needs some help with choosing the right talks, panels, workshops, we picked some of our favorites:

How Do We Ethically Manipulate 2B Minds, by Tristan Harris

Design thinker Tristan Harris is known for his great TED talks and work on how technology influences our attention and behaviour. The balance between being ‘online’ and being closed off from your immediate surroundings versus being “offline” and feeling like you’re missing out on something big, is the focus of the Centre for Human Technology. Where he calls tech giants out to consciously deal with how they have the power to determine the thoughts and feelings of mankind.

Navigating the Video Revolution in the Digital Age, by Susan Wojcicki

YouTube powerlady and CEO Susan Wojcicki talks with Wired Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson about the responsibility of YouTube as a social platform and the impact it has on the contemporary media landscape. Need we say more?

Illusion Design, Story Craft and Virtual Worlds, by Curtis Hickman

All VR fans know about the breath-taking experiences of The Void.


It combines physical and virtual environments in a ‘hyper-reality’. Hickman, Creative Director at The Void, put great effort into making people feel like a real part of the virtual world through all senses. His talk takes a glimpse into the future of VR, storytelling and future experiences.

How Uber is Designing a Self-Driving Future, by Molly Nix

Uber is an example to many when it comes to user experience. But how do users behave in a self-driving Uber? Molly Nix examines Uber’s plans to enrich this next level user experience and answers the question of “How do you deal with multi-tasking users?”, “How do you ensure security?”, “Can we overcome the natural instinct to keep a strong grip on the wheel?” and questions of practical issues such as travel sickness.

How Will Brands Grow in the AI Era, by Steven Wolfe Pereira

Quantcast is an “AI powerhouse” for marketers and agencies. Wolfe believes that it’s not about the data per se, but it’s about understanding the data. He foresees AI having a huge impact on customer experience, industries, businesses and marketers. Our task is to actually build upon the data we already have.

Just Press Go: Waymo’s Self-Deiving Cars Are Here, by John Krafcik

After 9 years and driving 4 million miles, Googles’ ‘moon shot’ is finally a reality. Waymo CEO, John Krafcik seems to have the recipe for success when it comes to self-propelled vehicles, with the least human intervention so far. We’re looking forward to hearing all about his vision and promises.

Design in the Era of the Algorithm, by Josh Clark

Machine learning is the new design material, but we all know of examples that completely miss the mark. It’s up to designers and data experts to create solutions that are unbiased and inclusive. Josh Clark looks at our role in the creation of these future interfaces.


Ethical Personality Design: The Future of HCI, by Sophie Kelber

Huge’s Executive Director, Product and Innovation, focuses on the ever-closer relationship between people and virtual assistants. How do we provide an ethical framework when it comes to the future of human-computer interactions?

Create the World You Want to Live In, by Guy Raz

Brands are able to address social problems and actually initiate movements. Lead by our favourite NPR reporter Guy Raz, we hear how supermodel Karlie Kloss and Adidas Head of Global Brands, Eric Liedtke both make the difference. Tech in service of a better world.

Fake news, social addictiveness, dumb cities and the need for a Department of Technology

Dept wouldn’t be Dept if we didn’t give stage to our best speakers. So hear what Arthur Stobbelaar, Max Pinas and Franklin Schamhart have to say on Tuesday 13th of March from 15:30 to 16:30 in New Dutch Wave (Waller Ballroom, 700 E 6th St, Austin) about the theme of ‘Smart Cities.” Focusing on design ethics and how technological progress can be ensured within governments.

There you have it, our top 10 on a platter. Giving you a head start in the race against FOMO, trying to choose from too many interesting sessions, long queues and too much fun. For anyone who is already in possession of a ticket, don’t forget about this handy app that lets you download the above sessions and mark them as ‘favourite’ in your schedule.

If you’re going: LYFT is Austin’s version of Uber. Lastly, don’t even think of heading out the door without a power bank. See you in Austin!

Bonus Tip: Featured Session — Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman

Okay, so one more. Queues probably loop around the building four times 😉 and a must for all Star Wars fans…

Questions? We are here to help!


If you're reading this, you unfortunately can't see the form that's supposed to be here. You probably have an ad blocker installed. Please switch off your adblocker in order to see this form.

Still encountering problems? Open this page in a different browser or get in touch with us: [email protected]