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Vote now to help DEPT® take the stage at SXSW 2024

Marjan Straathof
Marjan Straathof
Global SVP of Marketing
5 min read
9 August 2023

SXSW 2024 is coming, and you have a voice in the conference programming. Industry leaders will gather from March 8-16 in Austin, TX to ignite discussions on the future of tech, music, film and culture. 

Experts from DEPT®, DOGSTUDIO/DEPT®, and BASIC/DEPT® are in the running to deliver epic talks across a variety of pioneering topics and your vote can help get them on the iconic stages. Cast a vote for your favorites between August 8 and 20 with the SXSW PanelPicker®. 

We hope you’ll consider voting for these submissions from our crew:

Unfair Advantage: Building Brand Through CX 
Ryan Parkhurst, Vice President, Strategy BASIC/DEPT®

In this panel session, we’ll uncover how creativity and friction can create new value in customer experience and digital commerce and explore which rules of CX can be broken.

Red Pill or Blue Pill: What is the Future of Creativity
Jeff Bowerman, Executive Creative Director DEPT®

All the craft and technology in the world can’t save a bad idea. But it can make it. In this session, Jeff shares why embracing innovation will always be the future of creativity.

This Could’ve Been an Email
Simon D’haenens, Design Lead DOGSTUDIO/DEPT®

Embrace uniqueness and novel perspectives in a world of noise, distractions and short attention spans. This session will offer designers insights on pushing boundaries, focusing on mindfulness and intentionality and adopting AI and Web3 technologies to create valuable experiences.

Dumb Ways to Die in Product Development
Jake Rainis, Software Architect and Team Lead DEPT®

We take a look at how we brought a video arcade game for project managers to market in 20 days. This session explores how to push the boundaries of content creation with off-the-wall ideas and how to turn a game into a marketing win.

Everyone is Missing the Point about AI
Bob Briski, CTO DEPT®/AI

The Conceptual Web is revolutionizing the way we explore and engage with the web. In this session, we examine why this new AI-powered digital architecture enables fluid navigation, revealing hidden connections in complex concepts and how to leverage it.

Augmenting Culture, from Day 1
Alexander Dao, Global Director, Business Expansion & Sales Partnerships Snap and Isabel Perry, VP of Emerging Tech DEPT®

We have discussion about the role that AR plays when brands want to create strong immersive experiences catered to different ages and demographics. This fireside chat will explore how AR can influence customer acquisition and retention, and what it will take to get it on every media plan and default brand activation. 

Immersive Tech: A Path to a Diverse and Connected Future
Isabel Perry, VP of Emerging Technology DEPT®
Oliver Lange, Head of H&Mbeyond, H&M
Chad Calcagno, VP, Brand Production, Yuga Labs

This panel will focus on how brands can develop and implement truly inclusive, accessible and empowering immersive technologies. A look at how VR, AR and MR can be harnessed to create a more inclusive and interconnected society.

Building a Culture of Sound
JP Burcks, Design Lead @ BASIC/DEPT®
Mia Patrevito, Design Lead, BASIC/DEPT®

What started as a single shared playlist during the pandemic became a digital jukebox for the world to explore. This session explores how JAMS, a weekly-ish playlist curated by our employees has shaped our culture and inspired our work.

How GenZ is Shaping Culture and Commerce
Zahara Chaudhry, Senior Strategist BASIC/DEPT®
JP Burcks, Design Lead @ BASIC/DEPT®

Marketers are quickly learning that authentic and curated spaces are the key to acquiring loyal Gen Z customers. In this session, we will explore how culture has shaped Gen Z, and how Gen Z, in turn, is shaping culture and commerce. 

Designers, We Need to Step Up Our Accessibility Game
Ken Trush, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Daniel’s Music Foundation 
Carla Sullivan, Marketing and Disability Awareness Director
Steve Denekas, CCO BASIC/DEPT®
Ariel Irby, Design Lead BASIC/DEPT®

We team up with Daniel’s Music Foundation, a non-profit leading the charge to make accessibility more than just a checkbox, to uncover why accessibility is a creative opportunity, not limitation. In this panel, we discuss how design and creativity are key to building a truly inclusive future. 

Just Call Me By My Name
Ken Trush, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Daniel’s Music Foundation 
Steve Denekas, CCO BASIC/DEPT®

Art has the power to change people’s perspectives for good and break down the barriers that separate us. Ken Trush, co-founder of “Just Call Me By My Name,” a music label dedicated to building a more equitable future for musicians with disabilities, discusses how creativity can challenge society to think differently about disability.

How Can I Tell if My Idea is Worth Doing?
Dave Merwin, Executive Sponsor & Product Strategist, DEPT®

This session explores the build-measure-learn cycle to help participants learn swift idea validation. We will dive into various tools to arm innovators with the practical skills for quickly and efficiently determining if an idea, product or feature is actually addressing the problems users are having.

What Coding Can Teach Us About Convenience
Bertrand Thomachot, Senior Engineering Manager, Two Bulls/DEPT®

Teaching programming using a low-level language applies beyond just coding. In this session, we look at how this approach can encourage individuals to make more informed choices regarding convenience and resource usage and to seek more sustainable solutions.

Cast your vote between August 8 and 20 to see these talks come to life. 


Global SVP of Marketing

Marjan Straathof