Creativity is at the heart of what we do — we work to inspire it, cultivate it and celebrate it with you every year by showcasing new and established innovators who are pushing the boundaries in and beyond their fields, and we’re always looking to find new individuals, ideas and landscapes for you to discover.
We’ve added a number of tracks this year that address new creative focuses at the SXSW Conference. One of our particular favorites is the Space Track, which explores the spectacular potential that space travel offers, and how falling launch costs will influence future advances in industry, technology and human development.
With a lineup of pioneers, visionaries and experts for its debut year, here are ten of the most inspiring leaders speaking in the Space Track:
- Amy Shira Teitel. Author of the new book Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight, Teitel is also the force behind the Vintage Space channel on YouTube. She will speak on the March 18 panel Should Humans Explore the Moon or Mars Next?
- Annalee Newitz. Leading the Can We Build a Better Society Beyond Earth discussion on March 20, Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. They are the author of the novels The Future of Another Timeline, and Autonomous, which won the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist.
- Charles Fishman. America’s space movement started on May 25, 1961, when President Kennedy announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. Fishman (who authored the 2019 book One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon) tells the behind-the-scenes story of how it all transpired on March 18.
- Jasmin Moghbeli. Speaking on the Artemis Generation panel on March 19, Moghbeli is a member of the agency’s newest class of astronauts, joining the ranks of active astronauts in January 2020. She is now eligible for spaceflight assignments to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon, and ultimately, its missions to Mars.
- Jay Nemeth. Lending his voice to The Value of Space Partnerships for Brands on March 20, Nemeth helped design the system and capture the imagery that made the Red Bull Stratos project so compelling.
- Lucianne Walkowicz. At the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Walkowicz studies the ethics of Mars exploration, stellar magnetic activity, how stars influence a planet’s suitability to host alien life, and advanced computing to discover unusual events in large astronomical data sets. At SXSW, she lends her expertise to Alienating Mars: Challenges of Space Colonization on March 18.
- Moriba Jah. A space scientist and aerospace engineer known for his contributions to orbit determination and prediction, especially as related to space situational awareness and space traffic monitoring, Jah will speak on The Gravity of Space Junk on March 19.
- Sirisha Bandla. The Director of Washington Operations at Virgin Orbit, Bandla served as Associate Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation from 2012 to 2015. See her speak on Future Investment Opportunities in the Space Industry on March 20.
- Sylvia Acevedo. Now the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, Acevedo began her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Learn more about her experiences by attending Female Trail Blazers in Space: Reaching for the Stars on March 20.
- Dr. Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty. Currently on the board of the World Space Week Association, Aganaba-Jeanty is an Assistant Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. Catch her on March 19 at Space for All: The Future’s Frontier panel.
If you’re ready to launch your SXSW experience, make sure to favorite these sessions in the online schedule. Still preparing? Register to attend online to save time at the registration desk when you arrive, plus get access to the best downtown hotel rates. Special registration discounts rates still apply for students and groups!