10 SXSW Sessions for Valentine’s Day
The Forrest Four-Cast: February 13, 2020
In addition to being the final day that you can register for SXSW 2020 at a discount, February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Whether you are in lust or just in longing, celebrate this bittersweet holiday with 10 love-related panels and presentations scheduled for this year’s Conference.
Are We Still Connecting? (March 13): When digital connections are at a peak and meaningful human connections are at a low, we believe a live entertainment performance is one of the few moments that bring people together to share a common connection/emotion. Join experts from Cirque Du Soleil for thoughts and learnings on the topic of connecting as a creator and as a business.
Call Me By Your Name, Find Me, Love & Life (March 13): André Aciman is the bestselling author known for Call Me by Your Name, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Luca Guadagnino. This panel will explore themes to his recent sequel, “Find Me: A Novel,” which tackles longing and lust, doubt and vulnerability, age and time, as well as the un-lived life versus the leaps of faith one must take to grasp the fullest version of who we are and true happiness.
Crazy in Love: Building a Beloved Brand (March 14): How do you make content that not only stops thumbs from scrolling, but goes a step further and gets a “love” reaction? Dive deep with The Dodo’s President, YuJung Kim, into the science behind how to make audiences ‘love’ a video; tactics for efficiently programming across a multitude of platforms; and how to turn that ‘love’ into a loyal community.
For Love and Leadership (March 15): Emotional intelligence is a critical leadership characteristic. At the core of emotional intelligence is love. And love — for self and others — has profound consequences for the physical, psychological, and professional well-being of anyone in a leadership relationship.
The Future of Sex (March 18): Popular podcaster Bryony Cole takes you on a journey across cultures to investigate tech-led responses to the most pressing human problems centered around the future of sex. Explore and better understand the expansiveness of sextech, the vast technologies that will disrupt, innovate and enhance our sexual lives.
The Future is Virtual Intimacy (March 17): With the rise of the $30 billion dollar sextech industry, intimacy and relationships are being redefined. VR, AI, facial recognition technology and robotics all play a part in our future sexual lives. Is virtual sex considered real sex? What is cheating in the age of virtual influencers and avatars?
How to Break Up With Your Phone (March 15): Is your smartphone the first thing you touch in the morning and the last thing you reach for before bed? In this two-person presentation, science journalist, speaker, author, teacher and consultant Catherine Price discusses her new book “How to Break Up With Your Phone” with Kevin Roose. Their discussion will focus on the best strategies for creating healthier relationships with your devices.
Love and Intimacy in a Robotic Age (March 15): Artist Stephanie Dinkins researches how relationships are changing and how robots and humans might learn from each other as possible companions. This session will discuss responsive love, ethics and symmetry in our search for companionship, and the possibility that in the future not humans, but machines, might become the experts of love.
Our Desire for Human Connection is Shifting Culture (March 14): While the digital age has blown open the possibilities for achieving opportunity and success, overstimulation can be overwhelming and isolating. Hear from these entrepreneurs on how to build a business that prioritizes humans, from individual well-being to a wider community that’s supportive, inclusive and value-aligned.
Swiping Right in the Era of Digital Love (March 14): In this session, OKCupid’s Global CMO, Melissa Hobley, Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor to Match.com, along with The Knot’s CMO, Dhanusha Sivajee and Havas Media’s Bre Rossetti, will explore how dating apps and algorithmic matches have affected the way we find love.
We Target the Ones We Love (March 15): As AR and VR become more ubiquitous, we’ll have wild targeting opportunities that go beyond the tired Facebook ad. To dissect the upcoming philosophical and ethical clusterf**k of predictive advertising and privacy, Keith Manlove will take you on a quick journey into the extreme micro-targeting of his friends and family.
XR in 2020: Rift Causer or Relationship Strengthener? (March 16): Human universals such as love, loss and altruism run deeply through contemporary media arts, and although technology is a contributing factor to our ever-growing political divide, it also has the potential to forge stronger human connections than ever before. Join us as we examine the daring XR work that brings us closer to understanding one another — and to ourselves.
Find the 2020 SXSW Conference content that you love by browsing the online schedule (use the search bar at the top right corner of the interface to locate exactly what you want). Also, save $125 as compared to the walkup price if you purchase your badge before 11:59 pm Pacific Time on February 14.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.