The 2021 SXSW Online conference announced Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg will deliver a keynote speech at the event taking place virtually next month. He joins keynote speaker Stacey Abrams and featured speakers Demi Lovato, Mary J. Blige, Carole King, and others at the virtual festival scheduled to run March 16th through the 20th.
“U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will emphasize SXSW’s continued focus on how technological innovations are transforming mobility,” Hugh Forrest, SXSW chief programming officer, said in a statement.
In addition to Secretary Buttigieg, Forrest also announced author and New York Times’s Together Apart podcaster Priya Parker, and writer/author Charles Yu have been added to their scheduled lineup.
“The three keynote speakers we’re announcing today are a perfect complement to our conference lineup for SXSW Online 2021,” Forrest continued.
The trio join keynote speaker Stacey Abrams and a lineup featuring Demi Lovato, 50 Cent, Don Lemon, former President George W. Bush, Jemele Hill, Swizz Beatz, Chance the Rapper, Timbaland, and others who are also scheduled to deliver speeches or participate in panel discussions or conversations.
The event normally takes place in Austin, Texas, but concerns over the global pandemic forced moving to a virtual conference format.
“This has been such a year of change and we, like the entire world, are reshaping our perspective on how we connect,” Roland Swenson, chief executive officer and co-founder of SXSW said in a statement explaining the move. “We’re pleased to be working on SXSW Online as part of our program for 2021, and regardless of platform, we will continue to bring together the brightest minds from creative industries worldwide.”