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The Forrest Four-Cast: March 8, 2017

SXSW blooms in the year-round culture of creativity that continues to thrive in Austin. We are excited to showcase many of the city’s most innovative thinkers as part of March Magic (click here and here to read the first two installments of this series). Ten more awesome, Austin-based leaders you can connect with at SXSW 2017 are as follows:

  1. Eric Boam. A data artist and designer, Boam tracked the lyrics of all the songs he heard in 2016 (from pop music to his favorite indie artists), and decomposed these lyrics into their atomic parts in order to decode songwriting. Learn more about this fascinating project at “Decoding Songwriting With Data” on Wednesday, March 15.
  2. Congressman Lloyd Doggett. Talk with this long-time Central Texas lawmaker at the “Immigration Reform in a Trump Era Meet Up” on Sunday, March 12. Also participating in this Meet Up is Congressman Seth Moulton from Massachusetts.
  3. Hayley Hughes. At IBM, Hughes leads the effort to grow a design language for thousands of products. Her aim is to create a set of living guidelines that are flexible for designers, evolve with modern practices, and reflect the experience principles of the IBM brand. At SXSW, her solo presentation will cover “WEXIT: Why Women Exit Tech and How to Fix It.” Scheduled Tuesday, March 14.
  4. Dean Clay Johnson. Since March 2014,Johnston has served as the inaugural Dean of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. His ambitious vision includes building a world-class medical school by creating an ecosystem that supports new and innovative models of education and healthcare delivery. He lends his expertise to the “Collaborative Innovation in the Digital Health Age” session on Monday, March 13. Also speaking on this session is Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.
  5. Leo Ramirez Jr. A social entrepreneur with exceptionally diverse experience launching and managing non-profits, Ramirez boasts a 22-year career that has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions. On Sunday, March 12, he focuses on how to turn ideas into impact at the “Shut Up and Do Something” panel.
  6. Kerry Rupp. She is a General Partner at True Wealth Ventures, a new early-stage venture capital fund investing in women-led businesses in the sustainable consumer and consumer health sectors. Previously, Rupp was CEO at DreamIt, a Top Ten US startup accelerator and early-stage venture fund, where she was directly involved with the launch of over 150 companies. At SXSW, she moderates the “Research Universities Should Be Better at Startups” conversation with University of Texas President Greg Fences and Internet pioneer / Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe. Scheduled Sunday, March 12.
  7. Carol Thompson. An entrepreneur, coach, business advisor, and strategist, Thompson has been a visionary thought leader in Austin for more than two decades. Today, she works energetically to prepare Austin’s economy for its next 25 years and beyond. She talks about how to best connect the city’s various layers of talent at “Austin’s Untapped Brainpower: Connecting Generations” on Friday, March 10.
  8. Spencer Wells. A geneticist, anthropologist, author and entrepreneur, Wells is founder and CEO of the consumer genomics startup Insitome, an adjunct Professor at the University of Texas and owner of the iconic blues club Antone’s. He speaks on the “Sequence Me: Taking Personal Genomics Mainstream” session on Monday, March 13.
  9. Leslie Wingo. Pictured above, Wingo leads an agency of 90 people across offices in Austin, El Paso, and New York. She is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction and overall business development. In 2012 and 2016, Black Enterprise Magazine named Wingo one of the nation’s Top Women in Advertising and Marketing. She will contribute to the “Elephant on Madison Avenue” session on Sunday, March 12 that addresses ongoing advertising industry sexism.
  10. Whitney Wolfe. As Founder and CEO of Bumble, Wolfe helms one of the fastest-growing mobile apps in the world. In less than 2 years, her strategic vision has led to Bumble’s growth of nearly 10 million users and has singlehandedly disrupted the way people connect online and off. Learn more at “The Future of Connection” on Monday, March 13.

Many (but not all) of these Austin-based experts will appear at sessions at the offices of the Austin Chamber of Commerce (535 East 5th St).

Register now to attend the sessions, meet the amazing people, network with top new startups and discover the serendipity that makes SXSW so special. Also, watch this short video to understand the badge improvements for the 2017 event. Badge pick-up begins on Thursday, March 9 at the Austin Convention Center and the Palmer Events Center!

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.