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SXSW announces initial Featured Speakers for 2023 Conference

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South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals has announced its initial Featured Speakers for the 37th edition of its annual Conference, which celebrates the convergence of technology, film, television, and music.

“At SXSW, our goal is to always host a range of speakers who represent the full spectrum of the creative industries that converge in Austin every March,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. “Our initial group of Featured Speakers, which includes futurists like Amy Webb, lifelong activists and advocates such as Alexandra Reeve Givens and Cecile Richards, and athletic titan turned business leader Allyson Felix, marks a significant first step towards a phenomenal SXSW 2023.”

The SXSW Conference is organized into 25 programming tracks presented in a variety of session formats. The tracks for 2023 include 2050, Advertising & Brand Experience, Cannabis, Civic Engagement, Climate Change, Creating Film & Episodics, Culture, Design, Energy, Film & TV Industry, Food, Game Industry, Health & MedTech, Markets & Economies, Media Industry, Music & Tech, Music Careers, Psychedelics, Sports, Startups, Tech Industry, Transportation, Travel & Leisure, Workplace Revolution, and XR & Metaverse. More information about SXSW programming tracks and formats can be found here.

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Newly-announced Featured Speakers include:

  • Chief Brand Officer at Athleta Kyle Andrew in conversation with founder and President of Saysh and the most decorated Track & Field Olympian in historyAllyson Felix and host of the No One Is Coming to Save Us podcast Gloria Riviera
  • CEO and Chief Futurist at Signal And Cipher Ian Beacraft
  • Wall Street Journal bestselling author of upcoming book The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive In The Next Decade and founder of the Non-Obvious Company and Ideapress Publishing Rohit Bhargava in conversation with co-author of The Future Normal: How We Will Live, Work and Thrive In The Next Decade Henry Coutinho-Mason
  • Founder of Sextech School and host of the Future of Sex podcast Bryony Colein conversation with the Executive Creative Director at Josephmark Alex Naghavi
  • Author of the upcoming book Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People), Contributing Editor at the Harvard Business Review, and co-host of the Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work podcast Amy Gallo
  • CEO of Indeed Chris Hyams
  • Founder of Starts With Us and KIND Snacks Daniel Lubetzky 
  • Co-Chair and CEO of Warner Chappell Music Guy Moot
  • James Beard Award-winning chef, writer, and Emmy Award-nominated host of Counter Space Sophia Roe
  • Author, professor, and host of the Team Human podcast Douglas Rushkoff
  • Author, professor, and co-founder and CEO of Aldora.io Joost Van Druenen 
  • Quantitative futurist, author, and founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute Amy Webb  
  • Software engineer, writer, and founder of the website Web3 is Going Just GreatMolly White

Newly-announced Featured Sessions include:

  • 2050: Digital Identity is a Human Right: As we become more and more digital as a species, it’s critical that we don’t forget about our human rights. Something as simple as owning your identity becomes a complicated issue in the digital realm of the metaverse, web3 and web5. But in an interconnected digital world, how can we be sure that our Digital Identities won’t be data mined, duplicated, or stolen? In this session, join Senior Vice President at Unstoppable Domains Sandy Carter as she draws on her decades of experience being on the cutting edge to imagine a future where Digital Identity is seen as a Human Right.
  • Data Privacy After Roe v. Wade: The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a watershed moment for the privacy of people seeking reproductive care. A person’s browser history, search history, location, and private messages can now be used by law enforcement or private citizens to pursue people who are suspected of having or aiding an abortion. When people’s most private digital information can be used against them, can tech companies change their practices to better protect their users’ privacy? Plus, as some states try to outlaw websites that tell people how to access abortion care, can advocates ensure that reliable health information remains online? In this session, join co-founder of Supermajority, New York Times bestselling author, and former President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology Alexandra Reeve Givens, and CEO of The Markup Nabiha Syedfor a discussion on ways advocates are working to protect users’ privacy and access to information at this critical moment for reproductive rights.
  • Design for a Better Future: In this session, dare to imagine a future where we can hack our bodies, make energy available to every human, create schools for lifelong learning, feed astronauts on their way to Mars, and make disabilities a thing of the past. Through unexpected designs and storytelling, co-founder and Owner of Nonfiction Mardis Bagley and Partner and Creative Director at Nonfiction Phnam Bagley will walk you through the possibilities of unbound imagination, and what it really takes to turn science fiction into reality.
  • RTR 2023: The Neuroscience of Self-Renewal: Modern neuroscience tells us how we store and process information depends upon our emotional state, which easily triggers the “flight or fight” response. Technologies that are designed to empower our understanding of events at hand, as well as to respond quickly, ultimately depend upon our personal fortitude. In this session, join Chief Technology Officer of Everbridge John Maeda as he discusses inevitable failures and how the likelihood of either overcoming a calamity or getting overcome by it correlates to our confidence in self-renewal.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film and television, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music, and comedy showcases, film screenings, exhibitions, professional development, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2023 will take place March 10 – 19, 2023 in Austin. For more information, please visit sxsw.com. To register for the event, please visit sxsw.com/attend.

SXSW 2023 is sponsored by White Claw, Volkswagen, The Austin Chronicle, and Porsche.

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6LACK Returns With New Song “Fuck The Rap Game

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6LACK Returns With New Song "Fuck The Rap Game

Today, the multi-platinum, four-time GRAMMY-nominated artist 6LACK returns with the release of his stirring new song “FTRG” (“Fuck The Rap Game”) via LVRN/Interscope Records. The track sees 6LACK in deep reflection as he honors his rap roots, revealing much about his own staggering personal and professional journey. A journey lined with the tumultuous ups and downs of the music industry that goes hand-in-hand with  his own journey as a man in today’s world. It’s the result of a man vehemently working to be his best for his family, his friends, his peers, his community and himself, choosing to stay focused on his higher purpose that led him to find music. Directed by AboveGround, the video brings to life the many sentiments at play in this song: The flashiness and allure of the industry while 6LACK bares himself and remains authentically him.

 

“FTRG” follows the release of his beloved More Lonely Nights acoustic project that celebrated the one year anniversary of his Grammy-nominated album, Since I Have A Lover. It also arrives as 6LACK is in the middle of his striking No More Lonely Nights Tour that has introduced a series of intimate performances that capture the raw emotion that lines the collection of songs on Since I Have A Lover, delving into 6LACK’s personal journey with mental health, healing, personal growth, love and finding his way through it all — the good and the bad.

 

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Since I Have A Lover has received large critical acclaim from the likes of NPR, Zane Lowe, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Business Insider, Complex, Fader and Pitchfork to name a few. It introduced a collection of profound songs speaking on mental health, recovery, self-improvement, love and revealed much about 6LACK’s personal journey navigating life’s highs and lows. It’s 6LACK like we’ve never seen or heard him before. The album features stunning collaborations with Don Toliver, Wale, India Shawn, Ty Dolla $ign, QUIN, and production by Leon Thomas, OZ, Fwdslxsh, Scribz Riley, EarthGang’s Olu, Teddy Walton and others.

 

ABOUT 6LACK:

Pronounced “Black”, the four-time GRAMMY-nominated and multi-platinum selling artist has brilliantly captured a voice of a generation through his dynamic art for years now. Born and raised in Zone 6 of Atlanta, 6LACK exploded onto the scene with his breakout debut FREE 6LACK album in 2016, cementing his insatiable, singular sound. He was later catapulted into stardom in 2018 with the arrival of his critically acclaimed album, East Atlanta Love Letter, which hit No. 1 on the Top R&B Albums and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

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The revered artist has amassed over 9.2 billion global streams across platforms while also giving the world some of the biggest hits from the past decade through explosive collaborations with some of today’s most beloved artists including J. Cole, Future, Selena Gomez, Young Thug, Timbaland, Normani, Isaiah Rashad, Rita Ora, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Baby, Khalid, Jessie Reyez, Nao and many more. Most recently, his colossal collaboration with Lil Tjay on the song “Calling My Phone” earned him a No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart and hit No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track has since reached platinum status and was brought to life through a moving performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

 

6LACK: NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS TOUR DATES:

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Sat Jun 22 | Waukee, IA | Vibrant Music Hall

Thu Jun 27 | McKees Rocks, PA | Roxian Theatre

LISTEN TO THE SINCE I HAVE A LOVER LP HERE

LISTEN TO THE NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS EP HERE

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6LACK Press Photos: https://umusic.box.com/s/aul0i6w5w7x1c3kos9jtihrnwsxo5y86

Follow 6LACK: INSTAGRAM I TWITTER I YOUTUBE I SOUNDCLOUD | FACEBOOK I WEBSITE

 

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For more information visit www.6LACK.com

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Travis Scott arrested on disorderly intoxication, trespassing charges in Miami

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Rapper Travis Scott was arrested and booked into Miami-Dade County Jail early Thursday morning on charges of trespassing property after being given a warning and disorderly intoxication, county jail records show. (more…)

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Swizz Beatz & Timbaland Cement New Distribution Partnership Between Verzuz & X

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Swizz Beatz & Timbaland Cement New Distribution Partnership Between Verzuz & X

Making a monumental power move, VERZUZ—the online award-winning, multi-media platform launched by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland—has cemented an exclusive partnership with Xfor distribution. Swizz and Timbaland personally broke the news at an activation in Cannes, France today.

 

Earlier this year, Swizz and Timbaland reacquired VERZUZ from previous partner Triller, now owning 100% of the platform, while retaining their equity (along with the artists who participated in VERZUZ) in Triller. Upon resuming complete control, they sought out the perfect channel for independent distribution.

The partnership journey with X has now begun!

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Together, the companies orchestrated a mutually beneficial alliance where Swizz and Timbaland maintain their full ownership and creative control, while X receives exclusive distribution rights. As a result, VERZUZ will now broadcast to an audience of over 550 million active users, exponentially expanding its viewership and international reach like never before. Since the inception of VERZUZ, the conversations around each VERZUZ naturally evolved on X from fans and enthusiasts alike. Viewers will now be able to watch for FREE exclusively on X, bringing the visual series, and viral conversation, all to one platform! Stay tuned for the announcement of the next VERZUZ matchup coming soon.

 

About this chapter, Swizz stated, “We are beyond thrilled to have found the best partner for Verzuz. Not only are we excited to have Verzuz on X, we’re excited to help X build the biggest entertainment company in the world. I would like to thank Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino, Brett Weitz, Mitchell Smith and the entire X team for believing in the Verzuz vision. We can’t wait to get to work.”

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Timbaland added, “We are thrilled to partner with X, the most innovative platform globally. Our goal has always been to bring Verzuz to the world which we can now do bigger than ever.”

As they have since the first VERZUZ, the founders uplift the culture and community into the spotlight in the center of the world’s stage. However, they preserve the same grit, honor, authenticity, and integrity that makes hip-hop, rap, R&B, soul and ALL genres of music so special. They have the opportunity to magnify its resonance, thanks to Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, and the entire X team championing their unfiltered voices.

 

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Linda Yaccarino stated, “X is so proud to partner with trailblazing creators, artists, and entrepreneurs Swizz Beatz & Timbaland. Our platform stands at the forefront of innovation, and Verzuz defines the essence of an innovative content experience. As we continue to work with the most exciting voices to bring premium content to X, there is no better fit than this series. Together we will redefine how consumers engage with their favorite entertainment, one Verzuz at a time.”

 

VERZUZ has partnered with Uncontained Media, led by Christian Sarabia, and Raymond Garcia. Together, they have produced multiple hit shows including Emmy Winner DRIVE WITH SWIZZ BEATZ and will serve as the production company and Executive Producers of VERZUZ.

 

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The influence and impact of VERZUZ has proven to be undeniable. So far, it has produced over 40 episodes, generating 100 million-plus live views and over 70 billion impressions. It has naturally encompassed other verticals with VERZUZ SPORTS, and VERZUZ COMEDY, all which play well to some of the most highly engaged communities on X. Not to mention, the power of the #VERZUZEFFECT cannot be overstated. Every artist that has participated in a VERZUZ have seen dramatic increases in streaming, ticket sales, merchandise, and overall revenue from just one appearance.

 

Welcome to the biggest, boldest, and best era of VERZUZ. Welcome to the future of entertainment.

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“Lord Of The Rings” actor Ian McKellen hospitalized after falling off stage during London performance

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Sir Ian McKellen has been taken to hospital after falling off stage during a performance of Player Kings at the Noël Coward theatre in London. (more…)

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German officials decry racist attack on 8-year old Ghanaian girl and her father

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German officials decry racist attack on 8-year old Ghanaian girl and her father

Police say a group of youths and teenagers injured an 8-year-old Ghanaian girl and her father in the town of Grevesmühlen in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

German officials have condemned an attack that resulted in the injury of a Ghanaian girl and her father.

Police said that an 8-year-old Ghanaian girl and her 10-year-old sister were attacked by a group of around 20 teenagers and young adults late on Friday.

The 8-year-old girl and her father sustained mild injuries and were hospitalized.

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The attack occurred in the town of Grevesmühlen in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Police said the attackers kicked the younger girl in the face, after which the girl’s parents intervened.

According to police reports, one of the suspected attackers continued to direct racist insults at the victims after officers arrived at the scene.

Police are investigating a breach of the peace, grievous bodily harm, incitement of hatred and verbal abuse.

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Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on the platform X, formerly Twitter, that her thoughts and solidarity were with the children and their family.

“Calling children racist names and brutally attacking them is a sign of deep hatred and inconceivable inhumanity,” she said.

Grevesmühlen Mayor Lars Prahler told the German public radio station NDR 1 Radio MV that he was shocked at the incident.

“This racially motivated offense simply leaves me stunned. It shows bottomless hatred and uninhibited inhumanity and cannot be excused,” he said.

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He added that the fact that some of the suspects are teenagers is no excuse for the behavior.

State Premier Manuela Schwesig condemned the attack in a post on X.

“The injured girl is 8 years old — as young as my daughter. We must not allow hatred and hate speech to poison our society and violence to threaten our children,” she declared.

Jana Michael, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Integration Commissioner, urged those in the group of youths to name the perpetrators.

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“Every witness who remains silent is complicit and prevents the investigation of this disgusting violence against children,” she said.

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Social Trends: 101 Nations Unite for Ukraine Peace

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101 Nations Unite for Ukraine Peace

The Ukraine Peace Summit in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, convened with the participation of 101 countries and international organizations, focusing on achieving a just and sustainable peace between Ukraine and Russia.

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Key issues discussed included nuclear and food security, the release of civilian and military prisoners, and the return of deported children. A draft declaration emphasized the recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the need for Russia to hand over control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to Ukraine, and the unacceptability of attacks on merchant vessels in the Black and Azov Seas.

Read Also: Freedom Fashion Ukraine heads to New York

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope for international agreement on a peace proposal to present to Russia, while President William Ruto of Kenya and other world leaders participated in discussions aimed at addressing the conflict.

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