IEEE Unites “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf & Leading Technologists at the Annual SXSW® 2017 Festival

Crafted in partnership with SXSW, IEEE’s “Tech for Humanity Series” promises to inspire, challenge and engage attendees with a remarkable series of sessions that explore leading edge technologies and critical issues on the frontier of the future.

PISCATAWAY, N.J.--()--IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced its lineup of speakers and events for the 2017 IEEE “Tech for Humanity Series,” to be held during the annual South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Festival in Austin, Texas, 11-16 March. This year’s series features 28 speakers, 11 speaking sessions, 3 meetup events, an official party and an experiential tradeshow presence. Twitter users can access #ieeesxsw to stay abreast of IEEE activities at SXSW.

IEEE’s sixth-annual series at SXSW explores new advancements and highlights critical issues in the areas of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, healthcare, wearables, “hearables”, synthetic biology, immersive UX and advanced human/machine interfaces.

Two official SXSW Featured Speakers will headline IEEE’s 15-event series. Vint Cerf, chief internet evangelist at Google and founder of the People-Centered Internet (PCI), will make his first-ever SXSW appearance to discuss current trends, highlight the critical need for global, networked engagement in developing and shaping technology to improve people’s lives, and explore how to connect private and public funding to the most worthy projects – based on their potential to benefit humanity and introduce new opportunities to underserved communities.

“The PCI project is pleased to work with IEEE at SXSW 2017. This is my first opportunity to participate in the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX,” said Vint Cerf, an IEEE Life Fellow. “I look forward to exploring with the SXSW audience ways to stimulate grassroots innovation, to create a people-centered internet that provides people all over the world the opportunity to connect to thrive.”

Thad Starner, professor at Georgia Tech and longest-standing technical lead for Google Glass, will highlight his work in wearable technology for animals and humans. From wearables for dolphins and dogs, to new advancements in haptic learning, voiceless speech recognition and brain-computer interfaces, Thad will address how to better fuse the body and mind with technology to create more seamless and useful user experiences.

Leading technologists joining IEEE in the series include, but are not limited to:

  • B.C. Biermann, IEEE Associate Member, The Heavy Projects
  • Kay Butterfield, AI Austin
  • Simon Carlile, Starkey Hearing Research Center
  • Tom Conte, IEEE Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Rachel Courtland, IEEE Spectrum
  • Poppy Crum, Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
  • Marcy Darnovsky, Center for Genetics and Society
  • Carolyn Farino, Digerati Design
  • Jayse Hanson, Jayse Design Group
  • Susan Hassler, IEEE Senior Member, IEEE Spectrum
  • John C. Havens, IEEE Associate Member, The IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems
  • Andrew Hessel, Autodesk
  • Jay Iorio, IEEE Standards Association
  • Melody Jackson, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Derek Jinks, UT School of Law
  • Konstantinos Karachalios, IEEE Member, IEEE Standards Association
  • Stuart Karten, Karten Design
  • Tsu-Jae King Liu, IEEE Fellow, University of California at Berkeley
  • Tan Le, Founder & CEO, EMOTIV
  • Todd Richmond, IEEE Member, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
  • Skip Rizzo, IEEE Associate Member, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
  • Dr. Leslie Saxon, IEEE Associate Member, USC Center for Body Computing and Virtual Care Clinic
  • Eliza Strickland, IEEE Member, IEEE Spectrum
  • Andrew Thompson, IEEE Associate Member, Proteus Digital Health
  • Heather Vescent, The Purple Tornado
  • Greg Yeric, IEEE Senior Member, ARM Research

SXSW Chief Programming Officer Hugh Forrest remarked, “For six years, IEEE has helped bring an array of amazing speakers to SXSW, covering leading edge advancements in technology across a wide technology development spectrum. We are glad for our continued partnership with IEEE and look forward to another year of challenging, inspiring, controversial and engaging content.”

The full session and speaker lineup can be found at the IEEE “Tech for Humanity” series landing page.

Official SXSW Party and Other Events
The IEEE “Tech of Humanity” series also includes an Official SXSW party at the historic Driskill Hotel on Sunday 12 March from 8-10 pm, featuring STEAM Carnival Entertainment from Two Bit Circus. In addition, three one-hour meetup and networking events will be hosted, including The IEEE Women in Tech Meetup with IEEE Women in Engineering and an IEEE Beer and Business Meetup for entrepreneurs. IEEE and the People Centered Internet will also cohost a dynamic “Future of the Internet Meetup” with Internet Hall-of-Famer and founding father Vint Cerf. IEEE will also host an experiential Trade Show booth at the SXSW Trade Show from 12-15 March. Events are open to all SXSW badge holders.

The IEEE “Tech for Humanity” Party will be preceded by a private, invitation-only VIP/Media preview hour from 7:00-8:00 PM. Interested press can request VIP admission by contacting the IEEE party organizer.

About SXSW
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, TX, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features conference programming, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10- 19, 2017.

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at


Lloyd Green, +1-732-465-6444
Director, Engagement Marketing & Creative Community Services
Jeff Pane, +1-732-465-6605
Associate Brand and Marketing Communications Manager


Lloyd Green, +1-732-465-6444
Director, Engagement Marketing & Creative Community Services
Jeff Pane, +1-732-465-6605
Associate Brand and Marketing Communications Manager