What’s New for 2019

We’re thrilled to kick off the 2019 season and begin the journey towards the ninth annual SXSW EDU Conference & Festival.

Since we were last together this past March, we’ve been hard at work getting the foundation set and making necessary adjustments to build the best experience yet for the SXSW EDU community.

As we reset for 2019, we’re keeping your feedback top of mind and incorporating adjustments accordingly. The big changes for 2019 are outlined below, but know that we’ll continue to develop the program and experience as the event draws near, so stay tuned!


For years we’ve cultivated unique and focused exhibitions such as our Playground, which evolved from a makerspace into a hands-on, discovery-based learning space. The mix of programming, networking, and creative organizations has always been a hallmark of our exhibitions, and it’s through that lens that we’re bringing the power of our past exhibitions together into one SXSW EDU Expo. The new Expo will feature the Playground, NEXT Stage, programming, meet ups, social events, and more. As we’ve done in past years, we’ll continue to host a community day when thousands of Central Texas students and educators will have an opportunity to engage.

Check out the run down and get involved.

Tracks & Formats

We evolve our tracks each year and are excited to share our new tracks for 2019 which include Accessibility & Inclusion, Emerging Tech, Science of Learning, and Student Agency. We’re also shifting to align content to education levels more overtly with Early Learning, K-12 Education, Higher Education, and Adult Learning tracks in an effort to help attendees find the programming most pertinent to them. In true SXSW EDU fashion, we'll continue to encourage community crossover throughout the week by programming sessions that encourage mashups across learning levels.

Session formats for 2019 are largely remaining the same, though we’re looking forward to bringing back the Debate format. We’re also folding summits into Workshops this year, which will all be hands-on oriented and two hours in length. Given the popularity of our short-form sessions this year, I encourage you to consider submitting Future20 and Talk sessions as well.

Check out our guide to PanelPicker and apply to speak.


For 2019, we’re looking forward to hosting the eighth annual Launch competition, the fifth annual Student Startup competition, and the third annual Learn by Design competition. The big changes this year include raising the level of funding eligibility requirement for Launch to engage a broader swath of entrepreneurs and expanding the focus of the Student Startup competition to high school students beyond Central Texas.

Check out our competitions and apply to pitch.

Today marks the launch of the 2019 season for SXSW EDU, but it’s only the beginning of the process of building a truly unique experience. As a community-fueled event, your participation and input is vital.

Between now and the event I encourage you to apply to participate and share your ideas. You can reach me at greg@sxswedu.com.

Check out our SXSW EDU 2019 overview guide and mark August 1 in your calendar for when registration opens.

By Greg Rosenbaum


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