PanelPicker® is a digital, crowd-sourced platform that enables the community to propose session ideas for the SXSW EDU program.

Photo by Christopher Bouie

Photo by Christopher Bouie

About PanelPicker


PanelPicker® is a digital, crowd-sourced platform that enables the community to propose programming ideas for SXSW EDU 2021. The platform, launched in 2007, has formalized the input process that has always been a vital part of the event. Over the years, many of the most compelling sessions at SXSW EDU have come directly from this process.

2021 Event Information

SXSW is launching SXSW EDU Online as part of their 2021 offerings. The digital experience will feature conference keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases, networking, and exhibitions. The dates for SXSW EDU Online are March 9 – March 11, 2021 and SXSW Online will take place March 16 – March 20, 2021.

Entries for the 2021 digital experience will open on Tuesday, October 6 with PanelPicker® proposals for SXSW and SXSW EDU. More information regarding participation in SXSW EDU competitions, film program, performances, and the mentor program is forthcoming.

How PanelPicker Works


Simply enter your session proposal for SXSW EDU Online 2021 during the submission window. Then PanelPicker will re-open for public voting, allowing the public to review, vote on, and provide feedback for all ideas entered.

Submission Process

Visit and sign in with your universal SXSW account or create one for free with your email address and a password.

Begin your proposal by selecting “+ EDU Proposal” to be considered for SXSW EDU 2021.

The application form is divided into six steps and PanelPicker allows you to save and continue as you go.

Click on the question mark icons next to important fields for helpful tips and guidelines. For additional questions, please reference the FAQ.

Go to PanelPicker

Selection Process

SXSW EDU PanelPicker VotingAll ideas received during the PanelPicker entry period will be posted online for community voting. It’s as easy as “review, comment, and vote” to help shape SXSW programming.

Community Votes: 30%
Who knows what you want to see at SXSW EDU better than you? Your input is very important in terms of shaping the look and feel of the event.

SXSW Advisory Board: 40%
A group of industry experts from around the world, the SXSW EDU Advisory Board provides significant feedback on all entries.

SXSW Staff: 30%
With years of experience programming this event, SXSW staffers work to fill any gaps in relevant subject matter, striking a balance between new and veteran speakers.

Download the Guide

Before you start your PanelPicker proposal, download and read the step-by-step guide for SXSW EDU Online 2021.

Download PanelPicker Guide

Session Features


Selecting the right track and format for your session idea is essential as it will determine the identity of your session from the number of speakers to the level of audience interaction.


Converse (2-3 speakers / 45 min)
A speaker-facilitated, open conversation that focuses on driving dialogue and connecting communities around a particular topic rather than offering a structured presentation

Talk (1-4 speakers / 30 min)
A focused, high-energy presentation centered on breakthroughs and insights

Work (2-3 speakers / 60 min)
An instructional program with hands-on learning activities and specific takeaways


Programs and projects focused on empowering and connecting communities in and out of the classroom by highlighting work organized by community spaces and groups including libraries, museums, makerspaces, community centers, after-school and summer programs, and more

SXSW EDU 2019 session, photo by Steven Snow.Emerging Tech
Exploring development and implementation in educational technology including virtual teaching and learning solutions, universal design, artificial intelligence, XR, data privacy, coding, data interoperability, as well as issues surrounding equitable access to technology

Equity & Justice
Addressing work championing equity, justice, access, diversity and inclusion in education and beyond, including social and economic disparities, culturally responsive teaching, anti-racism practice, LGBTQ+ issues, and more to ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes for all

Global Impact
Programs and initiatives exploring the importance of global collaboration and connectivity in education and beyond including international business ventures, program implementation across borders, global partnerships, cross-cultural initiatives, and more

Media & Public Engagement
Addressing the importance of education journalism locally, nationally, and internationally to advance public engagement on issues of educational equity and the fundamental connection between education and work, as well as fostering deeper ties between practitioners and journalists

Policy & Civil Discourse
Addressing education policy issues across local, regional, national, and international governance including funding and standards, student data use, and digital policies, as well as economic development, advocacy and activism, and government partnerships

Practice & Pedagogy
Content focused on instruction and pedagogy across the entire learning lifecycle with a focus on virtual teaching and learning and institutional transformation. Topics include but are not limited to instructional best practices for all educational levels and learning differences, arts integration, social emotional learning and wellness, and evolving curricula.

Work Reimagined
Programs and new approaches to upskilling, corporate learning, and talent development, including continuing education, workforce revitalization and training, career transitions and professional development, as well as initiatives for mature learners and non-traditional students

Stay Involved

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Get in Touch

We are always interested in connecting with the community. For general inquires check out our FAQ or contact our team.

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