PanelPicker® is a digital, crowd-sourced platform that enables the community to propose session ideas for the SXSW EDU 2019 program.

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How PanelPicker Works


PanelPicker® is a digital, crowd-sourced platform that enables the community to session propose ideas for the SXSW EDU 2019 program.

Simply enter your session proposal for SXSW EDU 2019 during the month-long submission window. Then PanelPicker will re-open for public voting, allowing the public to review, vote on, and provide feedback for all ideas entered.

Final PanelPicker Proposal Grade

EDU 2019-PanelPicker-Proposal-Grade-Graphic
The final decision is derived from SXSW EDU Advisory Board evaluations (40%), public voting (30%), and staff review (30%).

Important Dates

Monday, June 25: PanelPicker opens for entries

Sunday, July 22: PanelPicker entry window closes

Monday, August 6: PanelPicker public voting begins

Thursday, August 30: PanelPicker public voting ends

Get Started

PanelPicker Guide

Download the printable PanelPicker Guide, a PDF with step-by-step instructions to guide you through the session proposal process.

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Visit and select “+ Sign in to Create a SXSW EDU Proposal” to get started.

You will be prompted to sign in with your universal SXSW account or to create one for free with your email address and a password. After you’ve signed in, you can begin your application to be considered for SXSW EDU 2019.

Start PanelPicker Proposal

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

STEP 1: Session Organizer

Appoint a primary contact for your session, known as the organizer, to facilitate correspondence throughout the PanelPicker process and beyond, if accepted.

The session organizer can also be a proposed speaker, but is not assumed to be participating as a speaker unless indicated. Remember that the session organizer serves as the main point of contact for the session, and is responsible for communicating information to their speakers.

STEP 2: Title & Characteristics

The information required in this step serves as the foundation for your session idea. Your selections will help the community understand and differentiate your proposal among many others.

  • Try to keep your title as concise and explanatory as possible. Great titles clearly speak to the audience you are try to reach.
  • Choose the format that best fits your session structure and presentation style.
  • Select a thematic track that generally aligns with your idea so that attendees looking for similar content can find your session.
  • Further clarify the focus of your idea by selection two tags that will help the community further search for your session.
  • Clearly identify the intended audience for your session, as well as the background knowldge required to help attendees understand who will benefit most from your session.

SXSW EDU 2019 PanelPicker Tracks

Session Formats

The session format you select will influence the session’s duration, the way the room is set up, and the overall presentation style of the session.

SXSW EDU 2019 PanelPicker- Room Set PanelPicker Graphic

Case Study
A focused presentation highlighting research findings from relevant initiatives and projects, followed by audience Q&A.

A constructive, moderated debate between opposing viewpoints on an impactful topic, followed by audience Q&A.

A short solo presentation highlighting new and emerging ideas. Optional audience Q&A.

A diverse and dynamic exploration of a particular topic, followed by audience Q&A.

A focused, high-energy presentation centered on breakthroughs and insights, followed by audience Q&A.

Hands On
An informal, activity-based session that facilitates interactive and creative learning techniques.

Meet Up
A speaker-facilitated networking event that encourages communities to connect around similar topics, passions, roles, or interests.

An in-depth, instructional program with hands-on learning activities and specific takeaways.


A speaker-led, open conversation that focuses on driving a dialogue with attendees around a particular topic rather than offering a structured presentation.

STEP 3: Description & Objectives

Describe your session content (max. 500 characters including spaces) and learning objectives (max. 150 characters each including spaces). Accurately define the comprehensive focus of your idea in a compelling manner and provide three specific learning objectives for your session that highlight concrete audience takeaways. Please keep in mind the following tips:

  • Depth is more important than breadth in making your idea an impactful session.
  • Given the limited space, your description does not need to reference broad statements and statistics about the state of education. Focus on the specific content of your session.
  • Do not include speaker names or organizations in the session description as these are listed separately in the application process and beyond.
  • Use paragraph form for your description (no bullets or lists please).
  • Be sure to spell out the first mention of any acronyms you choose to include
  • Advertorial or brand-centered descriptions are not allowed. If you are interested in promoting your brand at SXSW EDU, please reach out to
  • Note that learning objectives are optional for Meet Up proposals only.

STEP 4: Resources

Add a short creative video and / or visual aids to serve as the digital face of your proposal. You must provide at least one resource to support your programming idea. Videos are highly preferred, and there’s no need for high-value production, as we just want to hear you speak — just record yourself on your phone / computer pitching your idea! Please note, you must have clear rights to whatever resources you include.

STEP 5: Speakers

Be prepared to enter each proposed speaker’s name, contact information, short bio, and diversity contributions. Although most of this information is kept confidential, know that each speaker’s name, title, organization, and bio will be shared with the community.

  • SXSW EDU values diversity in perspective, opinion, and representation and the most interesting sessions are ones that offer many different perspectives. For each proposed speaker, you will be asked to address how they contribute to the diversity of the session with a focus on the five requirements of diversity outlined below.
  • Keep in mind the maximum speaker limits associated with your selected session format. For example, the panel format is limited to
    a maximum of four speakers, including the moderator, if desired.
  • Moderators are optional (except for debate proposals), but should be independent, neutral facilitators in the discussion. Please note the moderator counts toward your maximum speaker limit.
  • While a particular speaker may be proposed for multiple sessions, in the interest of providing diverse perspectives, speakers will be limited to participating in a single programmed session.

SXSW EDU 2019 PanelPicker Five Elements of Diversity.

STEP 6: Review & Submit

Proofread and double-check that your proposal is complete and error-free.

Make sure you take a few moments to review all of the agreement terms before finalizing your proposal. Please note, once submitted, you will NOT be able to make any additional edits to your proposal.

Your proposal is not complete until you click the “Enter Proposal” button.

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