For the first time in South By Southwest’s 30-year history, the sitting President of the United States will make an appearance.
Barack Obama will participate in a Keynote Conversation with Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith on Mar. 11 as part of SXSW Interactive, the technology and entrepreneurship wing of the festival. In the conversation, the President will discuss ways in which technology can and should be used to foster civic engagement in 21st century issues such as climate change and increasing political participation.
Five days later, First Lady Michelle Obama will join SXSW Music for an address regarding her Let Girls Learn initiative, a project that aims to increase educational opportunities for the 62 million girls worldwide who are not currently enrolled in school. The speech coincides with the occurrence of Women’s History Month.
“I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW,” SXSW Co-founder Roland Swenson said in a statement. “As each new generation comes up at SXSW they look for ways they can be of service, and it’s important to reflect and support that message. President and Mrs. Obama’s visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose.”
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