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Dutch Speakers at SXSW 2019

From March 8 to 17, many Dutch interactive events are organized at SXSW 2019. Take a look at all the activities scheduled for SXSW at which Dutch speakers will be present, tackling questions about blockchain technology, astrophysics, and inclusive cities. Find the full overview of Dutch speakers below.


March 9 9:30 am – 10:30 am | IDFA DocLab: Algorithmic Intimacy | Austin Convention Center Ballroom F

Dutch participation: Wotienke Vermeer (New Media Coordinator at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam), Frederik Duerinck (Scentronix), and Steye Hallema (Creative Director at The Smartphone Orchestra)

Wake up, smell your data and rank your fellow audience members in an unforgettable social sorting experiment live on stage, at our 12th annual IDFA DocLab Showcase at SXSW. After his award-winning installation Famous Deaths, Frederik Duerinck is back with Algorithmic Perfumery. Steye Hallema will present the playful performance The Social Sorting Experiment (bring your phone). Wotienke Vermeer (IDFA) will introduce the Immersive Network R&D Program in collaboration with MIT Open Documentary Lab.


March 9 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm | EHT: A Planetary Effort to Photograph a Black Hole | Fairmont Manchester AB

Dutch participation: Sera Markoff (Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics & Astroparticle Physics, University of Amsterdam)

Predicted almost a century ago by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, black holes not only exist, but actually power some of the most extreme phenomena in the Universe. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global effort to construct an Earth-sized virtual telescope array, able to actually “photograph” nearby supermassive black holes. It had its first full run in April 2017, and will announce results in 2019. Join EHT project director and project scientist (Shepherd Doeleman, Dimitrios Psaltis), EHT science council astrophysicist (Sera Markoff), and author/filmmaker (Peter Galison) as they discuss the expected results from the EHT along with their scientific, philosophical, and historical impact. Q&A session to follow (moderator: Galison).


March 9 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm | Unleashing Cities’ Collective Superpower | Hilton Austin Downton Salon B

Dutch participation: Ger Baron (Chief Technology Officer of the City of Amsterdam)

Whether New York, Sydney, Buenos Aires or Amsterdam, cities across the globe are looking at how they can deliver better services for their citizens. From inclusive access to daily necessities such as employment and education to supporting local economic growth, ensuring prosperity for all is top of mind for all cities, no matter their location. By bringing cities together to work with each other, focused on people and daily experiences, alongside industry and academic partners, we break down siloes, accelerate inclusive growth and better solve global urban challenges. This collective force is a superpower, giving cities the ability to collectively advance irrespective of challenge or geography and positively impact people’s lives.


March 12 11:00 am – 12:00 pm | Changing the Chocolate Industry | JW Marriott Salon C

Dutch participation: Ynzo van Zanten (Choco Evangelist, Tony’s Chocolonely)

This is a story about cocoa, a Dutch journalist, and how a small chocolate brand is changing the global chocolate industry from within by going against the grain. Right now slaves are working on cocoa farms in West Africa. Many of them are children. Tony’s Chocolonely exists to change that. Our vision is 100% slave-free chocolate. Not just our chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide. Now the #1 chocolate brand in the Netherlands, we’re leading by example to show other companies that chocolate can be made without the use of modern slavery or illegal child labor.


March 13 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | Design Strategies for Truly Inclusive Cities | The Line Topaz Ballroom 1-2-3

Dutch participation: Paul Gardien (Philips Design), Melanie Gorka (Strategy Lead,, Roger Tan (Managing Director, Unstudio/UNsense), and Ren Yee (Unstudio/UNsense)

There is a growing awareness that the smart city concept will not tackle the big urban societal and environmental issues of today. The smart technology push seems to be stuck on monitoring and control [of iconic intelligent lampposts] while siloed thinking and acting, still the norm in many cities worldwide, obstruct the development of meaningful and scalable solutions for urban challenges. This panel puts a case to reassess the holistic design approach, with quality of life at the core of the discussion. The shared city should not be the inevitable result of digital revolution but a carefully crafted societal evolution. Steeped in a Dutch Design tradition, three creative thinkers and doers advocate this approach by presenting new design solutions and strategies for collaboration.



March 13 11:00 am – 2:00 pm | Be the Blockchain: A Game Experience for Newcomers | Westin Austin Downtown Paramount 3

Dutch participation: Dr. Jeroen B. van Hoof (Emerging Technologist, PwC Europe Experience Center), Nathalie Brähler (Head of Creative Business Development, Creative Business University Utrecht), and Anthony Garcia (Experience Strategy Manager, PwC Europe Experience Center)

Blockchain technology, what is it and what impact will it have on your organization? It’s not too late to learn by doing. During the Blockchain Experience you will experience for yourself this disruptive technology and its potential. In this game, you and your fellow participants, are a node in the network. Together you constitute the network that builds a shared ‘ledger’ of transactions. You will experience how a blockchain is built and learn about the basic principles of this technology. Throughout the session we will touch on the impact of blockchain on current business models. At the end of the experience you will learn how to use the learnings on your own business or industry. Learn the basics of the technology by actively working with it.





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