T-Squared: Texas Tribune, SXSW collaborating again on “Conversations about America’s Future”

I’m excited to tell you that on March 14 and 15, The Texas Tribune Festival and South by Southwest will co-present a second round of what we call “Conversations about America’s Future,” a series of one-on-one interviews and panel discussions on forward-looking topics that affect all of us in Texas, the U.S. and around the world — issues like diplomacy, cybersecurity, the intersection of gender and policy, the rule of law, the growing power of mayors, and the generational churn in leadership. The two-day program will again be part of SXSW and will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Austin, across the street from the city’s convention center.

Last year, you may recall, TTF and SXSW co-hosted a weekend of sit-downs with announced and potential Democratic and Republican presidential candidates (Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Secretary Julián Castro, Govs. John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, John Kasich, and William Weld, and U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren) and a stand-in of sorts for POTUS (U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy). The nine interviews were conducted by different big-brand members of the media, including HuffPost’s Lydia Polgreen, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, Recode’s Kara Swisher, and TIME’s Anand Giridharadas.

This year, we’re shifting our focus from the presidential race and widening the aperture — putting a more diverse group of interviewees and subjects on the agenda.

We kick off on Saturday the 14th at 9:30 a.m. with U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, interviewed by Kasie Hunt, Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News and the host of the MSNBC show "Kasie DC."

At 11 a.m., former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the author of "The Nation City: Why Mayors are Running the World," records an episode of the "Recode Decode" podcast with Kara Swisher, co-founder and editor at large of Recode.

At 2 p.m., former Fox News anchor and best-selling author Gretchen Carlson sits down with Samantha Barry, editor-in-chief of Glamour.

At 3 p.m., former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, the founder of Powered by People, will be interviewed by Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post and moderator of Washington Week on PBS.

At 5 p.m., we close our first day with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in conversation with Joy Reid, the host of the MSNBC show “AM Joy.”

Our first conversation on Sunday the 15th is at 9:30 a.m. Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang sits down with Ben Smith, newly minted media columnist for the New York Times.

At 11 a.m., Charlotte Alter, national correspondent for TIME and the author of The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For: How a New Generation of Leadership with Transform America, will talk with three millennials in the political and policy fray: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo; Waleed Shahid, spokesman for the progressive political group Justice Democrats; and Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton, California.

At 12:30 p.m., U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon sit down with Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic.

At 2 p.m., CNN anchor Kate Bolduan talks to four Republican mainstays turned Trump apostates: political strategists Reed Galen, Steve Schmidt and John Weaver and best-selling author Rick Wilson, all co-founders of The Lincoln Project.

At 3:30 p.m., Dylan Byers, senior media reporter for NBC and MSNBC, interviews four top-tier political reporters: Jackie Kucinich, Washington D.C. bureau chief for The Daily Beast; Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, Manu Raju, senior congressional correspondent for CNN; and Jake Sherman, senior writer for Politico and co-author of Politico’s Playbook.

Finally, at 5 p.m. attorney and Brandeis University professor Anita Hill records an episode of the “Women Rule” podcast with Anna Palmer, senior Washington correspondent for Politico and co-author of Politico’s Playbook.

If you’re a Texas Tribune Festival fan or a mere political junkie, this is a weekend for you. You have to be a South by Southwest badge holder to attend. Go to sxsw.com/attend to register. See you there!