Fort Worth Now Panels


Day 1

Air Taxi

Urban Air Taxi and Future of Ride Sharing


Track:  Intelligent Future  

Forward-thinking transportation and infrastructure leaders are leaning into a future when on-demand, affordable, urban air transportation is a reality. The panelists will discuss vehicle design, infrastructure, regulations and the vision to overcome barriers. Imagine hailing an air taxi and avoid your traditional commute. This reality is just around the corner.


Mike Berry, Hillwood, A Perot Company

Nikhi Goel, Uber

Gwen Lighter, GoFly

Michael Thacker, Bell Helicopter

Venture Capital

Creating a Venture Capital Eco-System


Track: Startups & Tech Sectors

What does it take to build a collaborative and productive ecosystem for innovation and start-ups? With a convergence of venture capital, corporate innovation and family offices, Dallas-Fort Worth has all the right ingredients. Let’s talk about getting the recipe right.


Joe Beard, Perot Jain Capital

Frank Mycroft, Booster Fuels

Brenda Stoner, Pickup

Robert Sturns, City of Fort Worth

Data Storage

How Can Cities Support Hyperscale Data Storage


Track:  Startup and Tech Sectors

How are we going to support the growth of automated vehicles, VR and other demands on our data infrastructure? Major players in data and tech discuss the future of infrastructure being developed to store it.


Reid Goetz, Hillwood, A Perot Company

Pete Marin, T5 Data Centers

Mayor Betsy Price, City of Fort Worth

Matt VanderZanden, Facebook


Day 2



SXSW FilmmakersSpotlight on Texas Filmmakers


In this session, five well-known Texas-based filmmakers will share their journey to become professional storytellers. Join David Lowery, James Johnston, Toby Halbrooks, Red Sanders and Augustine Frizzell as they discuss tips for getting started, developing a concept and what filmmakers need to do to stay relevant in a time when audiences are consuming film across various platforms.


Augustine Frizzell, Writer/Director

David Lowery, Writer/Director

James Johnston, Producer

Toby Halbrooks, Producer

Red Sanders, Producer

Local Music TalentHow Music Studios Can Cultivate Local Talent


Track: Making & Promoting Music

Can access to opportunity develop local talent and set the stage for a music friendly community? Niles City Sound partners are the driving force behind the Fort Worth studio where Leon Bridges recorded his debut album, Coming Home. Panelists will discuss how they are taking a community-based approach to developing opportunities for local talent, shifting the perception of success in the music industry and what the future holds.


Josh Block, Niles City Sound 

Summer Dean, Musician 

Austin Jenkins, Niles City Sound

Chris Vivion, Niles City Sound 

Travel Apps

How Apps are Shaping the Future of Travel


Track: Brands & Marketing

As travelers continue to rely on their mobile devices to plan trips and guide their experiences once in a destination, how will apps continue to shape the way we travel? Leading travel experts will discuss how social amplification and tech are guiding our travel decisions, how destinations can evolve to keep up with the trend and why localization through geo-targeted recommendations will continue to change the way travelers experience and perceive a destination.


Lee Abbamonte, Travel Personality and Contributor for FOX News, CNN, HLN, Travel Channel + more

Annie Fitzsimmons, National Geographic Editor at Large and Contributing Editor for Virtuoso

Jonathan Thompson, Freelance Travel Writer and Contributor for Esquire UK, The Guardian, the Sunday Times + more

Mitch Whitten, VP of Marketing and Tourism at Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau