South by Southwest Conference and Festivals has announced that philanthropist, Melinda Gates, will join the list of keynote speakers for their annual conference.

The SXSW Conference is organized into 24 different tracks divided between interactive, film, music and convergence. Gates has joined the list of speakers as a convergence keynote speaker.

Gates is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is guided by the belief that every life has equal value. Gates recently launched an executive office, Pivotal Ventures, that allows her to create meaningful change by bringing together advocacy and philanthropic work.

"As one of the world's most successful philanthropists, Melinda Gates brings a focus on empowering women and girls to realize their full potential that is particularly relevant in 2018. Her participation in SXSW highlights the message that creative industry professionals have a duty to give back to the global community," said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer.

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Some of the featured speakers include:

Olivier Assayas and Richard Linklater, (Making Film and Eisodics); Joe Berlinger, Tamron Hall and Ryan White, (Making Film and Episodics); Mechael Dell and Clay Johnston, (Health and Wellness); Josephine Goube, (Social Impact); Kim Jackson, Alex Winter with Logan Hill, (Film & TV Industry); Ray Kurzweil, (Intelligent Future); Megan Smith, (Intelligent Future); Whitney Wolfe Herd, (Startup & Tech Sectors) and Rachel Zoe and Hillary Kerr, (Style).

This year's SXSW festival will take place March 9-18. For more information about SXSW, click here.