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SXSW 2021

The Human Voice: The Missing Ingredient

“Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking… All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.” -Stephen Hawking.
Although social media platforms were built with the best of intentions, the Co-founders of Swell felt something was missing to foster community-the human voice. With the human voice, we can hear empathy, we can hear tone, we are vulnerable, and our voice is unique to us. The power of the human voice can be seen in the explosion of podcast popularity worldwide.
In this session we will talk about the importance of voice in human interaction and will lean upon our experience upon our building of Swell: an audio first social network. We will discuss how the human voice will be the path forward to recapturing humanity.

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Related Media


  1. What the future of online social interactions needs to be and how to influence.
  2. Why the human voice is more powerful than ever and why it is the key to the future of humanity.
  3. How COVID accelerated (but did not cause) the issues in social media that led us to the need for the human voice.


  • Sudha KV, Co-Founder and CTO, Swell
  • Deborah Pardes, Chief Story Officer, Swell


Phil Spade, Vp Growth, Swell

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Connection & Culture
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Presentation
  • Track: Connection in Disconnection
  • Level: Beginner
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