Can A Youth Marketing Conference Be Pro-Social? [Yes!]
- May 8th, 2009
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With the Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup just a few weeks away, I wanted to remind readers of the original Ypulse vision and how empowering youth (not just marketing to them) is baked into our event DNA.
I started Ypulse five years ago with the vision of creating a community for both media and marketing professionals in the commercial space as well as non-profit professionals and educators working in the trenches to reach youth. Given my professional experience in both spaces, I thought there was an opportunity for these two worlds to collide on more equal footing, share expertise and research and partner on important projects. That original vision has never changed and has always been a part of both our editorial philosophy on the site/newsletter and an integral part of our conference programming. In fact, that’s why we called our event the Ypulse Mashup—because we wanted to bring together folks from both the for-profit and non-profit worlds who might not attend the same conferences.
While we don’t have a specific youth activism panel or pre-conference planned for June (as we have at past Mashups), these themes will be interwoven throughout the event in the following ways:
In addition to a session dedicated to how to build strong partnerships between non-profits and brands (i.e. Ashoka Youth Venture and Best Buy’s @15 initiative, which awarded young activists seed money for a variety of different pro-social organizations and causes), one of our sponsors, Premise, will be presenting a case study with the Partnership For A Drug-Free America about their WRECKED campaign. We’re also featuring social entrepreneur Carly Wertheim, the (teen) founder of Teens Turning Green on our Totally Wired Youth Entrepreneur panel. Josh Shipp, who is one of our keynotes, is constantly listening to teens, and will share what issues they care about most in his talk.
In our Urban/Multicultural pre-conference, we are featuring a case study from the Hip Hop Chess Federation, which does amazing work with at-risk youth using the game of chess as well as a discussion on “Identity Politics - Marketing to Youth in the Age of Obama.” And on our Gen Y and the recession panel, mtvU will talk about their InDebtEd campaign, which is a pro-social initiative to educate college students about the financial crisis/debt/money.
This year we also revived our Totally Wired Teacher Award (sponsored by Dell) to recognize a public school teacher using technology in innovative ways at school and will award the winner in person at the event.
We are showing a FREE screening of the Sundance hit “DARE” on Monday night at the Hotel Nikko followed by a live Q&A with David Brind and Adam Salky and are reaching out to local youth organizations to offer them the opportunity to bring teens to the film.
At our “user-generated” lunch, where attendees lead roundtable discussions on topics of their choice, we will have a table focused on “How to engage youth in brand cause marketing initiatives” led by the folks at KooDooZ.
Finally, every year we donate four free exhibit spaces at the event to Bay Area non-profits that serve youth so that they can network with our attendees – this year we chose: Youth Radio, Horizons (who will also provide a youth DJ for our reception) and Mashup alums Girls For A Change and the youth programs from the Bay Area Video Coalition.
I think you’ll hear these themes come up in other keynotes and presentations as well. And—we continue to offer an affordable non-profit rate for attendees. To make it even more affordable, you can use the code READER to get an additional 30 percent off the Mashup rates. Hope to see you in June!