Last month, MCON was held in Washington, DC. It was a gathering of leaders, activists and social entrepreneurs acting and finding creative solutions to social issues. The conference spanned topics from entrepreneurship to exploration, from social justice to creativity, and brought together thought leaders from the for-profit, non-profit and public sectors (e.g., Clif Bar, Thinx, Case Foundation, The United States Digital Service). The room was full of millennials from a range of backgrounds and pursuing various passions. Needless to say, the discussion was robust and invigorating.
In case you missed the conference, here are my top three favorite takeaways:
Storytelling will save the world (literally). Good, authentic storytelling, that is. Presenter after presenter – film documentarians (add Salaam Neighbor to your Netflix cue now!), political activists and more – reaffirmed what we at Allidura already know. A good story, one that is true to your brand essence and shows impact – can and will resonate with your audience. And extra points if you tie in cultural trends – check out how The Truth Campaign leveraged fear of #CATmageddon to keep teens from smoking.
But, a good story is only as good as its call to action. While it’s great to share authentic stories, the true power comes from linking that story with a tangible action – whether it’s digital or (gasp) action off your computer or smartphone screen. Millennials don’t just want to hear about a pressing social issue or challenge; they want the opportunity to do something about it. Going back to the amazing Syrian refugee documentary mentioned above – the producers made sure they had a website with discrete calls to action – signing a petition, donating to organizations featured in the film, or volunteering to help refugees. Thus far they’ve raised $90K for the cause.
One day soon, Jay-Z may give you his phone number … and text you. Ryan Leslie (Harvard teen wiz, P. Diddy collaborator) explained his Superphone ambitions. Celebrities/clients can distribute a special phone number connected to their account. Any time a fan texts it, they get a welcome message from said “celebrity/client” prompting them to provide personal info (e.g., location, biographical info). It allows for ongoing messages tailored to fan engagement (e.g., invitations to private events, prompts to purchase new merchandise) and it collects and aggregates data to learn and morph from. Learn more here.
What were your favorite takeaways from MCON? How will you interest millennials to address social issues of our time?