This year, #Connection2015 kicked off with speakers challenging the notion of “business as usual” and mapping the changing landscapes youth providers are navigating. This session was designed to challenge our assumptions on topics such as youth employment, serving gender non-conforming youth, and philanthropy. We explored the unique role of art in reframing perspectives in local communities and we even saw a cameo appearance from President Obama.
Session II was all about rescuing authenticity in today’s world. Being authentic in our values, in our relationships with those we seek to serve, in our relationships with those with whom we seek to partner and, perhaps most importantly, being authentic with ourselves. We ended this session by creating a Wall of F*ck Up’s and Ashley Good taught us how to raise our hands and exclaim, “HOW FASCINATING” the next time something we try fails (easier said than done).
We were happily greeted by Philly’s finest Farm Truck for lunch as we noshed throughout the Painted Bride’s Art Gallery, We fought off the typical need for a siesta after lunch with a humor segment (Thanks Jerry and Hedda)!
The rest of the third session, titled “Techno-topia” looked at how rebels in our community are harnessing the power of technology – video games that don’t just focus on knowledge-building but also behavior modification, innovative uses of texting and the research behind it, reaching youth through technology, GIS mapping, and even a few collaborative data collection tools that people don’t hate (which you can see here and here).
Session 4 explored the power of messaging. If this sounds blah, or stale or unclear to you, just check out these videos (here and here) because these brilliant speakers filled us with new ideas….including the secret code Upworthy uses to make messages go viral. And the final session…oh, the final session…was a rooftop soiree with great food, great weather and an opportunity for attendees and speakers alike to make new connections.
Although we expanded our capacity for more attendees, we know that we could not accommodate everyone. For those who were unable to experience the #Connection2015 UNconference live, check out our YouTube Channel!