DoSomething.Org 2018 Summit #DS2018

location_onKaye Playhouse at Hunter College, New York, New York

This year’s DoSomething.Org Summit is at Hunter College

The Summit is a free half-day event focused on giving attendees the research-backed inside scoop on young people and social change.

Karen Goldfeder, VP of Business Development at DoSomething.Org opens the Summit

DoSomething.Org has over 6 million members across 131 countries who engage across causes and issues through a variety of actions that young people can take.
Adam Garner and Freddie Bologna take the stage to talk about activating a generation of young people across causes.
Adam and Freddie give overviews on how they approach campaigns. They start with a problem - like 1.69B cigarettes end up in the trash and the desire to end youth smoking. They mobilized their youth to collect cigarette butts and highlight how gross they are.
Using influencers is a key tactic for DoSomething.Org. But it’s important to use people who can drive the action you want. Jovann (a Twitter personality) drove 300x the voter registration that Adam Levine did despite receiving the same training and platform. He was authentic and engages with his followers.
When young people were polled on how to make their voice heard, posting on Facebook wasn’t even close to the top. They want real ways to be heard, moving beyond hashtag activism.
People want to BE part of something, not just feel like it. Think beyond asking for a social post or wearing a color for unity. Help young people be part of something bigger then themselves; show them the impact they are having.

Easy way: Find something people are already doing and add impact to it.

Rapid fire presentations are alternated with audience games that keep energy high and everyone engaged.
“High Fives & Faceplams” from Kary Perez and Shivani Banker who are talking through examples and campaigns from this year that scored big or missed the mark.

The Brand Ethos Hierarchy

Rihanna’s Fenty campaign featuring a wide range of body type models gets a High Five while Heineken’s racially insensitive “Lighter is Better” gets a facepalm. There are no excuses for poor representation or racism in brand materials. And you will get called out.
Burger King’s anti-bullying videos get High Fives for tackling a topical issue in a conversational way. Facepalm: RAM’s 2018 Super Bowl commercial using Martin Luther King Jr. (a critic of capitalis) quotes to sell cars. Brands CANNOT appropriate cultures or movements to serve their needs inauthentically.

Only 34% of young people think purchases for good actually do good. Brands have to think bigger.

Sohaib Hasan and Ben Kassoy cover data on young people and social change.

How DoSomething.Org defines “young people”: Ages 13-25

The Self-Identified “Moderate Majority” who DoSomething.Org focuses on

Young People believe climate change is man made, that racism is still a thing in America, and that the government should provide healthcare — across party lines.
No discernible divide across issues that matter to young people, regardless of location (rural vs urban), race, and income level of family. Note: differences do begin to emerge along gender lines.
#1 Reported Issue facing young people: Paying for college

Top reported issues facing the country by age group

Top reasons young people reported volunteering: I like the feeling, and, it’s fun.

Game break! These help you get your breath if you’re taking notes or covering the event.

Next up: Panel on how brands should navigate a new era of youth activism

Crystal Cooper, Public Affairs Manager for Lyft, speaks to how sustainability is at the core of what they do (reduce cars/pollution on the road). They infuse this core belief into everything they do - like partnering with a nonprofit Copia to reduce food waste in their office.
Adam Robinson, Sr Dir Corporate Social Responsibility for Viacom, speaks to when they turned all their channels dark for 17 minutes to recognize the victims of the Parkland shooting. “Social impact cannot be transactional. Going dark was intangible, yes, but we also worked with Parkland survivors on how we could amplify their message (worked with BET).”
Alexis Toney, Sr Content Dir at Translation, used to work on the Papa Johns account at a previous company. Prior to the founder’s comments about the NFL and use of the “n word” black males were a huge revenue driver for the brand.
“Young people are moving into leadership and strategic roles at agencies and brands,” says Alexis Toney
Elyse Burack, Dir Head of Integrated Marketing and Brand at Boxed, “Ideas can come from anywhere, not just the marketing team. An employee noticed other companies were “pink taxing” products. We took a stand and brought down every product price that was marked up, eating the cost.”
“Having young people at the table, talking with them not at them, is how we avoid tokenizing young people,” says Adam Robinson “How can you market to us if you don’t speak our language?”
“A lot of brands get on Twitter with a young copywriter who can talk the talk but aren’t engaging the youth in any meaningful way... Just being in the room and being able to speak to an issue or push back as a young person is important but can also really help a brand.” - Alexis Toney
“As a brand, what unique thing can you offer or provide that no one else can? We have cars, so we evacuated people, got them rides to hospitals and shelters. Any org can cut a check, but there are things you can do uniquely because of who you are.” - Crystal Cooper

Michaela Bethune (far left) moderated the panel.

One last round of games before the final presentation.

Aria Finger takes the stage for the final keynote

Age 13-25 is so critical as this time period is remembered more vividly and sets the tone of confidence and lifelong preferences. Getting to these people early can change the world.
1/3 of DoSomething.Org members are volunteering for the first time, the org is teaching them grit and good values.

That’s a wrap!

A look back at today’s agenda

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