Don’t miss the Action Plan Launch on May 3 at 6 PM at the Biltmore Towers (210 N. Main Street). There, we take these ideas to the next level!
The 2011 Young Creatives Summit hosted by updayton has come and gone with three packed hours of networking, professional development and (most importantly) providing young creatives the opportunity to shape the future of the region. Participants had their say in important topics including nightlife, jobs, neighborhoods and diversity and determined the direction that would make the region more exciting for them.
The Summit kicked-off with a Dayton Creative Syndicate sponsored photo booth that challenged participants to consider what would make them stay in the region by making the statement, “I Will Stay If…” Executive Director Yvette Kelly-Fields thanked our sponsors; Sean Creighton from the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education reflected on the kernel of an idea that grew into a region-shaping Summit; and Chair Scott Murphy challenged us to make a difference with the time we had there.
New for 2011, updayton partnered with established organizations in the region for project plans. Through this partnership, participants learned more about how the issue affects the region and were empowered to put their ideas to use to address a topic other organizations are already working on. Ideas were generated in breakout sessions; at the town hall, participants got to “invest” in the ideas that they wanted to support by offering “updayton dollars.”
NIGHTLIFE: The Downtown Dayton Partnership had the goal to create a new element for First Friday that entices new audiences and encourages visitors to travel among numerous establishments. Updayton participants are launching a project where performers drive the visitors on rickshaws to the various establishments while offering them a song, sonnet or story.
DIVERSITY: The Immigrant Friendly Task Force of the City of Dayton Human Relations Council had the goal of better connecting local residents to Dayton’s immigrant community for a sharing of culture. Summit attendees will launch a project where local families (both native and immigrant) are paired with one another. Native families will act as a tour guide for their immigrant friends – introducing them both to the region and our culture. In return, immigrant families will share stories, food and traditions that define their culture. It’s a “big brother” type program for culture-sharing. This group hopes to partner with Dayton Metro Library which already has an extensive collection of foreign language music, movies, books, and other resources.
JOBS: The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) challenged attendees to determine what can be done to identify, engage and motivate local employers to offer/create internships for local college students. Summit participants proposed “Linked Internships” – a LinkedIn page to provide an open forum for students to post their interests, experience and references. Local businesses will be able to quickly sift through the page to find the right candidate, review the resume and check references. It will be local to the Dayton region and act as an open forum that provides a “one-stop shop” for businesses to find interns.
NEIGHBORHOODS: CityWide Development participated in the Summit to solicit information on what would make neighborhoods
more attractive to young professionals. In addition to a lot of great conversation and input, the updayton attendees will launch a project to beautify local neighborhoods. They intend to host various community clean-up days to include the physical work of cleaning, gardening, and maintaining green space as well as incorporating a community aspect. They hope to solicit volunteers from the neighborhoods to get people plugged into the project and vested in the upkeep of their neighborhood.
PLUS: In addition to the breakout sessions for project development, the Summit offered professional development workshops led by experts on topics from the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan to project management to social media. The Summit ended with a town hall for local leaders to hear the outcome and see the energy of these young creatives. Then we all headed to an afterparty at the Excelsior Lofts.
NEXT STEPS: These four topics were selected due to research by updayton as top topics of importance for young professionals as they determine where they want to live. These ideas are just the foundation of the projects. Volunteers will re-convene on May 3 to determine potential partners, discuss details, and determine next steps.
Some of what we’ve heard:
“The Summit was one of the best events I’ve been to in the last year, without question. Even more than being a great learning tool and networking opportunity, it was awesome to see so many young people excited about improving downtown, and even better to see them signing up to actually follow through with getting hands-on and making it happen from the ground up. I’m someone who’s always been passionate about downtown, and it re-ignited my own enthusiasm. And I have a lot of respect for updayton (and their partners) for doing what the driving forces in so many cities don’t–going directly to the people, asking what they need and want, and challenging them to be that change.”
“The updatyon Summit was a great way to network with other young professionals living in the area who are passionate about improving the city. It was interesting to listen to everyone’s ideas and know that despite any perceived negativity—whether real or imagined—is overshadowed by people willing to make a difference. When you’ve got just one person with an idea, it might just remain at one idea, but when you add a collaborative community of open-minded, progressive individuals, that idea turns into action, hope becomes creation, and that vision of a better Dayton is realized. I can’t wait to dig into these projects.”
– Valerie Beerbower
“It’s easy to forget that there are people in Dayton that want to improve their community. The Summit was not only a reminder that these people exist, but that there are many of us.”
“I found the Summit to be energizing. It brought people together from different backgrounds and ideologies. It gave me the opportunity to interact with colleagues, make new friends, and reconnect with old ones – all under the organized goal of making the Dayton region a great place to live and work. The Summit is forward thinking, it does not focus energies around what is, but what could be if we all pitch in. My favorite part about the Summit is that anyone can attend, be heard, and walk away charged with tasks to make a difference.”
Were you there? What did you think of the streamlined Summit? Anything surprise or excite you about the potential of the Dayton region?
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