A week from Saturday on April 18, the updayton group born from last year’s DaytonCREATE initiative will be holding their 2009 Young Creatives Summit – a chance for the Dayton Region’s 20 & 30-somethings to voice their ideas and opinions about this place in which they live. You can be sure that city and regional leaders will be on hand as their absence would certainly be noticed by this young demographic that uses today’s social networking tools to spread their news and messages to the masses at lightening speed. And I’m very sure that the summit participants won’t be interested in just talking about things – they will expect action. Because unlike previous generations, this young generation is extremely mobile and will not stay in a city or region that does not provide what they’re looking for. It isn’t just jobs, because today’s young generation is more likely to choose a city they want to live in for its lifestyle, social and entertainment offerings… and THEN they find a job.
Registration for the summit is $15 ($5 for students) – and the many discounts and special offers you will get at local businesses will more than pay for that amount, especially if you take the 20% offer at several Oregon District restaurants that evening. And yes, what summit would be complete without a pub crawl afterward – yes, they have that too! Honestly, this is worth the price just for the discounts alone even if you get nothing else from it.
The summit will include multiple break-out sessions where participants will discuss ideas for making Dayton more attractive for young people. The topics have been determined by the surveys the group has been collecting all year and the Perspectives & Pints events held over the past few months:
Creative for hire: Where are the jobs that I can thrive in? In our recent survey of young creatives, you told us job opportunities are the most important factor in choosing a place to live. Unfortunately, this is also where the Dayton region performed worst. Share your experience in the region’s job market, how easy it is to find opportunities to thrive and grow, and your ideas about what leaders can do to foster your career.
Entrepreneurs wanted: What do YOU need to strike it out on your own? Dayton is full of creativity. Creatives are innovators, highly value their individuality and are often more willing to take risks. Risks like starting a business. Have you ever thought about starting one? Maybe you have, but like many young creatives you are not sure where to start. Tell us what the region can do to make the process easier for you so we can live up to the Dayton region’s legacy of innovation and entrepreneurship.
The Dayton scene: Creating an active nightlife with a strong cultural focus. At our February Perspectives & Pints you told us you need variety when you go out – not just in the places you go (concerts, art galleries, theatres, lecture halls, cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs), but also in the people you see. We also heard that Dayton’s nightlife is segregated into pockets, not enough is happening, and when things are happening — you have trouble finding out about them. Share with us your ideas of what we can do to make the region’s nightlife more varied and vibrant for young creatives.
A sense of community: Healthy, happening & affordable neighborhoods. At our Perspectives & Pints last December young creatives told us that they want to live near a wide array of amenities and vibrant community spaces. We also heard that while many young creatives are interested in living in our urban areas, housing there is unaffordable and the region’s gateways and pathways into downtown are lined with vacant, unwelcoming buildings. You’ve told us what is frustrating you – now we need your creative ideas on how we can work with community leaders to fix it. Making a difference:
Getting involved with our community: A new wave of volunteerism, civic pride, and social consciousness is sweeping the country. Would you like to become involved locally, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’re already engaged, but frustrated about your opportunities to influence change. Dayton is facing challenging times that call for new ideas and action. Help to strengthen the voice and movement of young creatives in our region by participating in community and civic organizations that will set the course for the future of the region.
Family-friendly: What are you looking for in a school system? In our survey of young creatives, over 75% of respondents said quality schools are very important when choosing a place to live. When rating the Miami Valley for the same factor, over 65% said the region’s school systems are average or below. Help us understand where the region’s schools are falling short, and let’s lead the region to devise solutions for this critical issue.
If you’re young (or young at heart) and you want to have a voice in shaping the future of Dayton and the region, do plan to attend. The larger the crowd, the more likely local leaders and politicians will listen and act. And yes, I will be there to report on what happens. See y’all there!