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Wednesday
May072014

Come Help Change the World - I'm Giving Away ShiftCon Tickets

When you're really excited about something, it is sometimes hard to know where to begin.

Where do I start?

Well, I sort of gave it away in the headline, but let's take a step back first.

ShiftCon - The Conference I've Been Waiting For

You've heard of ShiftCon, right? This is THE social media conference I've been wanting to go to for years, only it didn't exist. It's coming up in October in Los Angeles and we'll be talking about things like:

Did you hear about the keynote speakers? Vani Hari from FoodBabe.com and Robyn O'Brien the author of The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother's Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America's Food Supply-- and What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself

I'll be speaking too. Remember the Nestle Family event? Other than your run-of-the-mill mommy wars, that was my first experience dealing with significant conflict online. There have been many more since then, but that is the one that most often sticks in people's minds. My friend Jo White from Mediamum wrote her Masters thesis on the Nestle Family twitterstorm and she and I will speaking together on handling conflict online.

Here is an excerpt from the description of our session on How to Deal with Conflict Online:

Do we really want to live in a world where we are afraid to advocate for change because it makes us feel guilt and shame? Are you haunted by the fear of what people might do if you take greater action in advocating for change?  Do we need to fall silent on the issues that are important to us because we don’t want to deal with conflict?

Conflict may not always be avoidable, but how you handle it can make all the difference in the world in terms of how effective you are as an advocate and also how it impacts on your personal brand. Will you come out of the argument being seen as someone who is intelligent, empathetic and passionate? Or will you come out of it being seen as a bully and ultimately hurting your cause when detractors dig their heels in and further promote the things you believe are harmful?

Join Annie and Jo at ShiftCon to talk about tactics and techniques for keeping your cool and coming out on top when you’re faced with conflict online. There is more to it than having a thick skin and Annie and Jo can speak from their experience handling, observing and researching conflicts online to give you pointers that will make you a more effective advocate and keep disagreements from unravelling into a pissing match.

You can read more about it on the ShiftCon blog.

The conference sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it?

Will I see you there?

Well...that depends.

Did you buy your ticket yet? Because they are almost sold out. Less than 5 tickets left as of the time of writing this post.

But if you didn't get a ticket, I have some good news for you. I have two tickets to give away to bloggers (conference ticket only -- winners need to pay for their own travel expenses). If you really want to be there, I really want you to be there. I know that there are some amazing people out there in my network who are doing incredible work to try to make the world a better, healthier place. I want to learn from them and also give them an opportunity to learn from others.

So if you would like to attend ShiftCon in October in Los Angeles, here is what I need you to do.

  • Leave a comment on the blog below (be sure to include your e-mail address and your blog URL where it asks for it) and tell me two things.
    • First - Which eco or wellness issue are you most passionate about online?
    • Second - What is your biggest question or what do you want to learn to help you be a better advocate on that issue? 

All comments must be received by May 30 at midnight Eastern Time to be eligible. I'll be judging the entries along with a small panel and will let the winners know in early June.

Are you already attending the conference? Then share this with your friends who may want to go. Can't make it to ShiftCon but know someone else who should be part of the conversation? Pass this opportunity along to them.

Want to stay up to date on the conference? Follow @ShiftConMedia on twitter and like the ShiftCon facebook page.

« Moms, Trolls, Blog Comments and Rebecca Eckler's "Mommy Mob" | Main | Where Can I Shop for Clothing? Understanding Bangladesh, Safety and Ethical Sourcing »

Reader Comments (14)

Oh, yes, I SO want to be there. I'm passionate about supporting, promoting, and especially protecting breastfeeding. I've self-funded now to several really important conferences and each one has taught me so much. I use my powers for good to the absolutely best of my ability - but I know I can do better. This really speaks to me: "Will you come out of the argument being seen as someone who is intelligent, empathetic and passionate? Or will you come out of it being seen as a bully and ultimately hurting your cause when detractors dig their heels in and further promote the things you believe are harmful?" Walking this is such a fine line. I'm increasingly concerned about how social media feeds and amplifies conflict at the expense of relationships, partnerships - and a civil society. I want to have the skills to stay on right side of the line, and to help others who also struggle with this.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJodine Chase

Thank you for the opportunity!! First: I'm very passionate about raising awareness and education about cloth diapers. This is a topic I'm passionate about for environmental reasons but also for economic and wellness reasons as well. Second: I'd love to network with other leaders in the community and find new ways to advocate and educate others.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCalley

I run a babywearing/Natural Parenting blog called Babywearing It Out and I'm most passionate about promoting the art of babywearing as a wellness issue. I am very interested in hearing what eco-conscious parents want out of a baby carrier or wrap.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Gullett

Truth: I had no idea what ShiftCon was so I popped by to see what is this thing about. Now I am dying to go. Drama queen - just a little bit. I would welcome the opportunity to be surrounded by advocates. There is little I love more than using my voice. I have one and frankly I don't understand people who don't use their voice to affect change for others. I am passionate about child welfare in all its forms. I advocate and community manage several groups of patients. My job is to help them find their voices in real life and on social media and I enjoy being part of that. I think this could be a great opportunity for me to grow professionally as an advocate and for me to help them grow into more effective change agents. Thanks for the opportunity.

May 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpaula schuck

I had no idea what a ShiftCon was until now. I would love to go but would not be able to join. However I will follow it online very closely.

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeni

I was there when Leah made the official Shiftcon announcement. I would love to attend, but have financial restrictions. Winning a ticket would really help! I'm passionate about wellness. My son has special needs, including oral sensitivity and delayed gastric emptying resulting in a g-tube. As I learn more about food, I've switched him from formula to a whole foods blended diet that I administer through his feeding tube. Real food is the issue I am most passionate about. I'd love to learn more about GMOs and the benefits of real food in order to best serve my son, the rest of my family, and my audience.

Thank you for the opportunity.

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Firstly, I'm most passionate about the idea that what we eat has a drastic impact on our overall health – it's a concept that people get in a vague sense (e.g. "junk food is bad, and vegetables are good"), but that doesn't necessarily translate to a day-to-day practice (i.e. as a society, we've become so distanced from our food sources, and understanding how the quality of our food matters to our health in ways that we might not realize). How passionate am I about this? Enough that I started reading health and nutrition books 'for fun' and then decided to become a holistic nutritionist too.

Secondly, what I'd most like to learn from ShiftCon is how to amplify my message of 'Real Food is Important'. How can I help more people 'get it'? I'd also love to meet more people who are like-minded in the importance of how our food links to not only our personal wellness, but our wellness as a society.

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVivian

I've been writing and publishing as The Green Mama for 8 years and working in the environmental field for 20. So, my passion is all things green. Unfortunately (for my budget), the second part of that passion is working and talking about these issues for those who are most vulnerable. I grew up poor—Welfare, single-mom, black brother, illegitimate sister, subsidized housing, food stamps—kind of poor. And after years of research and working in the green field, I feel that STILL these issues are primarily talked about and applied to the white middle-class. So, I've started working with organizations (like First-Call in Vancouver, Project Somos in Guatemala) and I am the first green parenting author to have tackled these issues in my upcoming book, Green Mama.

While I have a lot of questions about how to create financial sustainability from a business whose primary target I don't believe should have to pay, but really what I most want is community that I love and respect and that inspires me. Being a writer (and a mom) is often quite lonely. After 8 years of doing this, I have a recognizable brand, a highly ranked website, and a good following, but I am ready to go to the next level. So, I am looking for my "tribe."

Thanks for the consideration.

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Green Mama

I would love to be there, if only my schedule would allow me! Can that ticket to ShiftCon come with a Vacay leave from work as well? :D

May 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWorking Mommy

I would love to attend to learn more about the dangers behind product labels that we don't understand. I recently learned that "carmel" coloring means there are carcinogens in a product, and I would have never known if someone didn't tell me. My son has severe food allergies, and label reading is important for me, and I would love to come to the conference to learn more.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShelby Barone

I would LOVE to be there. I'd love to learn more about farming practices, food regulations, environmental impacts of the food we eat, things like that. I got a BS in Earth Science, studying the environment, so I've always been passionate about taking care of our planet.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGreta F

HI! I've been a little jealous of you attending this without me. Thanks for the chance to come :)

Though my online activities I work towards helping people grow their own food and I'm really motivated to make organic vegetable gardening approachable and doable for the average family. It doesn't need to be complicated and it's oh so satisfying to eat and share healthy delicious food you grew your self.

I've had a very busy year and fear I've lost focus with my blog and would love a chance to be inspired to realign www.cubitsorganics.com with the rest of my online presence. As I move forward I'd love for my site to become more about causes and advocacy on issues such as GMO foods, pesticide use, and simple healthy eating.

May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I only recently learned about ShiftCon and was struck immediately by how relevant it is to the work I do. After reading voraciously through everything on the website, and getting excited about the panels and speakers -- and the sheer substance of the conference -- I clicked "register." Sold out! I was so bummed. But that changed after I found your generous offer. So I'm throwing my hat in the ring. I'm a journalist who writes a blog called Spoonfed (tagline: Raising kids to think about the food they eat). On my blog and its companion Facebook page, I write about food literacy, food advocacy, food politics, and challenging the culture around kids and food. I've grown a sizable following and community through my work, and I hear often from readers who have been inspired to step up, speak up and advocate for change in their own communities. But it's time to take things to the next level, to learn how to better reach and engage that community and spread the rally cry even further. ShiftCon speaks to me on so many levels, and I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of it. Thank you.

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Le Beau

I'm passionate about breastfeeding. I struggle to talk about it because it's such an emotional topic. I'd love to learn how to bridge the gap between breastfeeders and formula feeders (because it isn't so black and white - there's this huge grey area where people fall and I feel like it's an uncomfortable and exclusionary space to be.)

May 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHillary

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