Build and share essential skills you’ll need to lead. We’re offering both introductory and advanced workshops on advocacy, leadership and communications, led by some of the leading youth activists in the country. Workshops include:

Zombie Crisis Mapping Simulation. TechChange. Zombies have invaded Washington DC! It’s up to you and your team to develop an effective strategy through a combination of crisis mapping and mobile communications technologies to save the remaining citizens from future attacks and provide treatment to those in need. TechChange is a Washington DC based organization that specializes in training leaders to leverage relevant technologies for sustainable social change. Through an interactive 1.5 hour simulation, participants will gain tangible skills in managing open source technology tools such as Ushahidi, FrontlineSMS, OpenStreetMap as well as strategies for their effective use. Space is limited to 15.

Strategic Communications for Global Leadership in the 21st Century. Communications designed to convince, not fight. Truman National Security Project. This election cycle, voters are being bombarded with information from multiple sources and a variety of platforms.  Winning an argument isn’t about facts and figures. It is about changing hearts and minds. Learn the brain science behind changing peoples’ minds and the techniques the pros use to understand how issues will play out in public debate. Put yourself to the test and expand the power and reach of your message in this crucial election year.

The Power of the Prototype: Design for Social Enterprise. Join the ThinkImpact Team, led by CEO, Saul Garlick, for a hands-on workshop that explores the power of design in unlocking your potential as a social entrepreneur. Just as ThinkImpact participants prototype innovative solutions to challenges in rural African communities, workshop participants will be taken through the three phases of ThinkImpact’s curriculum (Immersion, Inspiration, Innovation) in order to uncover exciting new opportunities. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and engage with ThinkImpact’s approach to innovation through the prototype process.

All Together Now… Youth advocates inspiring collaboration. Meg Boyle, The Connect U.S. Fund. In the non-profit foreign policy community, it can be challenging to get organizations to work together on collaborative campaigns. Working across campuses, joining DC to communities across the country, convening diverse coalitions, and forming friendships, young people have developed new models for working together and achieving real change. This breakout will discuss questions including: What best practices can you share, and what lessons have you learned, about working with other organizations or youth from different backgrounds? What collaboration lessons from youth organizing do you think more organizations should take to heart? What support do young people and youth-led organizations need to foster collaboration that might be different than the needs of other organizations? How can we create more—and more effective—collaborations between youth-led initiatives and other organizations?

Fan Activism 101 – From Popular Culture to Real Change… Taekia Blackwell, Managing Director, Harry Potter Alliance. Can you think of a book, a movie, or a TV show that challenges you to think about the world more complexly and get involved with certain issues? When was the last time you were inspired to get out there and fight against injustices after hearing an impassioned speech from Harry, Buffy, or Katniss?. Using a popular text or narrative such as Doctor Who, The Hunger Games, or Harry Potter, this workshop will create a campaign and follow the steps it takes to go from page (or screen) to real action. From choosing a real world issue, to creating an engaging platform for the campaign, to using the chosen story to inspire change, participants will learn how to use popular culture as a starting point to bring attention to important problems and their solutions.

Building Your Brand and Fundraising for Your Cause. James Figetakis, President of the JMF Group. How is your organization’s mission and brand differentiated from others competing for funding? Who are your key clients and stakeholders? This interactive and participative workshop focuses on how to maximize fundraising through marketing and branding techniques, mission and vision clarification, key message and talking point strategies, and multi-media channel definition to reach your target audiences.

You Are a Thought Leader, Now Tell the World What You Think. Sue Dorfman, Principal, WorldViewsMedia. So, you’re about to leave the 2012: Challenge Accepted conference more committed than ever to expanding the conversation on your key issues.  This interactive workshop will give you skills for translating your thoughts and expertise into an op-ed or letter to the editor and then promoting these pieces using social media.

Secrets to Making Effective Videos and Podcasts. Alex Turnacliff, The Stanley Foundation. Using video and other multimedia is an effective and engaging way to spread your message. This workshop will introduce practical skills and knowledge needed to produce concise, informative and creative videos, whatever your previous experience level. We will also look at the importance of messaging and being aware of your target audience.

Are You Making A Difference? An Introduction to Advocacy Planning and Evaluation. David Devlin-Foltz, Director, Advocacy Planning and Evaluation Program, The Aspen Institute. Advocates want to make a difference. It’s why we do what we do. But defining and assessing the impact of advocacy efforts is beyond the reach of most conventional evaluation tools. Why? Because there are so many factors outside the advocate’s control: a scandal tarnishes the leading spokesperson for your cause; a sudden economic blow makes funding even tighter; a natural disaster grabs all the headlines the day of your big civil disobedience event. But careful planning and a willingness to revisit your assumptions and “theory of change” can position you to learn and adjust your strategy and tactics. Join us for an introduction to some first principles and some practical tools from one of the advocacy evaluation field’s leading innovators.

Education for All: Using Advocacy and Building Political Will to Make Education a Development Priority. Brian Callahan, Global Campaign for Education. There are nearly 70 million children around the world who are unable to attend primary school because poverty, conflict, and disease, depriving them of economic opportunities. In this workshop we will discuss the struggle to get children into school, and how we as individuals we can play a role in helping to achieve access to quality education for ALL by engaging in advocacy and building political will. This workshop will focus on identifying key constituency groups, building a coalition of like-minded supporters; and leveraging support to create political will and affect policy change.

Applying Network Theory to Advocacy and Campaigns. Karen Showalter, Americans for Informed Democracy and Oil Change International. Come to explore how loose networks are changing our world. We’ll take a look at the basics of network theory, and how groups like Avaaz, MoveOn, the Obama Campaign and terrorist networks have successfully built communities that grow and thrive organically. We’ll also spend time developing an action plan for your community, including how to foster effective relationships, leaders and communications, gather feedback and measure success.

Stay tuned as we add additional workshops in the coming days!

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Check out the complete conference schedule.