Member Meeting 35
May 20-21, 2015
New York

What the meeting was like

Member Meeting 35 in New York was a full two days of conversations, collaboration, meeting new friends, and fun!

Our Unconference was an intense day of member-led conversations. Each Council met individually and started the day with a group discussion on employee advocacy and engagement. We talked through the foundation of building an employee advocate program, from identifying advocates and creating training programs, to motivating employees and measuring success. We rounded out the conversation by sharing how we manage risk, disclosure, and which tools work best for a successful program.

After the morning discussion, we shifted to our afternoon breakout sessions — a series of 16 member-led small group discussions on topics chosen attendees. We had fascinating conversations on subjects like: leveraging video content, getting creative with visuals, structuring the social team, activating leadership in social, corporate blogs, global strategy, and working with influencers.

The day ended with an inspirational private conversation with Peter Koechley, co-founder of Upworthy. Peter talked about Upworthy’s mission: a focus on making people care about really hard topics. He also talked about what makes content compelling and shareable, and how to measure what matters.

Our guest speaker: Peter Koechley

Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley was our special guest at this Member Meeting. Peter Koechley has been making important ideas irresistible for more than a decade — as an Onion editor, a viral video producer, and now, as a co-founder of Upworthy.

At 24, he became managing editor of The Onion, America’s Finest News Source™, where he co-created the company’s break-out Onion News Network video series, staffed and oversaw digital strategy, and wrote YOUR all-time-favorite Onion headline.

Peter joined in 2007 to work on video strategy and youth vote initiatives. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he led a team that helped raise $10 million dollars, add 2 million members to the organization, and ship more than 5 million buttons, stickers, and limited-edition screenprinted posters signed by Shepard Fairey. In the final weeks of the race, Peter produced and directed a video accusing the viewer of ruining the election by not voting, which was seen more than 23 million times. Voter turnout was also unusually high that year, but correlation ≠ causation.

In early 2012, Peter co-founded Upworthy with longtime collaborator Eli Pariser. The pair set out to prove once and for all that what’s important can be incredibly popular, even if what’s popular isn’t usually important. To date, the Upworthy community has dedicated nearly 2 billion minutes of attention to important stories for a better world, ranging from the criminal justice system to advertising’s adverse effects on body image to clean energy.