October 13-15 in Washington, DC

The Awesome Summit of 2017 brought together our global members to washington dc to enhance and support our giving network.

Awesome Summit 2017 Highlights

Day 1

We kicked off the Summit with a Friday the 13th karaoke party, socializing and screaming our lungs out with a festive Halloween-horror-themed decor

Day 2

The day started with a session about the State of Awesome and dug deep into break outs about how to manage chapters and grow awesomeness.

Day 3

Topical and break out sessions continued throughout the day, concluding with a discussion about next steps to create exponential Awesomeness in the future.

Bonus Day

A handful of participants stayed Monday and toured Washington DC with some of our locals acting as personal guides with their cool new Awesome Foundation shades.

Awesome Summit 2017 Detailed Agenda

Day 1: Friday, October 13th

Friday the 13th Happy Hour Karaoke Mixer

We kicked off the Summit and celebrate Friday the 13th socializing and screaming our lungs out singing karaoke at Recessions DC, a local dive bar just below the official conference hotel!

Day 2: Saturday, October 14th

9:00 am Registration, breakfast and coffee

10:00 am Welcome and opening

10:45 am What do we mean by awesome?

  • How do different chapters and different trustees interpret “awesome”? How can we get the balance right between the weird and wonderful (“flamethrowers”) and the community good (“orphans”)? Are they mutually exclusive?

11:30 am The State of the Awesome

  • Nicole Brodeur and Avi Caplan - Highlights from the awesome universe. What does our global community look like today, and how has it changed and grown in recent years? What does our chapter and grant-making data tell us about our chapters’ similarities and differences? What is the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies (IHAS) and what does it do?

11:50 am Introduction of afternoon sessions and group photo

12:15 pm Lunch

12:45 pm Lightning talks

  • City-in-Revival: Supporting awesome art projects in Youngstown, Ohio -- Lillian Lewis and RJ Thompson

  • FloorCharts: How D.C. spends your tax dollars getting your attention with the same giant posters you used for your 5th grade science experiment -- William Gray

  • Bringing in Voices: An international chapter's start-up experience -- Bonnie Tijerina

  • Disability is Awesome -- Tiffany Yu

  • People-Powered Philanthropy: The giving circle movement -- Zoë Barth-Werb

1:30 pm Breakout sessions

  • Pitch or paper: How to choose a grant winner? – Mike Capsambelis, Emily Keebler, and Lulu Orr, with Avi Caplan, Dave Lennert, and Lynne Robertson (Map room) Panelists representing three distinct methods of choosing award winners will each share their chapter's process and its pros and cons. Come ready to ask questions and join the panel to share your chapter's method.

  • Social media and digital marketing – Frieden Johnson and Michelle Thompson (Greenhouse room)

  • Growing impact beyond $1,000 – Kat Mustatea (Entrance Lounge) Sharing of ideas and approaches to supporting finalists and winners in other ways.

  • …and other unconference sessions as proposed

2:45 pm Breakout sessions

  • for users – Jesse Chan-Norris (Map room) Non-technical session exploring how chapters use the website, sharing tips and tricks, and prioritizing desired improvements.

  • Developing awesome trustee relationships -- Jeffrey Atkinson and Sarah Nottingham (Greenhouse room) A session looking at various stages of working with trustees – recruiting, stewardship, development, and best practice when a trustee moves on.

  • Let’s talk swag – Molly Marshall (Entrance lounge) Show off and swap chapter swag and discuss what works and what doesn’t, as well as vendors and promotions.

  • Thematic chapters – Bonnie Tijerina and Tiffany Yu (Sky Lounge) Are you interested in starting or working with a thematic chapter? Come ask questions and hear from founders of two thematic chapters talk about their missions and how they handle logistics, fundraising, recruiting, and submissions.

  • …and other unconference sessions as proposed

3:45 pm Break

4:00 pm What makes an Awesome Foundation chapter sustainable?

  • Tim Hwang, with Kara Brickman, Jesse Chan-Norris, Alex Dickinson, and Terry Olson - A panel of trustees and deans from chapters that have been running successfully for many years discuss what the secrets have been to their success, including how they have managed turnover and avoided burnout.

5:00 pm Small group dinners of 6-8 people arranged at local favorite restaurants

8:00 pm Awesome Summit Party

  • Unwinding and socializing at Restaurant Judy, a local Salvadoran spot less than a mile from the AweSummit day's activities. Starting around 8 p.m. with beers, margaritas, and appetizers until closing

Day 3: Sunday, October 15th

9:00 am Breakfast and coffee

10:00 am Split This Rock performance

  • Two DC youth poets from Split This Rock kicked off the day with an inspirational performance and presentation.

10:40 am Introduction of the day's sessions

11:00 am Breakout sessions

  • Partnering your way to popularity – Mike Capsambelis (Map room) How do or can Awesome Foundation chapters work with other organizations in their communities to amplify everyone’s impact and reach?

  • Website development – Jesse Chan-Norris (Greenhouse room) Technical session for development environment set-up and work on new features.

  • Growing the Awesome Foundation – Nicole Brodeur and Avi Caplan (Entrance lounge) Discussion, strategizing, and first steps toward better supporting new chapters, growing the movement, and entering new regions.

  • …and other unconference sessions as proposed

12:15 pm Lunch

12:45 pm Awesome around the world

  • Christina Xu, with Andrew Beattie, Matteo Consonni, Renato Orozco, and Lucinda Roberts - A panel of trustees and deans from chapters outside North America share how the Awesome Foundation model works in their countries, and discuss the future of the Awesome Foundation globally.

1:45 pm Breakout sessions

  • Diversity and reaching marginalized communities – Christen Carter and Lee-Sean Huang (Map room)

  • Cheap, easy, guerilla marketing – Alex Dickinson (Greenhouse room) Want to be like Banksy? We're going to talk about creative ways to get the word out about Awesome.

  • Jargon – Joel Pomerantz (Entrance Lounge) What jargon is each chapter using and what overlaps between chapters? The role of jargon in making a community out of Awesome. Plus, brainstorming new jargon!

  • The Art of Inquiry – Austin Clemens (Sky Lounge) How asking questions can transform your life, your relationships, and your impact.

  • …and other sessions as proposed

2:45 pm Break

3:00 pm Closing session

  • Facilitated group discussion of aspirations and actions for the future

4:00 pm Departures / free time

7:00 pm Dinner for stragglers

  • Optional for folks still in town who want to socialize at Obama's favorite pizza place in the world: Pi Pizzeria, 910 F Street NW

9:00 pm DC monument walk for stragglers

  • Local Awesome DC Trustee and Abraham Lincoln-ologist Alex offered a personalized tour of the monuments at night, starting at the US Navy Memorial on Penn Ave (701 Penn Ave NW)!

Bonus Tourist Day

Tourist activities in DC, Baltimore, and Northern Virginia

For this optional extra day, groups of Awesome local Trustees and visitors explored the DMV area checking out our amazing local museums and attractions before heading back to their homes around the world.

Awesome Summit 2017 Sponsors

The 2017 Awesome Summit has been made possible by our awesome sponsors: Awesome Foundation DC, Awesome Without Borders, Beekeeper Group, iStrategy Labs, Chicago Awesome Foundation, Vigilante Coffee, KIND Bars, and Uprising Muffin Company.

A sample of Summit Sessions:

More DC travel & Logistical Advice

DC is one of the most historic, diverse, and culturally-rich cities in the United States, so we provided a bunch of background information and guides for Awesome Summit attendees to get get their bearings and explore it like a local:

Share a room or request financial support

We had a place for folks to organize room sharing, local homestays, and request financial support to attend the Summit

Code of Conduct

The Awesome Summit organizers are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

Sexist, racist, discriminatory, or harassing language and imagery is not appropriate in the Awesome community, in person or online. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the Awesome Summit and social platforms, and all future events without a refund at the discretion of Awesome Summit organizers.