VIDEO: Inclusive Entrepreneurship at MCON 2016

 This post was written by Calvin Millien, Case Foundation intern.

At MCON 2016 this past June, one of the themes attendees explored was around inclusive entrepreneurship—lifting up all entrepreneurs, particularly women and people of color, in all places in order to create stronger communities, close the opportunity gap and scale creative solutions to persistent problems.

To delve into this subject, Derrick Feldmann, Founder of Achieve and MCON, hosted two special panelists: Karla Monterroso of Code2040, an organization that provides $40,000 to seven entrepreneurs of color determined to turn their ideas into reality; and Brian Ferguson of Start Line, an online platform designed to equip returning, formerly incarcerated citizens with the tools necessary to become active and entrepreneurial contributors to our society. Together, they discuss the entrepreneurial landscape and realities for Black and LatinX communities specifically. Hear their insights into how together, we can support inclusive entrepreneurship.

To see more from these great speakers, check out their exclusive Facebook Live interview with the Case Foundation’s own Jade Floyd.

35 Millennial Influencers to Follow on Twitter

Next week hundreds of bright, passionate changemakers from all across the country will come to DC for MCON, the Millennial Engagement Conference, to learn from each other and over 35 distinguished speakers how to better engage the next generation. (Learn more about the Case Foundation’s work on the Millennial Impact Project.)

The amazing lineup of speakers assembled for MCON represents some of the country’s premiere Millennial influencers. Whether you are one of the hundreds headed to MCON in person, or one of the tens of thousands planning to watch it online, the Twitter list of speakers we’ve curated below will help you better engage in the online conversations happening around MCON next week.

Follow along with us at @CaseFoundation and @JeanCase. Be sure you’re a part of the conversation by using #MCON. And remember, you can access every Twitter handle on this list with one easy click through our Twitter list.

Jean Case
CEO of the Case Foundation, Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees
Gary Knell
President and CEO, National Geographic Society
Brad Jenkins
Executive Producer / Managing Director of Funny or Die DC, Former White House Assoc Director of Public Engagement. Father of Sadie and Oscar.
David Litt
Former speechwriter for @POTUS. Current head writer/producer for DC office of @funnyordie. Also writing a book and hoping to win my Top Chef fantasy league.
Mayor Bowser
Official Twitter Account of the Mayor of Washington, DC
Gina Bianchini
Passionate about community building. Mightybell, Ning. Occasional Athlete, Pop Culture Connoisseur and California Native.
Ettore Rossetti
Philanthropist. Sr Dir Social & Innovation @SavetheChildren. @GWR tennis title holder. UConn’92. Gamer epic moustache man Twin. Father.
Erin Spencer
@natgeo Young Explorer & @OurOcean Digital Coordinator. Ocean lover, travel addict, #WomeninStem advocate, invasive species nerd.
Sylvia Earle
Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, Founder of @MissionBlue and 2009 TED Prize Winner. Saving and restoring the blue heart of the planet!
Minka Kelly
Actress and Philanthropist.
Miki Agrawal
Author of bestseller DO COOL SH*T, CEO & Co-Founder of THINX, Icon, Tushy & Wild. Dreamer. Seeker.
Chris Temple
Director+Co-Founder @LivingonOne | 2015 Top 100 Visionary Leaders (@Real_Leaders Magazine) | Speaker
David B Smith
Social Entrepreneur, MD of @PresidioInst, Former ED of @NCoC, Founder of @mob_org.
Jo-Ann Tan
Jo-Ann is leads +Acumen – a learning community for social change-makers.
Laurindo Garcia
Trying to make action speak louder than words.
Christopher Punongbayan
Executive Director, Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. Civil rights advocate & tennis enthusiast.
Ayesha Barenblat
Founder, Remake, @remakeourworld
DeRay McKesson
Activist. Organizer. Educator. Bowdoin. TFA. Baltimore.
Derrick Feldmann
President of Achieve (@achieve_consult) | Researcher | Author of Social Movements for Good
Vivien Labaton
Co-Founder & Co-Director of Make It Work.
Eric Asche
Chief Little Bet Maker for Truth Initiative. Fighting for market share – one person at a time.
Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis Lamontagne
Karla Monterroso
VP of Programs for @CODE2040, Board Member for @1Deg
Chef José Andrés
Internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup.
Jay Newton-Small
TIME magazine correspondent | Author of Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works
Kevin Cleary
CEO @ClifBar, dad of three, eater of all things organic, bike commuter, Ninja Warrior & Little League Coach
Ryan Scott
CEO of @Causecast. Social Entrepreneur/Investor pioneering Employee Engagement in CSR, Corporate Philanthropy, Volunteerism and Community Impact.
Melissa Lake
Co-founder of Honeycomb, Executive Director of ONEHOPE
Lansie Sylvia
Madeline Kahn meets the J. Peterman Company Catalogue. Dir. of Engagement for @HMCTwit. Founder of @PhillyGiveGet and @nsdemocracy.
Heidi Nel
Entrepreneur. Artist. @Picture_Motion President + @TrumanProject Partner. Passionate about social impact, film, ice cream + soul cycle.
Ryan Leslie
Disruptive Multimedia. Grammy-nominated recording artist, multi-platinum producer and avid technologist.
Matt Bellassai
Internet drunk. Writer. Actual People’s Choice Award Winner. I write about boys & butts & Beyoncé. Formerly @BuzzFeed. Now ~solo~
Reena Ninan
@CBSNews Weekend News Anchor. Watch Saturday 630pm on @CBS & weekday afternoons on @cbsnlive at 1pm.
Case Foundation
We invest in people and ideas that change the world. Founded by Steve and Jean Case in 1997. Take risks. Be Bold. Fail forward. Be Fearless.
#MCON is a 3-day event for leaders, activists, social entrepreneurs, and students who want to change the world – for good. Let’s turn your interest into action.

This list is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Inclusion on this list does not include endorsement by the Foundation.

June: Turning Interest Into Action

Awareness raising. Relationship building. Network development. Experimentation. Tipping point. Sustained action. That is the anatomy of a movement. At the Case Foundation, we aim to be movement catalyzers around social innovation. Right now we are focused on driving two major movements—impact investing and inclusive entrepreneurship. And we are intent on bringing a Be Fearless approach tipping the scales from good intention to meaningful action that can change the world. Over the next several months, we are going to highlight the key phases of movement catalyzing and our associated work in those areas. This month we are highlighting the importance of turning interest into action and recognizing the need to be intentional about doing so in our own programs.

Over the next few weeks, Jean and Steve Case and members of the team will be traveling from coast to coast and participating in various events that demonstrate the power and potential of turning interest into action. In some cases, we will be the ones encouraging and educating others in service of catalyzing our core movement areas, while in other cases we will be the ones learning and open to taking action ourselves.

Here are some of the action-oriented events we are participating in this month:

National Geographic Explorers Week, June 13-17
National Geographic was one of America’s earliest social enterprises, established in 1888 with the mission to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge. During this year’s National Geographic Explorers Week, we’ll have the opportunity to hear some of the world’s leading scientists, conservationists and explorers as they come together to connect and share the ways they are disrupting the status quo and using storytelling as a vehicle for turning interest into action that changes, maybe even saves, the world as we know it.

Forward Cities, June 14-17
Entrepreneurs, at their core, are problem solvers. And we believe that the most powerful entrepreneurs work to solve problems they’re personally connected to. That’s just one of the reasons we need a diverse set of voices and entrepreneurs at the table if we want to solve today’s most pressing social challenges. We’ll be on the ground in Cleveland, OH, at the final city convening of Forward Cities, hearing directly from local entrepreneurs who are helping to revitalize their city—one startup at a time. In so doing, they are part of a four-city cohort that aims to identify innovative solutions and share them as part of a larger effort to develop local leadership and foster a network of inclusive entrepreneurship.

MCON/The Millennial Impact Project, June 21-23
Over the past six years, our investment in the Millennial Impact Project has resulted in one of the largest bodies of research on the Millennial generation to date and one of the nation’s leading convenings on next gen engagement called MCON (also known as the Millennial Engagement Conference). Each year, the report and convening have revealed powerful insights into how this generation gives, gets engaged and connects with social causes. Later this month, we’ll be releasing preliminary findings from this year’s research and hosting MCON in our own backyard at the National Geographic campus in Washington, DC. Speakers including Chef José Andrés, DeRay Mckesson, Jay Newton-Small and our very own Jean Case will take the stage with a focus on turning that interest into action and finding creative solutions for social issues. There’s still time to get your ticket and join us!

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2016, June 22-24
At the Case Foundation, we believe in the power of entrepreneurship to tackle global challenges. For this reason, we are so excited to take part in GES 2016, a convening of the world’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers who are putting their belief that business and innovation will drive economic growth and social well-being into action. Our CEO Jean Case and our Chairman Steve Case will both take the stage, celebrating the role that entrepreneurs around the globe (and the investors who believe in them) play in creating real, transformative impact, in driving innovation and in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Aspen Ideas Festival, June 23-July 2
From innovations in science and technology to new models in early childhood education, many great ideas have been hatched and grown at the Aspen Ideas Festival throughout the years. This year, we’re excited to have our CEO Jean Case take part in a session on courageous philanthropy. She’ll be joined by Carrie Penner of the Walton Foundation and Ann Limberg of Bank of America, sharing opportunities to apply the Be Fearless principles to move interest in risk-taking, experimentation and making big bets to action in the philanthropic sector.

In addition to sharing highlights from these events, throughout the month of June we’ll be showcasing organizations and leaders who exemplify the ideals of turning interest into action for our community. We see this as a great learning opportunity and hope you will share your own experiences or best practices around the conversion of interest into action. Join us in person at one of these events, or share your thoughts with us via social media using @CaseFoundation and #Interest2Action on Twitter.

Why MCON is THE Must Attend Conference on Millennial Engagement

With just a few weeks left until the sixth annual MCON hits Washington, DC, the Case Foundation and Achieve teams are buzzing with excitement. This year’s gathering is gearing up to be the most impressive yet, uniting nearly 600 cause champions committed to creating change and turning next gen interest into action. With 25 different sessions, more than 45 remarkable speakers, a political town hall, film screenings, parties and a host of networking opportunities over the course of three days, MCON is where social sector leaders unite to mobilize movements. But don’t just take our word for it… here’s a sneak peak at what’s in store and why MCON is the top next gen engagement gathering of the year.

  • A dynamic slate of speakers will take the stage, including our own Jean Case, Gary Knell of National Geographic, Gina Bianchini of Mightybell, Ettore Rossetti of Save the Children, Jeremy Ford of Dell Giving, Ambassador Mark Brzezinski, National Geographci Explorers Erin Spencer and Sylvia Earle, Chris Temple of Living On One, Laurindo Garcia of B-Change, DeRay Mckesson, Kevin Cleary of Clif Bar, Brian Ferguson of the DC Office of Human Rights, Karla Monterroso of CODE2040, Jay Newton-Small of TIME Magazine, restaurateur Jose Andres, Ryan Scott of Causecast, Janine Gianfredi of the U.S. Digital Service, Jesse Moore from the White House, Grammy nominated recording artist Ryan Leslie and many more still to be announced!
  • Enjoy VIP access to National Geographic’s campus in the heart of downtown DC. National Geographic, one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world, has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888 through geography, archaeology and natural science and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation. While there, attendees can check out the latest exhibitions, interactive experiences and stunning photography exhibitions featuring the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers and scientists.
  • Laugh out loud with Funny or Die creators David Litt and Brad Jenkins during their Politics and Humor panel.
  • Tune in to the Political Townhall hosted by the Washington Post to hear from Millennials in government. MCON is partnering with The Washington Post to present an interactive panel discussion on issues that affect the Millennial generation, how political engagement is changing, innovation in the public sector and how to increase Millennial voter turnout.
  • We know you will be hungry over the three days so we’ve partnered with some of the best fast-casual restaurants to keep your bellies full and brain on point. Guests will munch on fare from STK, &Pizza, Shake Shack, Taylor Gourmet and many more throughout the three days.
  • Watch the film screening of “Most Likely To Succeed” the new documentary film on the impact that innovation is having on our economy and the consequences for our country if our education system fails to keep pace. WATCH THE TRAILER
  • Check out the late night Bloc Party on Day Three and closing night celebration in the outdoor courtyard of National Geographic featuring local food trucks, drinks and a surprise live act!
  • Pack your running shoes for a run with Kevin Cleary of Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks for people on the go. Meet Kevin for a morning run on Day Three, then catch him on stage later that day as he shares how to build a sustainable brand.
  • Experience a taste of Spain on Day Two at an after party hosted by NYLON and Rock the Vote, with a special guest performance, at the SPAIN Arts & Culture Center featuring the most cutting-edge works of international renowned Spanish artists of our time.
  • Watch the private screening of “Salam Neighbor,” an award-winning feature documentary. As the first filmmakers ever allowed by the United Nations to be given a tent and registered inside a refugee camp, they provide viewers with a never seen look into one of the world’s most pressing crisises. WATCH THE TRAILER
  • Take a break in the MCON Lounge on site at National Geographic and network with other cause enthusiasts who will help you take your initiative to the next level.
  • Enjoy one of the many libations keeping you hydrated throughout the festival including drinks from Boxed Water, Owl’s Brew, Denizens, One Hope Wines, Peet’s Coffee, Heritage Distilling, Port City Brewing and Flying Dog Brewery.
  • Step into the opening night party at Renwick Gallery just across the street from the White House, sponsored by the Case Foundation. The Renwick is home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection and has one of the finest and most extensive collections of its kind.
  • Be one of the first to read the 2016  Action Report released on Day One. Learn about how politics may influence next gen engagement with social causes in this exciting new survey.
  • Attend for free! Yes, free. Are you a student, activist or social entrepreneur that could really benefit from a conference like MCON but you can’t seem to fit it in your budget? Apply for an MCON 2016 scholarship while they’re still available HERE.

Can’t make it to MCON this year? Don’t worry. You can check out the livestream throughout all three days and join the conversation online using #MCON. We can’t wait to have you join us!

Why You Need to Apply for an MCON Scholarship Right Now

The following was originally posted on Achieve’s blog to share my experience as an MCON 2015 scholarship recipient. Applications are now open to attend MCON 2016. APPLY NOW

What is better than attending the premier millennial engagement conference of 2016? Attending it for free.

In April of last year, I read an article from Achieve President Derrick Feldmann about activating the millennial generation (born 1980-2000). At the time, bringing my generation into the fold was something I was very interested in, but had very little idea how to do. Derrick’s article stood out to me in the obvious depth of knowledge about the topic. Perhaps even more exciting, his article mentioned an upcoming conference called MCON devoted to this very topic.

At the time, I was working for a small, but growing nonprofit, so I was incredibly fortunate to receive an MCON scholarship because the conference is designed for people just like me—millennials that want to better understand what drives our generation to give and get involved, but wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to attend. I knew I needed to be in the room with these thought leaders, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for how much I’d learn and take away from the experience.


When I walked into the Chicago Museum of Art last June, I was blown away by the buzz and energy that filled the room. Though I knew that engaging the next generation of cause leaders was important, it was incredible to see so many people in one place who were as excited as I was by the extraordinary potential for global change that the millennial generation holds.

As I checked-in and grabbed my conference badge and (awesome) swag bag, I could already hear nearby conversations of people explaining their different reasons for attending MCON. Some people, like me, were working for nonprofits and were there to learn how to engage millennials in their work. Some were starting social enterprises and wanted to be sure they knew how to best integrate the issues that millennials care about into their products and programs. Others still were from large corporations that wanted to better understand how to attract and retain millennial talent through corporate social responsibility. No matter the specific goals, it was clear that we all shared one thing in common: we cared, A LOT, about social good and changing the world, and we knew engaging millennials in our causes was key.

unspecified-2At the conference I heard from a wide variety of speakers—from foundations and nonprofits that were using innovative ways to reach millennials, to businesses that were going beyond cause-marketing and integrating a social mission into their long-term business strategy. I learned how the Knight Foundation is investing in public art projects as an urban revitalization technique—helping to deepen the sense of place and connections across demographics in cities—and how millennials, with their propensity to live in proximity to city centers, are key to this work.

Another session that stood out to me focused on how one nonprofit, Baltimore Corps, is utilizing the energy and talents of the next generation to strengthen Baltimore through fellowships aimed at scaling promising solutions to persistent problems.

It wasn’t just the speakers that made me really happy that I attended MCON. Networking with other attendees was invaluable. Discussion groups were a common theme, and many of the people I spoke with were struggling with the same issues that I was.


When I got back to DC, I was able to use what I learned at MCON to develop a millennial engagement strategy for the nonprofit I worked at. I was better equipped to put together programming and communications to reach this vital audience. I was also motivated to join the newly formed Year Up Young Professionals Network, an effort by Year Up National Capital Region to engage millennials in their vital work. Attending MCON has made me a significantly better member of this network, able to provide input and insights from the conference to help shape and strengthen this new initiative. And I was even driven to become more deeply engaged than that, seizing an opportunity to come work for the Case Foundation, the lead sponsor of MCON and the Millennial Impact Report, when a job opening arose.

This year, I am so excited that MCON has come to my own backyard in DC. I often say that one of my favorite things about living in DC is how passionate everyone is about something. You may not always agree with the cause they care about, but just having a city full of people who give a damn is exhilarating. I can think of no better place to host such a vibrant conference, and I hope that you’ll join me at MCON 2016. If you, like me, care deeply about changing the world and growing your network with leaders, activists and entrepreneurs, then don’t miss the chance to be inspired at MCON. Scholarship applications are now open, so what are you waiting for?

Scholarships MCON 2016