The UpDayton Summit

Guest post by AJ Ferguson, Director of UpDayton UpDayton Volunteers

The 2015 UpDayton Summit will be held on Friday, April 10th at the Dayton Art Institute from 2pm to 6pm. You can learn more or register online at http://updayton.city/.

UpDayton seeks to spur economic growth in the Dayton region by attracting and retaining young creative talent. UpDayton wants to show young adults that the Gem City is a great place to live, work and play. And if top-notch creative young professionals want to live in our community, then top-notch entrepreneurs, businesses and investors want to be here, too!

UpDayton is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The vast majority of UpDayton’s impact stems from the work of volunteers who want to build a better Dayton for themselves and their peers. Volunteers lead and power UpDayton’s targeted committees and projects that address factors college graduates and young professionals employ when they decide what city to call home.

Each year, UpDayton hosts a young creatives summit, bringing together diverse young talent, business leaders, non-profits, universities and elected officials to address the flight of young talent from the region. At the each Summit, the Dayton region’s diverse young creatives come together to share their needs and concerns for the Miami Valley and brainstorm ideas to make the region a better place to live, work and play.

Primary goals of the annual Summit:

  • Solicit young, creative professionals for their needs, cares and concerns and challenge attendees to devise ideas for making the region a better place to live, work and play
  • Launch a community action plan based on the Summit ideas and recruit attendees and other young creatives to implement the plan
  • Educate young creatives about regional assets through a Summit Resource Fair
  • Foster great collaboration between the region’s young professional organizations
  • Attract local media attention

The Summit is an annual event intended to sustain a constant, community-coordinated focus on attracting and retaining young talent in the region. Each year the Summit is an opportunity to highlight the progress of the previous Summit’s action plan and launch new projects.

During the breakout sessions, attendees discuss possible project ideas for the coming year and ultimately choose the three that will be implemented. Each project receives $1,000 in seed money and the support of UpDayton’s network of volunteers and partners.

In 2014, projects included:

Dayton Inspires - A community pride social media campaign encouraging the community to recognize how Dayton inspires our own personal greatness, ambition and achievements, and to remind us why we’re proud to call Dayton home.

Wright Now Downtown - An effort to better connect the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base community to downtown Dayton.

Downtown Disc Golf - An effort to bring a new disc golf course to Dayton well within the reach of downtown residents.

Other notable projects:

SR-35 Pedestrian Bridge Mural - This bridge mural brought new life and vibrancy to a bridge connecting two of Dayton’s strongest historic neighborhoods.

Walkable Dayton - This project team put up basic wayfinding signs throughout downtown Dayton that emphasize the city’s walkability.

Streetvival - This placemaking project brought an inspirational and interactive mural to a Dayton neighborhood. The mural included chalkboard paint areas for community members to add their own messages of hope and optimism.

UpDayton's Streetvival