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Community & Messaging Matters at #ShiftCon Eco-Wellness Social Media Conference

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Wherever you grew up, wherever you call home, there must be some sense of community, isn’t there?  Not that everyone thinks or looks alike.  Hopefully, your life has been richer because of diversity.  Yet, there are some things everyone in your community may have in common.

Social media can create a similar sense of virtual community because of shared interests, vocations and approaches to life. That’s the opportunity that the first ever ShiftCon eco-wellness conference tapped into by bringing hundreds of leading bloggers, businesses and nonprofits together, in the flesh, in Los Angeles.

Leah Segedie ShiftCon Founder with Anne Brock

ShiftCon & Mamavation founder Leah Segedie

Many ShiftCon attendees feel so passionately about various causes that they’d previously marched on Washington together, written extensively about topics covered at the event or volunteered with nonprofit groups.  Several nonprofits that work together in the popular Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition were available at ShiftCon to further educate on everything from safe cosmetics to toxic chemicals in our homes to pesticide use on our food supply.  Thanks to SCHF for making my trip possible.

ShiftCon Friends Narrow

@thesmartmama @YourOrganicLife @paigewolf @amyziff @toxicbabymovie @aliciavoorhies @mommawords @GGirlGGreen @TiffanyWashko @elyorganics @_conscientious @PlasticfreeBeth @CrunchyGoddess @LeadSafeAmerica @AlmostTruth @greenforu @floursackmama @cleancouponing @naturallysavvy

Most notably representing the growing $35 billion organic food industry and the movement to label genetically modified organisms were several top names from the business and blogging world. Stonyfield Organic founder and Just Label It chairman Gary Hirshberg delivered the welcoming address and took time for individual meet and greets with photos with everyone in attendance.

Gary Hirshberg at ShiftCon Conference with bloggers

Just Label It chairman Gary Hirshberg

Vani Hari shared her story of becoming the woman known online as the Food Babe who keeps big food companies on their toes.  Then she tried to include dozens of bloggers behind her in a fun selfie that was later posted via her social media.

Food Babe Group Selfie ShiftCon

Food Babe Vani Hari taking a group selfie at ShiftCon

Business analyst-turned-mom and now GMO labeling spokeswoman Robyn O’Brien delivered perhaps the most moving talk to an attentive breakfast crowd.  She related the common struggles of families today shopping for groceries for kids with autism or food allergies and seeking as much information as possible.  Speaking at ShiftCon seemed to be a pause in the otherwise non-stop schedule for O’Brien as she speaks frequently to various media about Colorado’s GMO labeling vote.

Robyn O'Brien ShiftCon

Robyn O’Brien

When it comes to media, ShiftCon was certainly diverse in that respect.  Attendees included several book authors, long-time journalists, radio hosts, documentary filmmakers, public speakers and social media personalities.  I was honored to be asked by Choose Wiser’s Kristi Marsh to sit town for an online interview.  I’ll let you know when it airs.

Anne Brock with Kristi Marsh Interview

Anne Brock with Kristi Marsh of Choose Wiser

A shared challenge is that many of us blogging somewhere on the green spectrum say “no thank you” to more sponsors than we accept because many brands aren’t a fit for the values we promote. ShiftCon founder Leah Segedie of Mamavation was savvy enough to bring together bloggers and brands that already speak the same language.

Traditional Medicinals Tea ShiftCon

Traditional Medicinals suite at ShiftCon

When the team at Traditional Medicinals didn’t just try to promote how great their tea tastes (although it is tasty) but they brought ingredient samples and discussed sourcing, they connected with bloggers who cared about these details. When the witty moms from Earth Mama Angel Baby lured everyone in with silly cupcakes, they were also prepared to answer any and all questions about what goes into their carefully crafted skin care products.  There were dozens more examples, from mattress makers using organic cotton to a medical doctor creating a wholesome organic shake his kids will drink, and more.

Earth Mama Angel Baby ShiftCon Suite

Earth Mama Angel Baby suite at ShiftCon

As with any community, ShiftCon included a range of identities, personalities and approaches to life. Yet, the central theme of shifting from the status quo to one that values people and a healthy planet to live on was one that seemed to resonate throughout the conference and beyond.

Will we see you next year at ShiftCon?  Why or why not?

Let’s stay in touch!  Let us know here if you’d like to receive the Flour Sack Mama & Clean Couponing newsletter.


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5 Responses to Community & Messaging Matters at #ShiftCon Eco-Wellness Social Media Conference

  1. Green Bean October 29, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    Aw man, every time I read about ShiftCon or see the photos, I so wish I had been there!
    Green Bean recently posted…Bombing for BeesMy Profile

  2. Trina O'Boyle October 29, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Completely loved Shiftcon and cannot wait until next year! So great seeing you IRL!
    Trina O’Boyle recently posted…Benefits of Stress Away Essential OilMy Profile

  3. Anna@Green Talk October 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Sounds like you had alot of fun! Love seeing all my friends in the picture.
    Anna@Green Talk recently posted…25+ Recipes for Tomatoes to Cure the Tomato GlutMy Profile

  4. Lindsay October 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    You’ll see me there Anne! It was great to catch up and yes, feel the great sense of community we all share. Now that I’m working with other blogging communities, I’m finding our level of friendship really rare. What a treat to have friends sprinkled around the country.
    Lindsay recently posted…Simple solutions to reduce food waste in the U.S.My Profile

  5. Micaela @MindfulMomma October 29, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to miss getting together with the very special community at ShiftCon. It means so much to meet and spend time in real life. I’ll be there next year for sure!
    Micaela @MindfulMomma recently posted…Giveaway: Microfiber Spa Collection from ebodyMy Profile

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