June is Next Gen Month in Edmonton

Last night at the Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton’s NextGen relaunched its website and brand and, along with partners in the “little-n” next gen community, launched Next Gen Month. I think the situation here in Edmonton is rather unique – local next gen organizations are actively working together to make Edmonton a better place. There’s collaboration, rather than competition. Edmonton’s NextGen committee has done some great work recently to get all of the organizations connected and meeting regularly, and I think is starting to see itself more as a hub. That doesn’t mean that NextGen will stop pursuing its own events and initiatives, but there’s a growing awareness that one organization simply can’t represent the entire next gen community.

Next Gen Month Launch Next Gen Month Launch

The big news from last night is that June is going to be Next Gen Month in Edmonton. The idea came about as organizers in the next gen community realized there’s a lot of stuff happening next month. Mayor Stephen Mandel and Councillor Don Iveson were in attendance last night to make the official proclamation:

Whereas, the City of Edmonton is dedicated to supporting young, passionate, community-minded individuals who are taking the future into their own hands by creating a city that attracts and gives voice to the next generation of Edmontonians;

And whereas, through events, leadership and professional development opportunities, next generation organizations are working together to foster young leaders and help provide critical input as the city continues to grow;

And whereas, the City of Edmonton recognizes the efforts of next gen organizations who are actively working to connect people, places, community and ideas together;

And whereas, all Edmontonians are encouraged to participate in activities hosted by next gen organizations through the month of June;

Therefore, I, Mayor Stephen Mandel, do hereby proclaim June 2011, as “Next Gen Month” in Edmonton, Alberta’s capital city.

Next Gen Month Launch

As you can see, Edmonton’s NextGen now has a new, colorful logo. It was designed by Darren Tonn, Ryan Kelly, and Dennis Lenarduzzi of the Ad Club of Edmonton. They shared some of the design elements and rationale behind the new logo at last night’s event. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me, but if you focus on the blue lines you should see an “unfinished e”, designed to represent the fact that NextGen is still building in Edmonton. I think it does a much better job of conveying what NextGen is all about. You can see their presentation on the logo here.

Next Gen Month Launch Next Gen Month Launch

The new logo is featured prominently on NextGen’s new website. Credit for the new site goes to Ashley Casovan, Devin Serink, Lisa Hagen, and Greg Crossfield, who all worked really hard to bring their vision to life. The site features a much-improved Committee page, a photo gallery, a news feed with blog posts from partners, an event calendar, and more. I had a hand in that last one – the event calendar and list of upcoming events is powered by ShareEdmonton! There’s obviously room for improvement, but the new site is a solid platform for the committee to build upon.

Next Gen Month Launch

I’m encouraged by the things our next gen community is working on, and by the fact that we’re all working together. There’s a lot of work still be done, but I think we’re heading in the right direction. It seems that hyperbole abounds whenever one talks about the next gen community, but I really do think that we can make a difference here in Edmonton!

I think it’s fair to say that it was “the usual crowd” in attendance last night. For a launch event, I think that’s okay, but it’s definitely a challenge the next gen community will need to address moving forward. With somewhere around 265,000 Edmontonians in the target demographic (18-40) there’s a lot of people that we haven’t yet connected with. On that note, check out the event calendar, get involved, and tell a friend!

You can see more photos from last night’s event here.

8 thoughts on “June is Next Gen Month in Edmonton

  1.  Re: comment regarding “the usual crowd”.  I’m new to this crowd, so I guess a question is – what’s the strategy to expanding the audience and casting a wider net? Is there one?

    1. I don’t know if there’s an over-arching strategy, but there are lots of little things happening. Coordinating events and having a single event calendar is a big step. Cross promotion of each other’s initiatives is another big one. Reaching out to even more organizations will help. Even just the proclamation about Next Gen Month helps, because of the press and awareness that it results in.

      I don’t think there’s a silver bullet, we just need to be mindful of the challenge and keep at it.

      1. I think there is a risk that this could be seen as a medium without a message. As in, I hope all this focus in communication and connection carries with it actual content. I would personally like to see a specific strategy where they outline which organizations or area groups they recognize as worth targeting, and then take concrete steps to reach out to them. Sometimes creating engagement and community takes more than just letting people know you exist.

      2. Of course it does, and the organizations in question are indeed making an effort! All I am highlighting is that we would be wise not to lose sight of the fact that there’s a much bigger community out there. The first of many, many steps is making sure people know about the organizations and opportunities.

        I disagree to an extent about your comment on strategy. A little strategy is a good thing, too much strategy is almost certainly a bad thing. All too often groups get caught up in creating a great strategy and then they don’t or can’t execute on it. Doing something is better than talking about doing something, every time.

      3. Well that’s what I’m saying. Doing is always better than talking, but you have to know where you’re going.

    2. I don’t know if there’s an over-arching strategy, but there are lots of little things happening. Coordinating events and having a single event calendar is a big step. Cross promotion of each other’s initiatives is another big one. Reaching out to even more organizations will help. Even just the proclamation about Next Gen Month helps, because of the press and awareness that it results in.

      I don’t think there’s a silver bullet, we just need to be mindful of the challenge and keep at it.

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