Blogging often feels like a remote, isolated experience. Ideas are shared, and people interact with one another, but all of that is still done from individual computer screens. Leah Segedie is looking to change that.
Her brainchild, the ShiftCon Social Media Conference is a way for bloggers who write on the topics of wellness, health, the environment, food, fitness and natural living to come together. In doing so, she hopes they can inspire each other, network, learn from experts in their fields and share ideas. The conference will take place for the first time next year.
“ShiftCon was born out of the idea that together we can create a profound impact on the world around us,” said Segedie. “We can literally shift how we eat, raise our families and our impact on the environment.” She feels that the shift has already started, and events like ShiftCon will help it pick up momentum.
As the first international social media conference on the topics of health, wellness and the environment, ShiftCon is setting some pretty impressive standards. All food provided at the conference will be GMO free or Organic fresh food from family farms in the area surrounding Los Angeles through the event sponsor FarmBoxLA.com. Sponsors communicating the conference’s values are the only ones allowed to participate.
For example, sponsorship is available exclusively to food sponsors who don’t use GMOs, synthetic dyes, additives or preservatives, trans fats, synthetic nitrates, or MSG. Personal Care, Cleaning Product and Baby and Child-Related sponsors are held to similar standards. Segedie said that because health is such an important aspect of the conference, the parameters had to be in place.
“This conference blends workshops, networking, parties and intense collaboration of changemakers all over the United States and Canada in one place,” Segedie said. “Bloggers and other social media professionals participate and collaborate with each other to inspire and empower each other to create effective communication and take their profession to the next level.”
Robyn O’Brien, author of Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, is one of the keynote speakers for the conference. In 2011 she gave a popular TEDx speech that addressed her personal journey to better health and her current path as a self-described “Real Food” evangelist.
When not listening to speakers like O’Brien, attendees have the chance to participate in workshops and discuss their niche and value systems. Part of the unique ShiftCon experience is the opportunity for bloggers who may not otherwise be seen to come together and present what they know. Anyone interested can apply to be a speaker. “This is a powerful event meant to organize the eco-wellness niche as a powerful community online,” Segedie said.