Thursday 19 October | 9:10am
PLENARY SESSION






 

Jenn Graham

Jenn Graham works with leaders to design a more inclusive world. She is the founder of Aha! Strategy, an award-winning Atlanta-based social innovation design firm, that blends business strategy, behavior change theory, the art of storytelling and the power of design to build issue-based campaigns and interventions that drive positive social change. Jenn is also co-founder and CEO of Civic Dinners, a civic engagement platform designed to bring diverse voices to the table around conversations that matter.

Her work has received recognition from President Obama, The White House, The Atlantic, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing, Atlanta Business Chronicle, American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute and the Public Relations Society of America. In 2016, Jenn was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 40 under 40, graduated from the Regional Leadership Institute Class of 2016 and is a 2017 New Leaders Council Atlanta Fellow.

Through her work, Jenn has helped raise the Millennial voice by leading the Atlanta Regional Commission's Millennial Advisory Panel and helped pass a $2.5 Billion referendum for public transportation. In partnership with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Jenn helped raise the visibility of bicycling in Atlanta by rebranding and reorganizing Atlanta Streets Alive, now the largest open streets event in the country. She's led the brand strategy, communications and community engagement for Get Georgia Reading and Talk With Me Baby, two coalitions collaborating to bridge the 30 million word gap and make sure all kids in Georgia can read proficiently by the end of third grade.

 


Thursday 19 October | 9:10am

Blood, Sweat and Gears: How Atlanta Streets Alive helped change the story of Atlanta as a car-only culture

To change a culture, you have to change the stories. And the summer of 2011, the prevailing story told by leaders for decades was "Atlanta just isn't a bicycle friendly city." But after hitting a parallel grate on her way to work, and flying over her handlebars on a busy road, Jenn Graham had enough. She was tired of hearing excuses and launched into a mission to help make Atlanta more bike friendly.

Jenn volunteered for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and helped revive, rebrand and reorganize an open streets event called Atlanta Streets Alive. Within four years, it grew to the largest open streets event in the country from 5,000 participants to over 100,000 participants offering four events per year across the city, becoming one of the most coveted and beloved community events in Atlanta. The event connects dozens of neighborhoods, sparks economic development and shines a light on the need for safe, livable streets designed for everyone, age 8 to 80.

Today, Atlanta has double the miles of bike lanes, a bike share system and a Chief Bicycle Officer. Atlanta Streets Alive has and in a headline, "Walkability and Atlanta Streets Alive threaten to make Atlanta 'cool.'"

So how did they do it?

In this 20 minute talk, Jenn provides a behind the scenes look at what worked, what didn't work, and 10 strategies for building community passion and support for your open streets event, from branding to creative community engagement strategies to partner outreach, funding and more.



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